Savor the Past: Recipes from Closed Lexington Restaurants
Lexington loves local restaurants and remembers favorites from indoor dining venues that we’ll want to try again. So we’ve been digging through the archives of the Herald-Leader, calling the local chefs who run some of Lexington’s most popular restaurants and connecting with seasoned collectors to put together a batch for you to bring to your dinner table. enjoy.
The popular Lexington restaurant has been around for a little over a decade, but it’s made its mark: People still talk about the dishes they loved at Ed & Fred’s Desert Moon.
My favorite (I order it practically every time) was the pesto linguine with chili and lemon. (Ed & Fred’s had great options for meat-free, appetizers that could keep on their own.)
Others rave about the spicy Anasazi chili, the unique calzones (smoked salmon?), the BLT made with smoked turkey, guacamole and spicy mayonnaise, or the Caribbean smoked chicken salad. This is the recipe we found in the Herald-Leader archives for this part of the Taste of the Past series that included other favorites like DeSha made-from-scratch cornbread and Stanley J.
Ed & Fred’s opened in 1992 at 249 E. Main St. Owned by Doug and Judy Eifert, the restaurant is named after Fred, Doug’s father and for original partner Mary Jane Sloane’s father, Ed.
From the start, reviewers described the menu as “eclectic”. The place was as well known for its art as it was for its food. Patrons of plays and galleries in downtown Lexington often enjoyed a meal at Ed & Fred’s after the show.
About four years later, the restaurant moved to a new location not far on Grand Boulevard, to the site of Del Frisco’s former restaurant. A loyal fan base has taken this step and taken other changes in stride.
The larger space is designed to feel comfortable and to show artworks by local artists. “We wanted to give our restaurant a different feel to be different from any other restaurant in town because there are a lot of restaurants here,” Jodi Everett said at the time. “Art has played a role in that, and it would be a completely different restaurant without that particular art.”
It was ahead of its time in many ways: I think this is the first upscale place I’ve seen with a polished concrete floor, for example.
But at the end of 2003, Ed & Fred’s closed for good, with little fanfare after serving New Year’s Eve dinner. At the time, Doug Everett said the increased competition for downtown goers was having a negative effect.
The building on Grand Boulevard was already owned by Nancy Barron & Company, who expanded into the former restaurant space.
The Everts moved to North Carolina and opened a restaurant in the Outer Banks, serving some of Ed and Fred’s old favorites to a new audience.
The Dajio Restaurant in Ocracoke closed last year and the Eiferts retired.