Posts Tagged 'Gene Williams'

New Ruby Jean’s Cafe is serving country-style food

If you’re craving ­grandma’s country ­cooking, try the new Ruby Jean’s Café, 450 Southland Drive. Chef Mac McBride always wanted to open a restaurant with “good country-style food.”
“I always said if I did, I would name it after my grandmother,” McBride said. “It’s a ‘meat and two’ and ‘meat and three’ concept with sandwiches, and burgers.” He’s a chef instructor at Sullivan University and has worked at Porcini’s in Louisville, Jonathan at Gratz Park,  The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

A chalkboard menu features breakfast items, fried chicken, fried catfish, green beans, stewed ­tomatoes, corn pudding and corn bread. A brunch buffet is served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call (859) 277-0058.

New on the menu
La Petite Crêperie, 191 Kentucky Avenue, has a new chef and now serves wine and cocktails. Chef Gérard Aiache “brings to the Crêperie an amazing French flair which ­reminds me from back home,” co-owner Linda Chambers said. Aiache recently worked at Le Deauville and Bourbon n’ Toulouse ­restaurants. His specialty crepes include savory fresh salmon and ratatouille, fruits de mer, and poulet Basquaise. Call (859) 684-2737 or go to Petitecreperie.com.
■ The summer tradition — fresh peach pizza — is back at Saul Good Restaurant. Fresh peaches, topped with streusel and Belgian white chocolate chips, are cooked on a homemade pizza dough.  Go to Saulgoodpub.com for locations.
■ Gene Williams claims Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade, has the best fries and best burgers in town. “We’re saying it, our customers are telling us,” he said.
“There really are ‘fry connoisseurs’ out there, and they are finding us. So what makes our fries outstanding? In the first place they are heart-healthy fries. I know that sounds odd, but we use a rice bran oil that actually lowers the bad and raises the good ­cholesterol. The flavor comes from using fresh everything — fresh minced garlic, fresh flat leaf parsley and freshly ground pepper on the spot.”
The Alley burger is made using six ounces of locally raised Marksbury farm beef, served on a toasted brioche bun. The weekend special is the Alley burger topped with  grilled portobello mushrooms and Swiss cheese.
Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Bistro.beetnik.com.
Hanna’s on Lime, 214 South ­Limestone, is featuring its farmers market special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Fresh offerings include corn on the cob, squash, tomatoes, new potatoes, melon, green beans, ­cucumbers and eggplant. Cost is $8.25 and features six items gathered from Tuesday’s farmers market.
Call (859) 252-6264 or go to ­Hannasonlime.com.
Events
Smithtown Seafood sous chef ­Agnes Teresa Marrero Rosa will ­prepare recipes from her native Puerto Rico for this month’s Tanks to Table beer dinner on Thursday. A Kentucky Proud hog from Stone Cross Farm will be marinated 24 hours in ­Caribbean spices, then slow smoked that day until fork tender. It will be served with house-made hot sauces and ­chimichurri sauce. West Sixth ­Brewing will serve a firkin, ­lemongrass wheat with passion fruit and pineapple, with the meal. ­
Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Smithtown is at 501 West Sixth Street. Call (859) 303-4100, or walk up to the pop-up pork station that day and place your order. Cost is $25. Go to ­Smithtownseafood.com.
■ Lexington’s Women Chefs dinner series continues with a Women in World Cuisine dinner at Brasabana,  841 Lane Allen Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. A portion of the proceeds
will go to the Children’s ­Advocacy ­Center of the Bluegrass. Cost is $50. Call (859) 797-8461 or go to ­Brasabana.com.
Participating chefs are Jill Schrank, line chef at The Lexington Diner; ­Libby Allen, chef and culinary ­instructor at the National Center for Hospitality Studies for ­Sullivan ­University; Ranada West-Riley, ­executive chef and owner of The Lexington Diner; Vanessa Willhite, line chef at Azur Restaurant; Amy Harris, who was sous chef at Jonathan’s at Gratz Park; and Shannon Collins, day chef at Azur.
Brasabana is at 841 Lane Allen Road.
Lexington Restaurant Week begins Thursday and runs through Aug. 2. More than 60 restaurants will offer $25 dinners. A list can be found at ­Lexrestaurants.com.
Wallace Station, 3854 Old ­Frankfort Pike in Versailles, is having “Burgers and Beats” from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds go to Faith Feeds/GleanKy, a group that feeds the hungry by ­gleaning and distributing excess fruits and vegetables. Entertainment provided by Silverback. Cost is $25. Go
to Burgersandbeats2014.eventbrite.com.
■ Kentucky Eagle Distributing will be tasting/sampling Table No. 7 wine from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Unlimited Spirit, 404 Southland Drive.
Farmers market report

■ Mary Tyler, the peach lady, now has fresh Georgia peaches at Lexington Farmers Market.

Bluegrass Farmers’ Market is in full summer mode with locally grown  corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, and melons. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

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.

Natasha’s Bistro hires new chef, makes menu changes

Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, has hired Alex Jenkins as executive chef to develop and implement a new culinary philosophy. Jenkins was classically trained at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and Cork Regional Technical College in Cork City, Cork, Ireland.
Owner Gene Williams said “the changes currently being rolled out, place a much increased emphasis on culinary appeal, timely delivery of food to the table, and a palette of new, authentic, and robust flavors.” New menu offerings include fresh seafood, frequent specials, healthier meats, and more tapas-style small plates. Fresh seafood will be served every weekend and world cuisine specials will be featured on Thursday nights. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Beetnik.com

 Events

Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, will donate 20 percent of Monday’s lunch and dinner proceeds to The Friends campaign for the restoration of The Kentucky Theatre. A “Seat In” reception/art exhibit will be from 4 to 6 pm. Cost is $25, and 20 percent of  arts sales will be donated to the campaign to help cover the cost of new seats for the theatre. Local artists participating are Ann Nave Bass, Sue Wilmes, Norene Mara, Deborah Westerfield, and Marcia Cone. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com or Kentuckytheatrefriends.org.
■ Sunday’s musical brunch at Willie’s Locally Known, 805 North Broadway, will feature Ralph Curtis, who presents the Gospel Side of Johnny Cash. Homemade menu items include fried green tomato BLT, fried chicken biscuit, bacon and eggs, and fried egg biscuit. Brunch is served from noon to 3 p.m. Call (859) 281-1116. or go to Willieslex.com.
Jonathan at Gratz Park, 120 West Second Street, will have a pig roast at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 252-4949 or go to Jagp.info.
■ Ouita Michel, chef/owner of Holly Hill Inn, continues her summer dinner series with an “ultra local” menu and garden tour. On Friday and Saturday, a three-course menu and tasting menu are available, priced $35 to $65. On Saturday, guests can drop by the garden for complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a glass of sangria, and a tour of the vegetable patch. Holly Hill Inn is at 426 North Winter Street in Midway. Go to Hollyhillinn.com.

A change of menu

■ The August menu at Greentree Tearoom includes items from the farmers market. Included are chilled cantaloupe soup, asiago scone, baked pear with bleu cheese entrée salad; poppy seed egg salad, and ginger chocolate truffles. The tearoom is at 521 West Short Street. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.
The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, has a new menu. Items include baby back lamb rack with bourbon peach glaze; bourbon barrel ale braised pork cheeks; artisan gnocci with roasted shiitaki mushrooms; and summer corn and pea ravioli. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com.
Addie’s Restaurant at The Woodford Inn, 140 Park Street in Versailles, has a new mid-summer menu. Featured are margherita chicken and pork chop with Vidalia onion gravy. A special tasting will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 873-5600 or go to Thewoodfordinn.com.’

Farmers market report

Bluegrass Farmers’ Market will have corn, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, melons, lamb, goat, chicken, beef, pork, baked goods, herb seasoning, pimento and beer cheese, jams and eggs. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.
Winchester/Clark County Farmers Market is open on Depot Street from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Items include corn, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, onions. Gourmet 2 You food truck will have breakfast items.

Would you like a blindfold with your menu?

Have you ever thought you were in the dark about  Lexington’s dining scene? At Natasha’s Bistro & Bar you literally could be.
Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, will serve guests a Kentucky Proud menu to eat in complete darkness. It’s designed for the senses of smell, taste, sound, and texture. Participants will remove their blindfolds after each course.
Natasha’s owner Gene Williams quotes Miami chef Adrianne Calvo about the concept of dining in the dark: “The concept of ‘Dark Dining,’ which enjoyed significant popularity throughout Europe for several years before its introduction in various major cities throughout the United States, has been defined as a sensory overload that maximizes flavor by suppressing vision, creating the ultimate in dining experience.” The dinner will be at 6 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $49. Call (859) 259-2754  or go to Beetnik.com.

Special events

Bistro La Belle Market and Cafe will join other downtown Midway merchants in supporting The Homeplace in Midway and its “Voices in Cloth” quilt show on Saturday.
Bistro La Belle will serve Laura’s white bean soup and Weisenberger Mills cornbread from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meal is free, but the café will accept donations for The Homeplace. The regular menu will be available. Bistro La Belle is at 119 East Main Street. The quilt show will be at 128 East Main Street. Call (859) 846-4233 or go to Bistrolabelle.com.
Woodford Reserve Distillery serves a holiday buffet on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 22. Chef-in-residence Ouita Michel and her culinary team have created a menu of Kentucky favorites and seasonal specialties. Distillery tours are offered before dinner. Seatings are at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Cost is $50. The Distillery is at 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles. Call (859) 879-1812 or go to Woodfordreserve.com.
■ On Monday, you can help Baby Health Service by dining at Nick Ryan’s. The restaurant’s “Monday Matters” program donates a portion of the day’s proceeds to charities. Baby Health provides free quality health care to children without insurance. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
■ When you make a donation to your favorite charity through Goodgivingguide.net and you could win a catered dinner for eight.  Mulberry & Lime, a gift/home furnishings shop in the historic Matthew Kennedy house at 216 North Limestone, will be the site for the dinner that will be prepared by Dupree Catering. Wine will be provided by Wines on Vine.

New menus

The Village Idiot, 307 West Short Street, has a new winter menu.  Chefs Andrew Suthers and Wyatt Sarbacker have put their personal touches on classic cold weather comfort food. Included are ham hock ragout with Lexington Pasta’s spinach gnocchi and pork belly en croute with pickled onion and whole grain mustard.
On Monday, the restaurant will serve a prix fixe dinner featuring seasonal dishes to compliment selections from Schlafly Beer and wines from Vanguard. The dinner will include a reception of hors d’oeuvres and three courses each paired with wine and beer. Cost is $49. Call (859) 252-0099 or go to Lexingtonvillageidiot.com.
Casanova Italian Restaurant, 855 South Broadway, has some new menu items. Included are bronzini acqua pazza, (a fish owner Leo  Capezzuto imports from the Mediterranean Sea), Neapolitan traditional sausages with rapini, and spaghetti aglio olio scampi. Casanova is accepting reservations for Christmas parties. Call (859) 309-3313 or go to Casanovaky.com.

The Homestead offers light fare and classes

Megan and Mike Smith have traveled the world as missionaries and now they’ve settled in Kentucky and opened their dream business. “It started off as a simple idea for a coffee house when we were first married and over the years has grown to encompass our mutual passion for food, antiques and homesteading principles,” Megan Smith said.
The Homestead, 150 Combs Ferry Road in Clark County, serves breakfast and lunch and offers classes on basket weaving, home brewing and baking for children. The menu includes biscuits, muffins, cakes, soup beans and corn bread, and BBQ.
The Homestead is at the corner of Combs Ferry and Todds roads in a 100 year old post office that has been restored. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call (859) 333-6266 or visit Thehomesteadky.com.

Wine and dine

Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, has a wine preservation system that allows the staff to serve premium select wines by the glass. “The Winekeeper prevents the wine from coming into contact with heat or oxygen for even an instant, allowing us to serve wine, perfect from the first to the last drop, in every glass,” owner Gene Williams said.
During June, Natasha’s is discounting select wines from its preservation system and introducing four new wines: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley; Conn Creek Limited Release cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley; Conundrum white blend, California, and Joel Gott riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington. Call (859) 259-2754 or visit Beetnik.com.
Horseshoe Bend Winery is having a Jamaican dinner on June 11. The menu will include jerk chicken, conch soup, Jamaican whitefish, Caribbean salad, and Sir Harvey cheesecake. Cost is $60 a person and includes paired wine tastings. The winery is at 1187 Lawson Lane, Willisburg. Call (859) 375-0296 or go to Horseshoebend-ky.com.

Events

■ On June 14, School Restaurant is having a Tuna Kaitai show. The chefs will breakdown and carve a giant tuna in front of their guests. “Diners who attend the event at 6:30 p.m. will observe firsthand sushi techniques rarely seen outside of Japan and enjoy some of the freshest sushi and sashimi the country has to offer,” general manager Kate Congleton said. School also will offer a discount on tuna sushi and tuna sashimi. The tuna buffet is $30 and includes tuna sushi and sashimi, and tuna spareribs.
During “tuna spectacular week,” School will continue to offer discounts on tuna steak and spareribs. Call (859) 269-0677 or go Schoolrestaurantlex.com.
■ The Kentucky Ballet Theatre is having its 13th annual international dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s an opportunity to meet the dancers and taste authentic gourmet specialties from around the world, prepared by the dancers and patrons. Artistic director Norbe Risco will roast a pig. The dinner will be held at 1146 Lane Allen Road. Cost is $50 a person. Call (859) 277-2227.
■ The June menu at Greentree Tearoom, 521 West Short Street, reflects the season and its bountiful produce. Included are chilled cucumber soup; tomato and basil scone; chicken salad Astoria, and orange pannacotta. Tea is served at noon Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment for private parties. Call (859)  455-9660 or visit Greentreetearoom.com.
Farmers market report
■ The Bluegrass Farmers Market has 100 percent locally grown strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, eggs, lettuce, kale, green beans, rhubarb, onions, herb seasoning, jams, baked goods, honey, vegetable plants and floral hanging baskets. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs. Visit Localharvest.org/blog/29529.