Midway’s Holly Hill Inn, plus seven more Ouita Michel restaurants
The historic Holly Hill Inn, a 175-year-old house in the heart of Midway, is a Kentucky Proud fine dining restaurant. Led by Executive Chef Tyler McNaab, a Cynthiana native, the restaurant serves farm-to-table food sourced from farmers all across Kentucky.
Holly Hill Inn is the first in a long line of restaurants under the Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants corporate umbrella, operated by the executive management team of Michel, her husband, Chris, and Chief Operating Officer Doug Mullins.
The other seven restaurants they have opened in the past five years include Wallace Station Deli, Versailles; The Midway Bakery & Cafe; Windy Corner Market and Restaurant, Lexington; Smithtown Seafood, two locations in Lexington; Honeywood, The Summit at Fritz Farm, Lexington; Zim’s Cafe, Lexington; and Glenn’s Creek Cafe, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles.
From Lexington to New York City and back
Before setting off to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York City, Michel attended the University of Kentucky 1982-1986, then moved to New York City in 1987.
“I met Chris, my husband, on the first day at chef school in New York,” says Michel.
“We moved to Kentucky and bought Holly Hill Inn in 2000.”
They now live next door and have since opened another seven restaurants in and around the Lexington area, employing about 200.
Many dishes served at the restaurants are what Michel calls “heritage dishes”—think beaten biscuits with ham, spoonbread, grass-fed burgers, pimento cheese—old-fashioned dishes with a modern twist. (Watch for her cookbook set to come out next year.)