We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“beautiful setting and nothing more...”
Review of Holly Hill Inn

Holly Hill Inn
Ranked #2 of 12 Restaurants in Midway
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers are at the heart of Chef Ouita Michel's menus at Holly Hill Inn, a fine-dining restaurant in America's Bluegrass horse country and near the Bourbon Trail.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

My husband, father-in-law, and another family member had brunch at Holly Hill during part of a day tour operated by Mint Julep Tours on a Sunday around 11:30 AM.

First, the setting is indeed beautiful; like stepping back in time. However, this is the only positive aspect that I can report, unfortunately.

Our table was ready upon our arrival with water glasses full. The menu was a prix-fixe brunch with somewhat incongruous options. For example, course 1 was a choice of: mediterranean salad, squash soup, or poached pears. Course 2 was a choice of breakfast fare like 2 kinds of omelets, 2 kinds of eggs-benedicty dishes, and then more lunch fare, like scallops, pulled pork ravioli. Then there was course 3, dessert, a choice between lemon chiffon pie, chocolate bread pudding, berry cobbler, cherry almond gratin.

Menu Problem #1: every man in my group turned up their noses at eating dessert as part of "breakfast", but they had no choice in the matter. Problem #2: how does one negotiate eating a salad or soup, and then a breakfast dish like an omelet? For a girl with a sweet tooth like me, no problem - I could eat dessert for all courses!

There was also the option of having a mimosa or bloody mary. I was on the verge of ordering a mimosa when I tasted my husband's orange juice: ick! Could not have been fresh squeezed or even a "good" brand, so I passed. The coffee however, was excellent. Unfortunately we were only given 1 small cream for the whole table to pass around.

The food itself was another problem for many in our party. I had the poached pears, which as I have mentioned with my sweet tooth addiction, was probably the highlight. My husband had the salad, and our 2 companions passed on the first course.

My husband ordered a different kind of omelet than his father, but got the same one, but didn't bother to complain. It was very basic and "just ok." I had an eggs benedict with smoked salmon - again, ok, I've had better many times.

The dessert was a tremendous disappointment, especially as a required course. Small portions, which was fine, but really uninspired and not great. I had the cherry-almond gratin, and it was mushy and not crumbly/crisp as the name would suggest. My husband had the chocolate bread pudding which wasn't chocolately at all! Just a few chocolate chips thrown in.

Overall the service was fair; our server was covering a lot of area, and there was a hostess who just walked around as if she were in a trance, filling water glasses and apparently not helping out otherwise.

To get to the restroom, one has to pass through the prep and kitchen area, and they were apparently hustling pretty hard back there. It was awkward passing through the work areas.

Ultimately, the real insult was the end charge of about $25 per person for this mediocre meal. The menu and food are completely incongruous with the appearance and reputation of the establishment.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5  Thank 4hersheybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (159)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

123 - 127 of 160 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2012

Reservations are a good idea. Varied menu featuring local produce and herbs. A very quaint old house with intimate rooms and a very efficient staff. Worth a visit!

Thank MaryAnneM1007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

This restaurant has a very adventuresome seasonal menu and an excellent wine list.
The wine list was the best in the area by far.
The food was superb, the service excellent,the presentation of the dishes was very impressive.
A true gem of a restaurant for serious fine dining!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank miamisaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

There are several great restaurants in Midway, but Holly Hill Inn is not one of them. Dining there was a terrible disappointment on many levels.

First, the good news. The building itself is beautiful and well-decorated. The staff are pleasant. It would be nice to drop by there for a drink.

The food is simply average. But the amuse bouche was hard as a rock. The soups arrived lukewarm. Main courses were ordinary. Homemade breads are unexceptional and arrive in tiny portions. Desserts are homemade - lemon chiffon pie was very good..

The biggest concern is the aggressive turnover policy. Dishes are brought at breakneck speed, forcing people to eat quickly. We timed it - every table we saw was in and out in an hour or under. According to the staff, this is the manager's policy.

As a local explained to me, the Inn has been there for many years and changed hands many times. It is riding on a long reputation.

This is not Southern hospitality, nor is it Southern cuisine at its best. Nor is it cheap. There are much better options in Midway. Seek them out.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
5  Thank Lutetia75004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2012

We took our daughter to Holly Hill for her 16th Birthday. She wanted to go to the BEST RESTAURANT IN KY, these are her words. She did not want to be treated like a kid but she wanted it to be special. I made reservations and only said it was her 16th birthday. The Four Course Meal was out of this world. The Chef and several of her staff members made special short trips to the table with a special appetizer just for Hallie, an herb for her to take home and plant, a card signed by the entire staff and the plate that held her dessert had HAPPY BIRTHDAY written in delectable chocolate. No singing...no birthday candles...just simply delicious food with a elegant touch of making everything feel so special. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit, the food is devine and the people are one in a million.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Debra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Holly Hill Inn also viewed


Been to Holly Hill Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing