As Kentucky moves forward into 2016, many of us have grown weary of turkey and ham over the holidays. Not that there is anything wrong with either, but one can only eat so much. Seafood is a welcome change to the pattern, and though we don’t have the selection of states like Florida, we do have a nice variety along the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers. The Bluegrass State has an excellent variety of fresh fish and fresh water creatures, including mussels and clams, not to mention the amazing seafood we get elsewhere.
11. Charlie's Seafood and Carry Out
Charlie’s has been at 926 Winchester Road in Lexington since 1981, and nobody wants to see him go anywhere else. Not only does he sell what is known as the “best fish sandwich” in Lexington, he also offers fresh fish for sale. This is a one of a kind place in Kentucky where you will find friendly service, fresh food and the greatest sandwiches, crab cakes and hushpuppies around.
10. 701 Fish House and Oyster Bar
The 701 is located at 200 Commerce Drive in Elizabethtown and offers quite possibly the finest oysters on ice in Kentucky, complete with a buttery side sauce. The fish is always flakey and tender, and the salmon just melts in your mouth. This is a must visit place in Kentucky if you enjoy seafood.
9. Harbor Restaurant
Seafood lovers will find the view at this seafood speciality restaurant completely breathtaking, as a small example is shown in the image. The service can be questionable depending on the day and time, but the food at 451 Lee’s Ford Dock Road in Nancy at the Lee’s Ford Resort Marina is always way above par. Seafood orders are always delicious from the shrimp griller to the varieties of fish. The crusted potatoe cakes are an excellent side to pair up with almost any fish dish, as they have a light, flaky crust and not an overpowering flavor. They are very complimentary.
8. Jim's Seafood
Patrons will find delightful seafood and surf and turf dinners here, along with a lovely view of the river. The exceptional eatery is located at 950 Wilkinson Blvd in Frankfort and has fantastic oysters, whitefish and, salmon--and the fried green tomatoes are as good as Mom use to make.
7. Knotty Pine on the Bayou
This is not your average seafood restaurant at 6302 Licking Pike in Cold Spring, but is instead a Cajun and Creole fare restaurant. That means your fish, crawdads, scallops, oysters, Sea Bass, shrimp and more are served with a delightful spice that style of cooking is known for. They offer such a variety that even choosing a picture to represent their food was an incredible challenge.
6. Cunningham's Creekside
This longstanding restaurant at 6301 River Road in Prospect serves up some fresh, crispy fish fingers that are so tender you don’t have to chew. (Of course you should, but they make it seem unnecessary.) Their pan fried oysters are also amazing and pair up nicely with the fish fingers. We tend to order both each time we visit and share the ample portions. The fish sandwich cannot be overlooked either, as it is tender, flakey and not greasy at all. This is one of our favorite places to dine by the Ohio River.
5. Captain's Quarters
The view of the river brings a lot of charm to this American fare restaurant on the river. It has been around for decades at 5700 Captains Quarters Road in Prospect serving up fantastic crab cakes, shrimp, salmon, and the catch of the day, which is usually a white fish of some type. There are plenty of non seafood choices here as well. Whenever we visit this scenic restaurant, I tend to always go for their seafood. I have yet to regret that decision and wish we could frequent this Captain’s Quarters more often.
4. Palmer's Fresh Grill
This grill at 161 Lexington Green in Lexington is known for its fine food and fast service. Their shrimp and grits is possibly the best in the state. The worst thing about this wonderful restaurant is that their oyster, shrimp and fish, (including salmon dish varieties) can really leave one at a loss when making a decision. Everything is prepared and served with excellence, so it is hard to decide exactly what to order.
3. Mike Linnig's
This seafood restaurant at 9308 Cane Run Road in Louisville has been serving up fresh fish since the 1920s. It closes for several months during the cold, but reopens each January 29, ready to provide mouthwatering fish and other fare to customers daily. From the oysters and shrimp to the generous fish portions, the cuisine here is classic, well made and abnormally tender. Honestly, other seafood restaurants may not be up to par after a Linnig’s dining experience, but I’d personally put them on the top of my to “eat at” list.
2. Strickland's Seafood
This must visit restaurant at 548 N 32nd Street in Paducah has a glass top bar with sand and shells underneath, which adds an ocean air, faring excellence to the establishment. Anything you order is amazing here, be it the grilled shrimp, crab, clams, oysters, fish or any one of the many delicious varieties of seafood available.
1. The Ketch
This amazing establishment at 2012 Regency Road in Lexington has some of the finest crab cakes you will ever eat. The Whitefish seems to just dissolve on the tongue and the hushpuppies are served with a delicious honey butter that truly compliments the flavor. Lobster, oysters and crab are also cooked to perfection and served with homemade sauces that enrich the flavors. There is nothing here I wouldn’t try at least once. The Ketch is well worth getting caught in.
We are quite fond of seafood, so anyplace in Kentucky that serves an outstanding seafood dish needs to be on our radar. Each one of these restaurants is renowned for their fine, fresh cuisine and accompanying sides. Of course, catching fresh fish and preparing them at home is always an excellent option, and the fish are plentiful here. However, it is nice to get out and enjoy someone else cooking up a perfect meal as well. These are just a few that I am familiar with, but I’d love to hear about some of your favorites. Where do you go to dine on favored seafood cuisine?