This past weekend I visited one of my favorite places, Lexington, Virginia. Established in 1777, Lexington is a quintessential historic town. Although primarily a home for Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, Lexington is far from your average college town. The old-time buildings and narrow streets make you feel like you have traveled back in time to the pre-civil war era. However, the fresh and modern take on the boutique shops and local restaurants make it a place you want to keep coming back to.
Lexington Coffee Shop
The best way to start your day is to grab a latte at the local Lexington Coffee Shop. I discovered this place the last time I visited in the Fall and absolutely fell in love with it. All of their dairy products are locally produced at the Mt. Crawford Creamery, where the milk never leaves the farm and is not homogenized.
The staff is welcoming and have great advice on what to get based on your coffee preferences. They offer a variety of coffees from around the world and a variety of specialty drinks. They also have a great selection of pastries and other coffee shop products. I have tried a few of their lattes, but my favorites has been the creme brûlée latte. Served at the right temperature, not too hot or not too cold, this latte will change your life for the better. They also offer a unique promotion I have never encountered before. They have a mug club where locals can leave their mugs on the wall and use whenever they visit. If only I lived closer!
Daytime is a great time to explore and shop around the many local boutiques and stores. Each boutique has a unique take on Southern goodies. A favorite thing I have bought was a Southern cookbook that I gifted to my mom at Christmas. The store owner told me that a local woman had written it and was only sold in the surrounding area. You can also find many local antique shops with the greatest and coolest old-time furniture, jewelry, and everything else. Make sure to load up on VMI pride products found in many stores downtown!
At night, my favorite place to grab a bite to eat is at Bistro on Main. This place offers high quality cuisine with many mouth-watering and delicious dishes. It has a great atmosphere with candle lit dinning and an intriguing bar. The menu primarily has a French flare but with a Southern twist. Every night they offer a lovely selection of specials.
Bistro on Main
The first thing the waitress serves is fresh beer bread with butter. To some that may sound weird, but I promise you will not be disappointed. The beer bread is soft with a sweet taste. For an appetizer I always make sure to order the calamari. The golden crispy squid is some of the best I have ever had and the last piece is often fought over.
My next go to item on the menu is the bistro salad served with mixed greens, pear slices, toasted nuts, locally produced goat cheese, and a poppy-seed dressing. The contrast of the soft goat cheese and the crispy pear and nuts combined with the homemade poppy-seed dressing will send your senses crazy. What I love most is the salad is refreshing and not too filling before the main dish.
On this night I picked a special for my main course, the grilled rockfish with a swiss cheese and bacon puree, parmesan risotto, and sautéed spinach. This special did not disappoint. The fish was grilled perfectly and the puree added a different and flavorful taste to the fish. The parmesan risotto is always exquisite and went great when mixed with the sautéed spinach.
For my favorite part of every meal, the dessert, I ordered the lemon creme brûlée. I only expect the best from French bistros when it comes to creme brûlée. This bistros take on the creme brûlée offers a hint of lemon in every bite. The candy coated shell gives the best crispy contrast to the custard filling. My boyfriend ordered the specialty chocolate mousse. I stole a few bites of his and was delighted to taste the milk chocolate, airy mousse. Beyond the food, the wait staff goes above and beyond to make sure you have the best experience that you will never forget.
I never get sick of visiting Lexington and discovering new things about it. For years to come I will make sure to stop by my favorite places, enjoying the fond memories I have of this town. Lexington will always share a very special place in my heart and I hope one day you can experience it too
Hannah Marie Tree