Friday, August 19, 2011

Selenas at Willow Lake Tavern

Fresh fish and seafood are flown in daily from the East Coast to this delightful restaurant that resides in the legendary Willow Lake Tavern building in Anchorage, KY. Serving up a fusion of Creole and Sicilian cuisine, Selenas creates many original seafood platters that will leave you begging for more. As a huge fan of anything cajun and any kind of seafood, I requested to eat here for my family birthday dinner and was particularly excited that our brother, Matt Holladay, was in town and able to join us. I had a wonderful dining experience at Selenas almost a year ago when a friend suggested it for a girls night dinner. The girls and I were able to sit outside on the gorgeous patio that features a coy fish pond and attractive tree lights, providing a quaint and cozy atmosphere. I recall everyone raving about the Praline Brie appetizer which includes pecan praline sauce, drizzled over creamy danish brie that was served with apples and grapes. I also enjoyed a refreshing yet spicy Shrimp Remoulade salad. I highly suggest both of these options if you are wanting to keep it on the light side. However, on my birthday dinner night, I was more than ready to splurge on a rich and sinfully decadent meal. I met my family for dinner around 6pm on a Thursday and we were sat immediately, as "Holladay, party of five". We opted for indoor seating due to the extreme heat. I am a July birthday baby and my mom likes to remind me almost every year that "It was 100 degrees the day you were born!"...what can I say, I guess I like it hot! 

I was hoping the Fried Green Tomatoes we ordered for an appetizer would have a hot and spicy kick, unfortunately the sauce served along with them was bland for my taste. Otherwise, I thought they were pretty good with just enough breading. The Spinach and Artichoke appetizer did not let me down. It was super creamy and I just adored the bite-sized toasted cheesy breads that accompained. I swear I thought dad might lick the platter clean! For my entree, I chose the Seafood Scampi. It was just what I was hoping for, rich and decadent with lots of flavor including mucho garlic, butter, and lemon, topped with a layer of bread crumbs. The seafood was very tasty and plentiful and my only complaint was that it was too "peppery" or as my grandmother might say "The chef stumped his toe on the pepper" The rest of the family feasted on their favorite seafood. Mom always goes for fish, so she chose one of the daily specials including grouper fish that was served in a light wine sauce with dirty rice and veggies. Dad always like to mix things up so he chose the NOLA medley with the classic red beans and rice, jambalaya, and the shrimp and crawfish etoufee. I was utterly jealous of his choice, particularly the spicy jambalaya that had everything but the kitchen sink thrown in...sausage, chicken, ham, crawfish, and shrimp. Michael and I both adored the robust flavoring and plumpy shrimp and crawfish included in the etoufee, which he chose as an entree. Our brother Matt went with the fried shrimp platter and chose sweet potato fries that I was more than happy to help him devour. 

We were pleased with our service that was prompt and gracious and we all left with full hearts and stomachs, taking note of Selenas special events for future dining or drinking adventures. There are $3 Margarita Mondays, half price on any bottle of wine on Tuesdays and Sundays, not one but TWO daily happy hours in the casual bar area, as well as a Sunday brunch and even a weekly crawfish and shrimp boil. You can contact Selenas for catering or private party dining that allows you to create a specific menu for your lovely guests.

So remember, the next time you are feeling a bit jazzy and want to let the good times roll, just roll into Selenas at Willow Lake tavern for some tasty creole cuisine and scrumptuous seafood platters. It's a Holladay family favorite for sure!!

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