Abuelo’s at the Mall closed late February. The space will re-open around May as Oak Springs Grill, a new concept featuring comfort food and a selection of bourbons and wines. Every Wednesday evening, Alfalfa (on Main Street) hosts International night. The March lineup includes Polish Night, French, United Kingdom, Central American, and North African. Al’s Bar has tweaked its menu in a new Cajun direction, featuring new entrees like Duck and Andouille Gumbo and Spinach and Artichoke Etouffee. Caldo has relocated from the Centered space on N. Ashland to Proof Fitness on Main Street. The Cheezy Mac at Fayette Mall has closed now as well, following in the footsteps of the closure of the Richmond Road location. Ranada West-Riley, chef and owner of Lexington Diner, is opening Creative Table Kitchen and Catering: a kitchen for catering, private classes, and chef’s table dinners. It’s scheduled to open in March on Pasadena Drive. The Grand Opening for Han Cook In is on March 9. The restaurant will host a Korean movie night the last Monday of each month and will also host cooking classes. There will also be a Fire Noodle Challenge each month. A Kickstarter for the restaurant will kick off the beginning of March to help pay for a sign for the restaurant, liquor license, and equipment. The wait is over: Lockbox at 21c is now open for business. Maria’s Kitchen will have a new home on Broadway in March at the former Willie’s location (with Willie’s opening in the former ShowMe’s space on Southland Drive). The Seattle-based pizza chain, MOD Pizza, will be coming to the Hamburg area this summer. The fast-casual pizza restaurant, to be located at 2217 War Admiral Way, will occupy the building that housed Calistoga until 2011. A big success could be on the way for the Lexington dining scene: Lexington Chef Ouita Michel (Holly Hill Inn, Windy Corner, Wallace Station, Smithtown Seafood and others) has been nominated for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur. The James Beard Awards were established in 1990 and are called “The Oscars of Food.” Uncle Maddio’s Pizza opened on 630 E Euclid Ave, right next door to the Disco Kroger, on Feb 28. The pizza joint features homemade pizzas, gourmet salads, and toasted paninis. Select your toppings as you move through the line (like Chipotle, but with pizza). Willie’s opens its doors on the new location on Southland Drive later this month. The barbecue and live music venue is hosting a soft opening on March 17 when they will host a three night run beginning with The David Mayfield Parade. EVENTS Lexington Beerworks hosts their annual Flight Night on Mar 3 at 5 pm: a combo of West Sixth beer & Girl Scout cookies. This year’s pairings: Lemonades and West Sixth 2nd Fiddle Simcoe IPA; thin mints and Snake Eyes Imperial Stout; peanut butter patties and Cocoa Porter; DeLites and Bourbon Barrel Old Ale. The Kentucky Ale Pub Crawl for the Lexington Humane Society is on Friday, Mar 4. Pub Crawl begins at 7 pm, but arrive early to start the pregame at SkyBar at 5 pm and pick up pre-ordered t-shirts. Win Mr. and Ms. Pub Crawl 2016, Wildcat Warrior, Most Ridiculous Drink Selection, Most Puppy Obsessed, and many more superlatives. Participating bars include SkyBar, Stagger Inn, Henry Clay’s, Wildcat Saloon, Bluegrass Tavern, Cheapside, and Parlay Social. Wild Thyme Cooking School hosts a Thai Dinner Party with Chef Toa Green on Friday, Mar 4 at 6:30 pm. There will be a 3-course meal with Chef Toa Green, owner of Crank & Boom and former owner/operator of Thai Orchid and Thai & Mighty. Fresh Food Adventure: Bourbon Dinner at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is on Mar 12 at 6:30 pm. A sampling of Kentucky’s famous Four Roses Bourbon paired with a four-course bourbon-inspired meal by the fire. On Mar 17, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope hosts a free wine tasting featuring homemade cheeses by CKRH volunteer Roger Shook at 6:30 pm at The Twisted Cork. There will be a variety of cheeses, including cheddar, havarti, and manchego. Culinary historians Deirdre Scaggs and Andrew McGraw discuss and sign The Historic Kentucky Kitchen on Thursday, Mar 24 at 7 pm at Joseph-Beth. McConnell Springs hosts a Wine Barrel Tasting for the Springs from 11 am - 5 pm on Mar 26. The tasting will take place over many wineries in the Bluegrass area. Donors will travel in their own vehicle, at their own pace, to the wineries of their choice. SAINT PATRICK IRISH OPTIONS (full list available here) Good Foods Co-op will provide a St. Patrick’s-inspired menu on Thursday, Mar 17. Entrees include corned beef & cabbage, Irish herb & cheese crusted cod, boxty, and cabbage “steaks.” Sides include Irish champ, Irish parsnips & carrots, baked mushrooms, zucchini & Irish bleu cheese, Irish stout and beef stew, and chocolate stout cake with Irish whiskey ganache. On Thursday, Mar 17, the doors open at 11 am and don’t close until 2:30 am at O’Neill’s Annual St. Patrick Day Celebration. Radio 80 takes the main stage, and there will also be door prizes, traditional Irish food, and much more. On Mar 17, St. Patrick’s Day Weekend at the Holly Hill Inn features Irish Favorites as Chef Ouita’s restaurant visits Ireland for their Around the World in 80 Days Winter Dinner Club. Wear green! The Pub at The Mall hosts a St. Paddy’s celebration on Mar 17 as well. There will be specials on jello shots, Guinness, green beer, and Irish whiskey. There will also be Guinness stew, banger dogs, and other traditional Irish meals. Liam’s Fancy plays live music from 8 - 11 pm. Lynagh’s on 384 Woodland is hosting a St. Patrick’s Celebration on Mar 17, including Irish food and drink specials, and of course, green beer. To submit a Lexington, Kentucky food, wine, or spirits news item for consideration in Ace’s Best Bites, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 x229. This article also appears on page 12 of the March 2016 printed issue of Ace. Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, and entertainment, delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning. .