TDN Weekend

January 2019

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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For 16 years, Lundy owned and operated Jonathan at Gratz Park, an upscale downtown restaurant that was considered one of the city's best eateries. He moved on to be the chef at Coba Cocina for a bit, but is now back downtown with Corto y Lima, which he co-owns with TJ Cox. As the Spanish-derived name suggests, the restaurant is located at the corners of Short and Limestone and emphasizes Latin cooking. Opened in 2017, Corto y Lima was an instant suc- cess. Crowds have packed into the place, which fea- tures huge windows, tall ceilings, and a relaxed but chic decor. It touts itself as midscale and has a decid- edly younger, fresher vibe than Jonathan. The bar at Corto y Lima is large and puts tequila and rum drinks in the spotlight, a welcome step away from Lexington's nonetheless understandable love affair with all things bourbon. The restaurant seats around 60, not includ- ing patio seating, with a second floor for group parties and a tiny, elevated room above one end of the bar that seats eight or so. (This unique room is called Cielo, Spanish for sky, and is the lone section of the main restaurant that can be reserved. The second floor can also be reserved.) Corto y Lima is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. It's open to 11 p.m. on weekends and closed Tuesdays. Corto y Lima's focus is on shareable dishes and quick service. Food and drinks come out fast, and tables are often turned in an hour. But the experience doesn't feel rushed and parties are welcome to operate on their own time frame. The waitstaff isn't pushy, and on the night we visited our waitress went out of her way to explain the various dishes and drinks on the menu.

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