Housed in the freshly remodeled former location of the Italian deli Giacamo’s, Limestone Blue, which opened this fall, provides a refreshing addition to casual downtown eatery options. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and weekend, although the menu tends to cater more to a lunch than a dinner appetite, with more than a dozen sandwich options and a handful of salads and appetizers. A pizza menu is also featured after 4 p.m. each day, with five pie options randing from classic pepperoni to BBQ chicken ($9-13).
Deservedly, the restaurant gets lots of buzz for its signature Mac-n-Cheese of the day, which is served in a meal-sized portion or side option, and alternates daily between quirky-yet-delicious flavors that include BLT, buffalo chicken and loaded potato. Lighter side options, including a perfectly executed broccoli salad and a quinoa salad, are also available.
On a recent wintry evening, a guest and I braved the cold to sample some of the restaurant’s offerings. We started with the avocado “fries” appetizer – an entire avocado, sliced, breaded in Panko crumbs and served with a creamy chipotle dipping sauce. I had never tasted fried avocado, and it did not disappoint. The avocado was perfectly ripe, and maintained its firmness and flavor; the dipping sauce was a lovely complement.
Next up, we ordered the Bluegrass Chevre & Beet salad, and because we didn’t read the fine print, we were a little surprised to find the primary base of the salad to be green beans. I found the beans to be kind of an odd addition to the rest of the ingredients in the salad, which was still tasty nonetheless, and surprisingly large. Other salad options include “Sweets” Grapefruit & Avocado, served with sliced almonds on a bed of spinach and arugula, and Fruit Loop, which features pulled chicken, seasonal fruit and walnuts over spinach. All salads are served with bread and cost $8.
For our entree, we split the Hot Mama sandwich – pulled buffalo chicken, bleu cheese coleslaw, on focaccia bread, $9.50 – and the beer cheese, fried green tomato and bacon pizza ($12). The fresh focaccia bread was a particular highlight of the sandwich, which was good, if slightly uninspired; the pizza toppings were delicious, with perfect fried green tomatoes, but my guest and I both found it to be overly doughy for our taste.
The bar menu features several beer and wine options, and to make up for the lack of liquor, the restaurant features a list of champagne and wine-based cocktails, including sangria, mimosas and “man-mosas” (beer and orange juice). A healthy selection of craft beers are featured on tap, including several local options.
The restaurant’s decor is bright and comfortable, with attractive wood details (bar top, a long booth bench along the wall) and exposed brick walls; during warmer months, they open their front sidewalk, which faces the courthouse buildings, for “patio” seating. The restaurant bills itself as a “local gallery” as well as a restaurant, and the walls are adorned with attractive local paintings and artwork. Our service was friendly and casual, matching the overall vibe of the establishment.
While it might not make it into my regular dinner rotation, I’m grateful to have another casual, independent dining option downtown that features a fresh and creative menu and a focus on local arts and products, particularly for lunch.
133 N Limestone St.
10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mon. - Sat.