If you want to see and taste quintessential Kentucky, head to Windy Corner Market. The restaurant and market on the northeastern edge of Lexington sits in the midst of the rolling hills and winding fences of legendary horse farms. Outside, it is rustic, with an iconic mural painted on the side, flowers surrounding it and a painted horse inviting you in.
Inside, the jockey silk colors of Kentucky horse farms are displayed on the walls alongside shelves of Kentucky-made products, including some to eat, some to wear and some to admire.
Windy Corner stands out for many reasons: burgers made with Kentucky Proud beef, live music on Fridays, nightly specials and a huge bakery case of homemade treats. Perhaps what sets it apart the most is the use of as many local ingredients as possible. The Ouita Michel family of restaurants employs David Wagoner, a staff farmer who grows and sources local food for the restaurants.
Favorites include several variations of the po’boy sandwich, including the seafood po’boy with crawfish, catfish, oysters or shrimp and a special sauce created by chef Sara Gibbs. Other specials are the blue burger, chicken fingers and shrimp basket, according to long-time employee Doug Rose, who said the oysters are his favorite. Save room for dessert. The temptations are many, from innovative cookies such as sorghum, corn and ginger; to cakes, scones and ice cream.
Windy Corner’s menu grew out of a trip to New Orleans.
“At the time, we were trying to develop a concept for the menu at Windy Corner,” says Michel,” and as we toured New Orleans, we realized that the humble po’boy sandwich was a great vehicle for Kentucky-raised pork, chicken, country ham, beef and catfish.” Windy Corner now imports its traditional French-style loaf from Gambino’s bakery in New Orleans.
“I like this loaf because it has a very thin, crispy crust and filling without dominating its flavors,” Michel says.
Windy Corner is the latest for owner Michel’s family of restaurants, which includes Holly Hill Inn, Honeywood, Wallace Station, Zim’s Café, Smithtown Seafood and the Midway Bakery and Café.
Windy Corner Market Fish and Seafood Po-Boy