Sometimes you find the best things in life when you are not looking. I was looking for a restaurant for a simple but good lunch in Bardstown, KY to add to our Ultimate Bourbon Experience Live auction package for Thursday's Bourbon & Bowties Event and found an incredible place that is well worth the drive from Louisville. That's coming from someone who hates to drive. I had found a place that offered food on par with the finest restaurants anywhere in a casual comfortable atmosphere!
I should had known this was going to be special. As I asked around for places, Circa (a relatively new restaurant) seemed to be the local favorite. After eating there it is obvious as to why! It was so good that I begged them to come back with me to Norton Commons and open up here.
The Ellis Family describes it best in their own words on their website as they describe themselves...
Circa; Latin for ‘around’ or ‘around about’ seemed the perfect name for the newest restaurant creation by chef owner Bill Ellis and wife and partner Donna Ellis. Located in the quaint historic district of downtown Bardstown, Kentucky, Circa is a landmark building on the city center’s roundabout. Built ‘circa 1780’ it is the town’s oldest stone house with numerous connections to various significant characters in American history including the first governor of the territories of Florida.
The Ellis’ decided this was the perfect location to establish their new fine dining venue and so began the year long renovation project. Joining the Ellis’ in their endeavor is their daughter Chef Erin Simpson, a recent graduation of Bill’s alma mater The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Working side by side they combine years of experience with youthful enthusiasm to create a menu that is both rustic and inventive. The chefs are motivated to use local products whenever possible including fresh herbs from the raised garden beds on their own property. Chef Erin’s style includes strong southern influences from her experience of working in New Orleans and Chef Bill draws heavily on his classic French method training as well as inspirations from travels abroad.
The dining rooms at Circa are small and intimate with a decorating style that values the historic design of the home while at the same time connecting easily with the modern feel of the contemporary art and furnishings. Reclaimed wood from the renovation process was used to create the beautiful poplar tables and wainscot siding in the dining rooms.
Together the entire Ellis family is committed to providing their guests with an inviting and relaxing atmosphere and a memorable dining experience.
© Jerry A. Zegart Photography