Steve Coomes will bring stories of the timeless Southern tradition of country ham to a special dining event at Azur Restaurant & Patio Wednesday, November 12 at 7 pm. Azur chef Jeremy Ashby, inspired by recipes in Coomes’ recently released book, Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke, has created a four-course menu highlighting the Kentucky delicacy. An avid cook of cured meats, Ashby will prepare some of world’s best aged pork while Coomes gives diners the rub on the regional history of country ham and its ascent from blue-collar staple to fine dining feature. Distilled is scheduled to open mid November in the former Jonathan at Gratz Park location, from the team behind Heirloom in Midway (which will remain open). As the name suggests, there is also a sizeable bourbon bar in the works. Cranksgiving comes to the Courthouse Plaza on November 15 at 2:30 pm. The event is half bike race and half food drive. It is a checkpoint-style alleycat where you purchase canned goods at each location. The race is expected to be 11-13 miles. All riders will receive free food and discount drinks at the afterparty at Al’s Bar. All proceeds go to God’s Pantry right in time for Thanksgiving. Holly Hill Inn’s annual Classic Cassoulet dinner is Sunday, November 16. Chef Ouita Michel’s version is traditional, using white beans, confit of goose, local lamb, fresh-cured local pork and garlic sausage. It takes weeks to prepare."It's a wonderful experience to walk into Holly Hill Inn on the afternoon of the cassoulet feast and smell the rich meats and beans bubbling in their crocks," says Chef Ouita. Reservations required. Two new Newk’s Eatery locations open up in November, starting with the Richmond Road Newk’s on November 17. On November 24, another Newk’s opens up at the Fayette Mall. Lexington Women Chefs will host their “Holiday Winter Harvest” dinner on November 20 at Wild Thyme on Chinoe. A new North Lime Coffee & Donuts shop is set to open in the Stonewall Shopping Center, on Clays Mill Road and Wellington Way. North Lime is famous for unique flavors like the maple bacon doughnut and the pulled-pork doughnut. "We just love that area and just wanted to have a second store on the south side of Lexington," said North Lime owner Joe Ross. "We're just trying to bring doughnuts to the people." An opening date for the new site has not been set. Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream has announced plans to open a dessert cafe and lounge in the former warehouse office building of the James E. Pepper Distillery at 1210 Manchester Road. While initially operating as a food truck, scooping ice cream at local events and venues, the brick and mortar location will open up new ways for C&B to showcase its flavors. The concept will have offerings like a traditional ice cream shop, like scoops, cones and sundaes. But the cafe will also feature an espresso bar and chocolate bar along with beer, wine, and spirits, providing a broad canvas to create all sorts of new dessert creations like West Sixth Cocoa Porter floats and drinking truffles. Other treats and pastries will also be offered from local bakers. Crank & Boom’s ice cream lounge joins a growing list of local eateries and entertainment venues locating in the Pepper Distillery, including Middle Fork Kitchen Bar and Ethereal Brewing, and plans to open in Spring 2015. An Insomnia Cookies is going in on Jersey Street next to Slice of Chicago Pizza, behind Two Keys Tavern. Insomnia is a late night bakery which specializes in serving warm cookies until 3 am. Cookie flavors include Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and the S’mores Deluxe, and cookies are also deliveredthrough 3 am. Coupons for free Grand Opening cookies can be found on the Insomnia Facebook page. A new mac and cheese place, The Cheesy Mac (macaroni with a twist), is coming to the Locust Hill area, in front of Kroger on Richmond Road. The restaurant is scheduled to open in January. Puccini’s Smiling Teeth opened in Brighton Shoppes mid-October. In addition to their regular menu (pasta, pizza, subs, etc) Puccini’s also offers a wide variety of gluten-free pizza and pasta and a new beer menu. A UKAg Butcher Shop product debuted at the Blue-White Game on October 26. The Spicy Fat Cat is a skinless smoked sausage infused with pepperjack developed by the UK College of Agriculture. All proceeds went to support student activities within the department of Animal and Food Sciences. The Spicy Fat Cat will be available during home games in the specialty concession stand behind Section 34. A new City Barbecue is coming to Lexington in December. It is opening off of Harrodsburg Road, on the site that used to be Dillard’s at Turfland Mall. Village Host on Old Vine has closed down for a remodeling and rebranding. The ownership hopes to re-open next year with a new concept/brand. To submit a Lexington, Kentucky food, wine, or spirits news item for consideration in Ace’s Best Bites, email ace list at aceweekly.com. To submit a Lexington Food, Wine, or Spirits Event to be considered for the Ace calendar, please go to the Ace online calendar, and click “Submit” (upper right on the Menu bar). For Lexington restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 x229. Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, and entertainment, delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning.