Lexington: Shakespeare & Co. Offers Shabby Chic Dining Downtown
by Alan Cornett
Eat Kentucky Daughter #2 suggested we visit Shakespeare & Co. for her annual Daddy-Daughter breakfast recently. I was glad to agree since I hadn’t yet been and wanted to check it out.
Shakespeare & Co. is an interesting restaurant phenomenon. Despite the name–evocative of both England and the famous Parisian bookstore –it’s actually a Middle Eastern chain based in the UAE. There are only two American locations, both in Lexington. While I typically avoid reviewing chains, Shakespeare & Co. actually offers Lexingtonians an experience unique to America.
We visited on a weekday, and found things slow that morning with a relatively empty restaurant. Our waitress was attentive and friendly throughout our meal. The overall service was excellent.
We perused the ornately decorated hardcover menus to consider the options. My daughter had heard great things about the crepes, so there was no holding her back. She went for the lemon & sugar crepe with strawberries inside and ice cream on top (sounds good, right?). Knowing I would steal a bite (*cough*…or two) of the crepe, I chose the Country Style Benedict for myself. The Country Benedict is a nice play on the classic Benedict with poached eggs on a buttermilk biscuit with sausage gravy and hash browns.
The order arrived reasonably quickly, and the first thing I noticed is that the crepe is not small. It’s quite large, actually, and considering prices these days is a nice value on the menu. The teenager was quite pleased with it, and–as it happened–I did manage a bite (…or two) and can confirm that you won’t be disappointed with the crepe (ice cream on top doesn’t [ever] hurt).
The Country Style Benedict also won me over pretty quickly. Admittedly, I wasn’t a hard sell. The biscuit and sausage gravy give it a local spin, and the poached eggs really set it off nicely. The Country Benedict is definitely on the recommended list.
We ate at the downtown location, and the setting and decor go well with the “Victorian Square” area (I know, we’re not supposed to call it that, anymore). Shabby chic is somewhat out of fashion these days, with the minimalist vintage industrial look winning the day. The lush, somewhat over the top vibe at Shakespeare and Co. is a nice change of pace.
Eat Kentucky Daughter #2 was more than happy with her choice, and I think is already making plans to return. For our visit, service, food, and decor all lived up to expectations. Shakespeare & Co. offers Lexington a fun and unique experience.
Shakespeare & Co.
367 W. Short Street
Daily: 7:30 AM – 10 PM