Archive for the 'Restaurant news' Category

Celebrate Grilled Cheese Day at home or at Tom+Chee

tomcheese

Saturday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day.

Check out grilled cheese favorites at Tom+Chee, a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant in Hamburg at 2200 War Admiral Way. Call (859) 263-0144 or go to Tomandchee.com.

Here are some ideas from Tom+Chee for jazzing up your homemade grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Goetta+Cherry Peppers+Fried Onions+Sweet Hot Mustard+Pepper Jack+Sourdough+Rye
  • Roasted Turkey+Bacon+Pickles+Gouda+Sourdough
  • Mac & Cheese+Cheddar+White
  • Hummus+Cucumber+Mixed Greens+Tomato+Cheddar+Wheat
  • Pepperoni+Tomato Sauce+Mozzarella+Sourdough

Lexington, Louisville chefs bet their food, not their money, on Cats vs. Cards

The battle on Friday between the ­University of Kentucky and the ­University of ­Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA men’s ­basketball tournament is spilling over into ­Lexington and Louisville kitchens.
Bill Lynch, chef at The Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville, is challenging Jeremy Ashby, chef/owner of Azur in Lexington, to a wager.
If the Louisville Cardinals lose to the Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis on Friday night, Lynch has agreed to wear Kentucky blue and serve Ashby’s signature dishes at Azur. If the ­Wildcats lose, Ashby will don ­Louisville red and serve patrons at The Bristol’s Hurstbourne Parkway ­restaurant.
A date for the dinner has not been ­announced. Go to Azurrestaurant.com and Bristolbarandgrille.com.
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is celebrating the Kentucky-­Louisville game with all-night happy hour on Friday. In celebration of the Wildcats’ 26 wins, the restaurant will offer its 8-ounce filet mignon for $26; it’s regularly $29. If the Wildcats win, Nick Ryan’s will serve the special on Saturday for $27. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Special events
■ Seventeen ­wineries are participating in ­McConnell Springs’ 7th annual Wine ­Barrel ­Tasting on Saturday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any participating winery. Call (859) 272-0682 or go to Mcconnellsprings.org.
During the event, Jean Farris Winery, 6825 Old Richmond Road, will offer a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ­Included are filet burger, smoked chicken salad, grilled chicken Caesar, shrimp and grits, and duck sausage pizza. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.
■ Kathy Archer will serve Howard’s Creek authentic beer cheese at the Taste of the South in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Taste of the South was founded in 1982 by transplanted ­Southerners ­living in Washington. The group ­decided to host a party where they could share with Washington residents their love for all things ­Southern. Thirteen states are ­represented, and this year, Kentucky is the featured state, with ­proceeds going to West End School in ­Louisville. The free alternative school serves at-risk boys from preschool to eighth grade.
Openings
■ Sherrie Keller-Pauley and her husband, Ben Pauley, are back in the restaurant business in the same location where their original Three Suns Bistro was, 502 North Main Street in Nicholasville. The Pauleys’ Three Suns opened in 2000. It moved to Brannon Crossing in 2005 and closed in 2012.
Now called The Bistro, the ­restaurant will offer “some tried and true favorites from the Three Suns ­Bistro menu including pecan-fried chicken with praline glaze, lobster bisque, and our honey vinaigrette, a Kentucky Proud product,” Keller-­Pauley said. The menu includes hand-cut steaks, seafood, pasta, salads and burgers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call  (859) 221-3925.
Specials
First Watch Daytime Café is ­offering three new limited-time items for spring: lemon ricotta pancakes; AB&J waffle topped with almond butter, strawberry sauce and granola; and smoked salmon and roasted vegetable frittata. Locations are 3071 Richmond Road, (859) 899-3447; and 1080 South Broadway, (859) 252-2226. A new First Watch will open this spring on ­Winchester Road in front of Hobby Lobby. Go to Firstwatch.com.
■ Saturday and Sunday specials at 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, in Mason County, are Hawaiian chicken with grilled pineapple, pesto grilled shrimp, grilled pork chops, sausage quiche, and white chicken chili. Call (859) 907-6093. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Top female chefs to cook dinner together March 13

shannoncollinsShannon Collins, day chef at Azur Restaurant, was one of many people who were offended when a Time ­magazine article last fall neglected to include any female chefs as “gods of food.” (Four women were on the list of 13, but none was a chef.) Collins decided to plan an event that would showcase the talents of six of Central Kentucky’s top female chefs.
“In this male-dominated profession, women are often overlooked. We need to take up our space,” Collins said.
The dinner, at 6 p.m. March 13 at Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will ­benefit Susan G. Komen. Tickets are $85. Call (859) 296-1007 or email info@azurrestaurant.com.
Collins will serve grilled tenderloin of bison with red wine-almond mole and sweet potato-apple hash.
The other chefs and what they will prepare are: Amy Harris, sous chef at Jonathan at Gratz Park, pan-seared ­scallop with apple-golden raisin compote and blackberry-pomegranate coulis; Ranada West-Riley, chef/owner of The Lexington Diner, masala of ­curried chickpeas with spinach, braised carrots and new potatoes in coconut milk curry with jasmine rice; Vanessa Wilhite, chef/manager at Gigi’s Cupcakes, spiced airline quail breast with warm quinoa salad over ­cauliflower bisteche with saffron jus and roasted red grapes; Ouita Michel, chef/owner Holly Hill Inn, rolled grouper roasted in sorghum brown butter with Woodford Reserve gastrique over white beans, Benton’s bacon, shaved ­Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions; and Toa Green, chef/owner of Thai Orchid Café, strawberry balsamic sorbet with bubbly prosecco, lemon sea salt and ginger-sorghum pizzelle.

It’s Mardi Gras and the crawfish are boiling

100204mardigrasPASnow and freezing temperatures in ­Louisiana have put a chill on Mardi Gras celebrations in ­Lexington. The crawfish aren’t eating and they’re likely to be smaller than normal. Still, the limited amount of crawfish won’t halt crawfish boils at Fat Tuesday parties.
Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is Tuesday, the last day before the season of Lent begins. Here’s what some ­Central Kentucky places have planned.
Furlong’s owner Tommy Walters has been in contact with Louisiana fishermen, and he’s telling customers not to expect an abundance of large crawfish. “It’s the worst beginning to any crop people my age have ever seen,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some crawfish that are a nice size. “The good news is that we’ll probably have crawfish all summer long.”
The menu for Tuesday’s party at Furlong’s includes crawfish ­etouffée, shrimp etouffée, gumbo, ­jambalaya, boudin and andouille sausage. ­Furlong’s is at 130 West Tiverton Way. Call (859) 523-5500.
Bourbon n’ Toulouse’s annual Fat Tuesday party is so big it spills over to Chevy Chase Inn, The Beer Trappe and other bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. “We’ll be serving up bulk orders all weekend long for people who can’t make it down here on ­Tuesday,” owner Kevin Heathcoat said.
The Cajun specialties, except boiled crawfish and alligator etouffée, are available by the quart and gallon for carry-out. The deadline for orders is Monday. Call (859) 335-0300 or email Catering@ilovecajun.com.
Tuesday’s festivities begin at 11 a.m., and the menu includes alligator ­etouffée and king cake from Sunrise Bakery. The crawfish boil starts at 6:30 p.m. Bourbon n’ Toulouse is at 829 Euclid Avenue.
CCI, 833 Euclid Avenue, opens at 11 a.m. to allow for more places for diners to sit (you must be 21, but you don’t have to buy drinks). The Tall Boys will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m.
Also starting at 11 a.m., diners 21 and older may take their food to The Beer Trappe, 811 Euclid Avenue.
■ One of Lexington’s largest Mardi Gras parties is at The Red Mile ­Clubhouse, 1200 Red Mile Road. Bayou Bluegrass Catering serves a lunch buffet that includes sausage gumbo, crawfish pie and bread pudding. The dinner menu features fried alligator and catfish, shrimp etouffée, seafood gumbo, smoked beef brisket and Cajun fried turkey.
Lunch, $16.50 a person, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner seatings, $29.50, are at 5:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Call (859) 621-3912 or go to Bayoubluegrass.com.
A la Lucie, 159 North Limestone, is having a Big Easy/Fat Tuesday party that features shrimp Creole, oysters, beignets and king cake. Call (859) 252-5277 or go to Alalucie.com.
Ramsey’s Diners will have its 25th annual Fat Tuesday celebration at all locations. “We’ll be flying 1,200 pounds of live crawfish in from New Orleans,” owner Rob Ramsey said. Also on the menu are seafood gumbo and king cakes baked by Missy’s Pies. Go to Ramseysdiners.com for addresses.
Gumbo Ya Ya, 1080 South ­Broadway, will begin its 11th annual Fat Tuesday celebration on Friday. Chef-owner Greg Todd will serve ­alligator sauce piquant and ­several crawfish dishes through Tuesday. ­Tuesday’s festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. with free slices of king cake and Ale-8-One soft drinks. Order party packs or king cakes at (859) 252-9292 or go to Gumboyayaky.com.
Willie’s Locally Known, 805 North Broadway, will have a crawfish boil beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, along with gumbo, jambalaya, king cake and beignets. Live music will feature the Baja Yetis. Call (859) 281-1116 or go to Willieslex.com.
■ The lunch and dinner menus at Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, will feature crawfish etouffée and shrimp Creole. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
■ The Blue Heron Steakhouse, 185 Jefferson Street, will serve  smoked chicken-andouille gumbo, chargrilled or fried oysters, blackened redfish with crawfish etouffée, duck and shrimp ­jambalaya, and beignets with dark chocolate espresso sauce. Go to ­Blueheronsteakhouse.com or call (859) 254-2491.
Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles will begin its Mardi Gras celebration at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with a tour of the historic distillery. A Cajun buffet will be served at 7:30 p.m. in the Dryer House. The menu includes ­jambalaya, crawfish, baby back ribs, king cake and chocolate bread pudding. The cost is $50. The distillery is at 7855 McCracken Pike. Call (859) 879-1953 or email catering@ b-f.com.
Special events
TAI on Rye, the pop-up, New York-style deli at Temple Adath Israel, returns Sunday. Specials include matzo ball soup and homemade rugelach, a rolled pastry with a nut filling. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Temple Adath Israel is at 124 North Ashland Avenue. Go to Lextai.org.
Wines on Vine, 400 Old Vine Street, is hosting Caitlin Craig, who will pour wines from Willamette Valley Winery in Oregon from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Brian Miracle of Failla Winery in California will be at the store from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 18. Tastings are free. Call (859) 243-0017.

The Recipe and Wild Eggs are open; Mary Lou’s BBQ has closed

It was home to Murray’s, then an outpost of the Chevy Chase restaurant Josie’s, and now the Southern mansion at 3955 Harrodsburg Road houses The Recipe at Sixty-Eight.
It’s still owned by Murray Family Restaurants, which also owns Josie’s and Merrick Inn, and the menu combines favorites from both restaurants. That includes Merrick Inn’s white Italian lasagna and moonshine-smoked pulled pork. Josie’s specialties are featured at brunch, served Wednesday through Sunday.
Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The lounge has live music Thursday through Saturday nights.  Call (859) 523-6833.
Openings
Wild Eggs, a breakfast food restaurant chain that got its start in Louisville, opened in Lexington earlier this week. The restaurant, at 3735 Palomar Center Drive, serves breakfast, brunch and lunch daily. Menu favorites include Kalamity Katie’s border Benedict, which consists of green chili Cheddar corn cakes topped with chorizo, two poached eggs, and avocado; a bananas Foster waffle topped with banana rum caramel sauce and fresh banana slices; and a grits dish of the day. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (859) 277-0402 or go to Wildeggs.com.
Closings
Mary Lou’s BBQ, 226 Walton Avenue, has closed its doors. Owner John Dance had told a customer a few weeks ago he was moving to Texas. Dance also owned Good Ol’ Days BBQ a few years back.
Special events
WineStyles is hosting a release party for Planet Oregon, a pinot noir from winemaker Tony Soter of Soter Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This is the first time it’s available in Kentucky. WineStyles will be pouring Planet Oregon by the glass 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday. WineStyles is at 2535 Nicholasville Road. Call (859) 278-9463 or go to Winestyleslex.com.
New menus
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is jazzing up its Saturday brunch menu. The bloody Mary bar is $5 and features beef jerky, bacon and shrimp as accoutrements. Specials include local eggs from the Long farm; shrimp and grits; and pork chilaquiles with spicy tomatillo sauce. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Red State BBQ now serves chicken wings. “I had to be persuaded to add it to the menu,” owner David Carroll said. “Turns out one of my servers used to be a sous chef and so he picked up some chicken wings and brought them to the restaurant, put dry rub on them, smoked them, deep fried them, made a Buffalo sauce to go with them, and made me eat them. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. They’re one of the hottest things on our menu now.” Red State is at 4020 Georgetown Road. Call (859) 233-7898 or go to Redstatebbq.com.
Specials
1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, is serving chicken and dumplings and meatloaf on Saturday. Sunday specials are chicken and rice casserole and Italian meatballs. Also on the menu are quiche, sandwiches,  soups, and desserts. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The restaurant is in the center of the historic village in Mason County. Call (859) 907-6093.

Call now for Valentine reservations

Valentine’s Day is next week, so it’s time to pick up the phone (or go online) and make dinner reservations for you and your sweetie. Here’s what some restaurants are offering as specials and entertainment.
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is ­celebrating for three days. The restaurant will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Feb. 15. Dinner specials include oysters Rockefeller, New York strip steak and Chilean sea bass. Call (859) 233-7900or go to ­Nickryans.com.
Le Deauville French ­Bistro, 199 North ­Limestone, is serving a three-course dinner for $49. Call (859) 246-0999 or go to ­Ledeauvillebistro.com.
The Paddock Grille at Embassy Suites, 1801 ­Newtown Pike, is ­offering a four-course dinner Feb. 14 and 15 for $75 a couple. Entrees include osso buco, duck breast, prime ­sirloin, ­chicken Oscar, and ­tortellini with roasted ­winter ­vegetables. Call (859) 455-5000.
■ Pianist Beth ­Mankel will entertain dinner guests at The Julep Cup, 111 ­Woodland Avenue, on Feb. 14. For those celebrating Thursday, bottles of wine regularly $80 or less will be half-price. Harpist Carolyn DuPont will entertain Feb. 15. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com.
Greentree Tearoom, 521West Short Street, is ­celebrating Valentine’s Day all month. The menu f­eatures mushroom with sherry soup, white chocolate scones, Low Country shrimp and grits, ham salad and white pimento cheese tea sandwiches, chocolate pots de crème, and strawberry cupcakes with raspberry sauce. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to ­Greentreetearoom.com.
■ The Valentine’s Day special at Thai Orchid Café, 1030 South Broadway, is a three-course dinner for two for $45. Hours are 5 to 9:30 p.m. Entrees are chicken mussaman curry and honey roast pork plate. Desserts are sticky rice sundae, triple chocolate cake, bourbon brownie sundae, and a flight of three Crank & Boom ice cream flavors. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.
■ Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road, is taking orders for a ­sweetheart cake that’s heart-shaped and filled with buttercream or ­chocolate and tied with a pink or red bow. The February lunch specials are tomato bisque and bean soup. Call (859) 554-6044.

Special events

Akielo Temple No. 128, Daughters of the Nile will have its annual bean soup dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. It will be at Oleika Shrine Temple, 326 Southland Drive.
Wines on Vine, 400 Old Vine Street, is having a bourbon tasting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday featuring Kentucky bourbon distillers. The cost is $10. Call (859) 243-0017.
■ On Saturday, Texas Roadhouse will have its 10th annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and individuals will plunge into a frigid pool at 11:30. Last year, 400 people participated, raising more than $77,000. The post-plunge bash will be at 12:30 p.m. Texas Roadhouse is at 3029 Richmond Road.

Specials

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, 101 East Brannon Road in Nicholasville, is jazzing up happy hour. The restaurant offers 79 drink options for less than $5 each. Along with the new beverage program, guests may order appetizers priced at $3, $5, $7 and $9. Call (859) 971-1991 or go to Redrobin.com.
■ Missy’s Pie Shop moved into larger quarters in October, and now the bakers have space to make soups and sandwiches along with their specialty pies. You may pick up box lunches to eat in or grab to go. Ramsey’s Diners’ chicken salad and pimento cheese, vegetable soup, and chicken and ­dumplings are available by the quart. Missy’s is at 219 Woodland Avenue. Call (859) 253-0449 or go to ­Missyspieshop.com.
Red Mango Frozen ­Yogurt and Smoothies, 2304 Sir Barton Way, serves ­“superbiotic smoothies.” Flavors ­include ­pomegranate protector, strawberry ­energizer, mango ­metabolizer, and berry power protein. Call (859) 373-0099 or go to ­Redmangousa.com.

MacFarlanes open Sweet Lily’s yogurt shop

sweetlillysChris and Leah MacFarlane opened their first independent frozen yogurt store in late December and named it after their daughter Lily. Sweet Lily’s Frozen Yogurt and Coffee is at 2573 Richmond Road, in the French Quarter Square.
“We wanted to give Lexington a healthy dessert option that was also delicious. My husband and I are both huge sweet-treats fan but wanted something a little better than ice cream but just as delicious,” Leah MacFarlane said.
The self-serve store offers 15 alternating flavors with gluten- and dairy-free choices available. Sweet Lily’s also sells Kentucky Mountain Coffee, Blue Smoke chips and salsa from West Virginia, and frozen yogurt cakes and pies.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 335-8661.
New menus
Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, has added bistro chicken to its evening menu. “Likely developed out of the basement kitchens of Parisian apartments where tenants paid for both room and board, it was a saucy and delicious meal all in one skillet that satisfied hard-working French,” owner Gene Williams said. “Natasha’s brined and roasted half chicken does just that: a big portion of juicy chicken with a garlic parsley persillade served with green beans and house fresh cut fries.” The cost is $18. The weekend steak special is grilled filet mignon. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Beetnik.com.
■ Leo Capezzuto, owner of Casanova Express, now has an authentic Neapolitan lightly fried calzone on his menu. “This calzone is only prepared in this way in some areas of Naples, Italy,” he said. Also available are the traditional oven-baked calzone, white pizza, and whole-wheat margherita pizza. Casanova is at 325 West Main Street, on the ground level of Festival Market. Call (859) 252-7777or go to Casanovalex.com.
■ The winter menu at Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, 6825 Old Richmond Road, features rich and hearty dishes such as chicken chardonnay, lobster pappardelle, and duck cassoulet, and for dessert, bourbon butterscotch pot de creme with peanut butter fudge. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.

Special events
Azur Restaurant is introducing a food chain chef series that will explore sustainable food practices with dinners that progress course-by-course through the natural food chain of a species.
The first dinner, “Ocean,” will showcase sustainable seafood at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29. The seven-course tasting menu will feature the indigenous predator of the preceding course, accented with ingredients that highlight each fish species, executive chef Jeremy Ashby said. The cost is $70.
The menu features konbu seaweed dashi with sea bean; shrimp and lobster carpaccio with berbere spice; cold-smoked mullet with meuniére sauce; butter-poached golden tile fish with Asian pear and lemon sauce; mango snapper with Marcona almonds,; amberjack with porcini and truffle risotto; and caramel flan with tropical fruits and coconut meringue.
Azur is in Beaumont Centre at 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Call (859) 296-1007 or go to Azurrestaurant.com.
Announcements
Stella’s Kentucky Deli, 143 Jefferson Street, has opened another dining room that offers five extra tables and space for parties of 10. Stella’s menus are built around local produce and include Colcord Farm beef, Garey Farm chicken, Kenny’s Farmhouse cheese, Stone Cross Farm sausages and pork, and Weisenberger Mill grits. Call (859) 255-3354 or go to Stellaskentuckydeli.com.
Farmers market report
■ Lexington Farmers Market is open on Saturday at Cheapside Park. This week, farmers have eggs, pork, beef, chicken, lamb, kale, potatoes, turnips, dried beans, onions, fried pies, sweet breads, jams, salsas, coffee, and prepared foods. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.

Azur owners open Cuban restaurant on Lane Allen Road

The chefs and ­owners of Azur Restaurant are branching out to offer Central Kentuckians a taste of Cuba. Their Brasabana ­Cuban Cuisine opened Sunday at 841 Lane Allen Road, the space in Commonwealth Plaza formerly occupied by Friends and Co.
Azur Food Group executive chef ­Jeremy Ashby and co-owner Miguel Rivas, who is from the Dominican Republic, offer a Cuban/Latin menu at Brasabana, which “emphasizes the growing desire of Cuban cuisine with an ‘island’ flair — a movement that is exposing and meeting the needs of a growing Latin influence in this region, media consultant Sylvia Lovely said.
The restaurant is decorated with art from local artists, and the opening exhibit is by Enrique Gonzalez, who recently spent some time in Cuba.
“We decided this is a great way to pay tribute to local artists, many of whom come from Latin American backgrounds,” Lovely said. “In the future, we will curate other artists with a similar interest in Latin culture.”
Menu specialties include papas rellenas, a crispy, beef picadillo meat-stuffed mashed potato ball with chipotle aioli dipping sauce; pork Havana nueva, slow-roasted pork cooked in a garlic citrus marinade served with congris, a fried yucca avocado salad; and ropa vieja, a slow-cooked shredded beef stew with tomatoes, peppers and onions served with black beans, rice, and crispy green plantain tostones.
Brasabana is open 5 to 11 p.m. daily. Call (859) 303-5573 or go to Brasabana.com.

New menus

■ The hand-crafted cocktail bar The Blue Heron is now a dining destination with steakhouse classics. The menu features charbroiled filet of beef tenderloin; New York strip (charbroiled, blackened or au poivre); fried chicken; slow-roasted prime rib; and double-thick cut pork chop with pear marsala glaze. Appetizers and small plates include Virginia oysters on the half-shell with horseradish mignonette; hand-cut fries with malt vinegar aioli and black truffle salt; and baked brie with fig preserves.
The Blue Heron, part of the Grey Goose family of restaurants, is at 185 Jefferson Street. Call (859) 254-2491. The bar opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and the kitchen serves from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
■ The January menu at ­Greentree Tearoom features corn chowder, ­pineapple scone, pasta de’Medici, celery boats with olive nut, curried egg salad and chicken salad tea sandwiches, and Italian cream cupcakes. The tearoom is at 521 West Short Street. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.

Specials

Saul Good Restaurant & Pub is celebrating birthdays in 2014. When you dine at any of the Saul Good restaurants on your birthday, you’ll receive a percentage off equal to your age. Turning 40? Get 40 percent off your meal. The older you get, the more you save. The restaurants are at 1808 Alysheba Way, (859) 317-9200; 3801 Mall Road, (859) 273-4663; and 123 North Broadway, (859) 252-4663. Go to Saulgoodpub.com.
Doodles Breakfast and Lunch, 262 North Limestone, is featuring a special “Resolutions Menu” with health-inspired dishes throughout January. Call (859) 317-8507 or go to Doodlesrestaurant.com.
Holly Hill Inn’s dinner club series, “Around the World in 80 Days,” ­follows the travels of author Jules Verne’s character Phileas Fogg via chef Ouita Michel’s menus.
On Friday and Saturday, the theme is a Victorian Christmas in London, and the menu features roasted Christmas goose.
Here are dates and themes for the winter series: Jan. 9-11, Paris; Jan. 16-18, Italy from tip to boot; Jan. 23-25, sailing the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia; Jan. 30-Feb. 1, India; Feb. 6-8, Indonesia with guest chef Brigitte Nguyen; Feb. 13-15, Valentine’s aphrodisiac menu; Feb. 16, sweetheart brunch; Feb. 20-22, China; Feb. 27-March 1, Japan; March 6-8, Omaha prime beef; March 13-15, Ireland; March 16, St. Patrick’s Day brunch; March 20-22, London in 2014.
Holly Hill Inn is at 426 North Winter Street in Midway. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to Hollyhillinn.com.

Bru Burger Bar is open in Beaumont Centre

Burgers have taken over the spot where Mexican once reigned. The former El Chico in Beaumont Centre now is Bru Burger Bar. The menu at the gourmet burger place also features  salads, sandwiches, and craft beers.  Burgers choices include the Bru (Taleggio cheese, bacon, tomato jam, caramelized onion); Roma (arugula pesto, prosciutto, roasted red peppers); Kentucky bourbon (bacon, peppercorn-bourbon glaze, horseradish havarti); lamb (cucumber sauce, feta-olive relish); and ground turkey (carrot-ginger slaw, peach compote). Bru is at 3010 Lakecrest Circle. Call (859) 305-0082 or go to Bruburgerbar.com.

Closings

Brown’s Bakery, 1226 Versailles Road, is closing the end of December. Owner James Brown said he has a “new venture, and I can’t wait.” We’ll have to wait until Brown, who participated on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and also appeared on Season 3 of TLC’s Next Great Baker, is ready to tell us.  Call (859) 225-8400 or go to Brownbakery.com.
House Food & Wine, 207 South Limestone, has closed. “The time commitment was too much for us with our other businesses,” owner David Jones said.

New Year celebrations

Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, is serving its annual New Year’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Specials include raspberry almond pancakes and spinach mushroom omelets. Call (859) 253-0014 or go to Alfalfarestaurant.com.
Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade, is planning a romantic New Year’s Eve  dinner with a four-course prix fixe menu for $60, as well as an a la carte menu. There will be strolling musicians during dinner and at the party afterwards. Seating is from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Half price movie tickets are available for those dining early and going to the Kentucky Theatre to see  “Nebraska” or “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”  Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Beetnik.com.
Thai Orchid Café, 1030 South Broadway,  will be closed Sunday through Christmas Day, and Jan. 1. The café will be open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve, and the party begins at 5 p.m. featuring a  three-course meal for  $25.95. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.

Holiday menus

Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road,  is accepting last minute orders for Christmas pies, cakes, and goodies. The bakery will be open Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. with no lunch service, closed Christmas Day, and Thursday. Call (859) 554-6044.
Double H BBQ, 1244 Versailles Road, is offering country ham by the pound through the holidays. Also available are smoked pulled pork or chicken, brisket, ribs, 24- and 48-piece wing platters, burgoo, homemade sides, and desserts.  Call (859) 523- 4227 or go to Doublehbbq.com.
Red State BBQ,  4020 Georgetown Road, is taking orders for smoked turkeys for holiday meals. “We get our turkeys fresh from Critchfield Meats and will be taking orders right up to close of business on Friday,” owner David Carroll said. Pickup for the turkeys is before 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. Cost is $5 a pound.
The restaurant is offering smoked prime rib as the Friday night special. Cost is $16.50 for 8-ounce prime rib, and $19 for 10 ounces.Red State is offering a 10 percent discount with a Southern Lights ticket stub through Dec. 31. Call  (859) 233-7898 or go to Redstatebbq.com.

Weekend specials

■ People who like lamb fries will travel great distances to eat them, and when The Julep Cup offers the southern delicacy as a special, people “drive in from all sorts of counties,” chef/owner Lindsay Brooks Brugh said. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com. The restaurant is at 111 Woodland Avenue.
The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, is serving prime rib pizza and Clare Island salmon with a teriyaki glaze on Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 233-1500 or go to Greygooserestaurants.com.

Tom+Chee opens in Hamburg

No matter how empty the fridge and pantry, you can usually come up with a meal of canned tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. A new restaurant in Hamburg is betting you like that combination so much you’ll go out for its upscale version.
Tom+Chee, a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant, is open at 2200 War Admiral Way, near Sportsman’s Warehouse in Hamburg.
The restaurant chain originated in a food tent on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square in 2009, and has grown into three Cincinnati-area stores, three in Louisville, and its first location in Lexington. The store has been featured on Shark Tank, The Chew and several Travel Channel shows.
It’s known for its creative renditions of the grilled cheese, including the Armagoetta (Goetta, cherry peppers, fried onions and pepper Jack cheese); hippy+chee (hummus, cucumber, mixed greens, tomato and Cheddar); and pep+chee (pepperoni, tomato sauce and mozzarella). Tomato soup choices are classic, chunky, and creamy.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 263-0144 or go to Tomandchee.com.

Closings

■ The Grey Goose restaurant at 509 Main Street in Paris will close Dec. 21, and new owner Cathy Vance will reopen a cafe in the historic Varden building the first of the year.
Vance, owner of Thyme Café and Catering in Paris, is expanding her business by taking over the Paris Grey Goose, which has been open a year.
Grey Goose owner Keith Clark said he will concentrate on other locations — 170 Jefferson Street in Lexington and 133 East Main Street in Midway — and opening a full-service kitchen at The Blue Heron, 185 Jefferson Street in Lexington. Go to Greygooserestaurants.com.

New Year’s Eve events

Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, will be open regular hours, serving its full menu on Dec. 31. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner will be served until 11 p.m. Special menu additions for the evening include prime rib, lobster and pasta, and lamb. Three parking lots are now open for Nick Ryan’s guests. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, is celebrating with a “Midnight in Paris” theme. Phil Copeland and Friends will entertain. The cost is $100 including a Champagne toast at midnight. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com.
Winchell’s Restaurant, 348 Southland Drive, will have a lobster boil and the three-course meal includes New England clam chowder, whole lobster served with new potatoes and seasonal vegetables, apple cobbler and Champagne. The cost is $35. Call (859) 278-9424.

Special events

Akielo Temple Pageantry/Dancers will have Breakfast With Santa from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Oleika Shrine Temple, 326 Southland Drive. The cost is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children younger than 10, and free for children younger than 3.
Brown’s Bakery, 1226 Versailles Road, has a full line of desserts for holiday meals and parties. Included are butterscotch, chocolate meringue, pecan, and pumpkin pies; bourbon chocolate pecan cake with bourbon glaze; and pecan cake with chocolate ganache. The deadline for orders is Dec. 21. Hours on Dec. 24 are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (859) 225-8400 or go to Brownbakery.com.
Larry Mac’s Beer Cheese store, 3101 Clays Mill Road, will have a Christmas open house 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Along with beer cheese, guests can sample Bev’s Best peanut brittle and Sondra’s Wine Candy and jellies. Call (859) 967-6869 or go to Larrymacsbeercheese.com.
Grimes Mill Winery, 6707 Grimes Mill Road, is having a holiday open house 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Troubadours will entertain and snacks will be provided by Kenny’s Cheese. Call (859) 543-9691.
Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, is having a holiday open house 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Chef Carrie Warmbier will have samples of cookies, jam cake, cider and hot chocolate. The bakery staff has created boxes and bags filled with homemade cookies for gift-giving. Call (859) 846-4336.
Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, is having a Bouchaine wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Bouchaine representative Donna Creese will present the wines. The cost is $60. Call (859) 296-1007 or go to Azurrestaurant.com.
Unlimited Spirit, 404 Southland Drive, will host two master distillers who will sign bottles for holiday gift giving. Wild Turkey’s Eddie Russell will be at the store 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Four Roses’ Jim Rutledge will be there 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Call (859) 309-2903.

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