The signs that Derby is near aren't limited to Thunder Over Louisville and the reappearance of the Derby Festival Chow Wagon. Many Louisvillians also mark Opening Day at Keeneland as a sign of Spring (as well as the start of local racing season). True "track rats" may advise showing up at Keeneland's Track Kitchen, where jockeys, owners and trainers select Southern breakfast standards cafeteria-style. But for those who want something more than sausage gravy and are searching for something new and hot down Lexington way, Eater offers a few suggestions for dining during Keeneland's spring meet after the jump.
National Boulangerie Kentuckian Andrea Sims and her French husband, Krim Boughalem, seem to be making quite an impact on Lexington, having already established popular places such as Table Three Ten and Wine + Market. The Herald-Leader reports that, within the year, the giant space at the corner of National and Walton Avenues will contain "a brasserie restaurant, wine shop, beer garden, grocery and oyster bar under the umbrella name National Provisions." For now, there are breads, coffees, sandwiches, soups, desserts and more. (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily) National Boulangerie [Facebook]
Smithtown Seafood Chef Ouita Michel's latest venture is fish-centric, featuring "wild-caught fried catfish, flavorful salads and ethnic seafood dishes." There's also beer cheese, Kentucky-raised beef burgers and Marksbury Farm hot dogs. You can grab a beer next door at West Sixth Brewing's tap room. (Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) Smithtown Seafood [Official Site]
County Club This 2013-opened restaurant in an "old concrete garage" focuses on smoking "responsibly raised Kentucky cow, hog, sheep, goat, and chicken." (Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m) County Club [Official Site]
Blue Heron Steakhouse This "upscale hand-crafted cocktail bar" recently added a kitchen serving "steakhouse classics and Southern fare." (Tues.-Thurs. 5 to 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 to 11 p.m.) Blue Heron Steakhouse [Official Site]