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a la lucie
159 N. Limestone. Lexington's special occasion address. Regarded as one of the region's best. Award winning menu with extensive wine list. Open 10-6, Mon-Sat.Reservations recommended. 252.5277

557 S. Limestone 253-0014. Voted best pancakes by Ace readers in the Best of Lexington poll year after year. Winner of 2001's "Best Veggie Friendly Restaurant." Vegetarian, chicken, and seafood entrees available. Homemade baked goods and desserts. Weekend brunch. Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Open for lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday 5:30-10. Brunch, Saturday and Sunday 10-2.

Billy's Bar-B-Q
101 Cochran Rd. At the corner of High St. in Chevy Chase. 269-9593. Genuine Western Kentucky style pit barbecue and fixins. Dine in/ carry out/ catering/ bulk deliveries. We're the home grown guys. Open M-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11:30am-8pm.

Cafe Jennifer
111 Woodland Ave at the Woodlands Condominiums, 255-0709. A cozy restaurant featuring Kentucky favorites, using locally grown produce. Lunch and Dinner daily, Mon.-Sat. Pub room atmosphere in the well-stocked bar and private room available for small gatherings.

Common Grounds

343 East High Street 233-9761 Voted #1 coffeehouse year after year by ACE readers. Fresh treats available daily in the bakery. Night life is great, too: Open mic Mondays, vinyl record night on Tuesdays (Bring your own jazz or blues!). Call about art exhibits.

The Depot
128 East Main St., Midway 846-4745 Eclectic creations with a down home flavor serving Central Kentucky and beyond. Good times abound at “The Depot” in Midway, six days a week for lunch and Thursday, Friday & Saturday for dinner.

Ed and Fred’s Desert Moon
148 Grand Blvd. 231-1161 American Cuisine at affordable prices. Enjoy gourmet pizzas, fresh pasta, specialty salads and sandwiches, and a wide array of entrees in an informal yet elegant atmosphere. Wonderful wine list! Patio dining and banquet facilities. Lunch: 11a-3p Tue-Fri; Dinner: Tue-Sun.

Emmett’s Restaurant
Off Tates Creek Road, south of Man O’ War, offers innovative Southern cooking in a renovated farmhouse featuring a cozy bar, casual patio dining and seven lovely dining rooms. Dinner served Mon.-Sun. beginning at 5:30 PM and Sunday brunch from 11 AM-2 PM. Reservations accepted. 245-4444.

521 West Short Street. 455-9660 Where tradition meets style. Five course tea service at noon and 3 pm Wed-Sat. in an atmosphere of understated elegance. Reservations required. Greentree also offers graceful service and imaginative cuisine demonstrating fine Southern hospitality for professional meetings, club events, and every wedding occasion.

Happy Dragon Chinese Buffet
1510 Newtown Pike, 859-388-9988. All you can eat chinese buffet. Over 120 items daily, featuring fresh seafood, beef, chicken, pork, soups, salads, fruits... and much more! Open Sun. to Thurs. 11am - 10pm, Fri.& Sat. 11am - 10:30pm.

The Homestead
The Homestead Restaurant offers superb regional cuisine in a classic and beautiful setting. A warm and cozy ambience naturally complements the traditional southern dishes prepared by Executive Chef Tony Cortez. With a charming bar, a romantic patio, and laid back live entertainment, The Homestead is the perfect spot for any occasion. The Homestead is open for dinner six nights a week. They are closed on Sundays, except during Keeneland and on some holidays. Dinner: 5:30 Mon-Thur,, 5:00 on Fri & Sat.

Imperial Hunan
Woodhill. 266-4393. One of Lexington's oldest and finest Chinese restaurants. Voted Best Kung Pao by Ace readers. Don't forget the Sunday Buffet. " Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri 11:30am-11pm, Sat Noon-11pm

Jonathan at
Gratz Park

120 West Second Street 252-4949 Redefined regional cuisine served in our Southern dining room or in the English pub room. Signature items and daily specials, every entrée a Jonathan original. Festive Sunday brunch from 11:30-2 pm. Reservations suggested. Also call us for intimate dinner parties, fabulous banquets, business lunches, pre-wedding events to the reception.

Mancino’s Pizza
& Grinders

1590A Leestown RD. 253-2299. First in Kentucky with HOT oven grinders! A taste of New York right here in Lexington. Everything from the traditional Mancino’s Pride pizza to the “New” Zesty Ranch Pizza. All Grinders are oven baked and served Hot from the oven. Everything made to order. Mon-Fri 11am-8pm; 11am-3pm Sat

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade. A look and a feel of the Bleeker Street in the Village. A taste of Mediterranean cuisine interpreted by talented poet and chef Johnny Shipley. Lunch Buffet 11-2, Dinner 5-9. Lighter fair and exotic coffees in between. Fine dining for any income bracket.

Pacific Pearl
Chinoe Plaza. Boldly fusing Asian and American flavors. Coconut fried lobster, King Crab legs in ginger butter, and Grilled Yellowfin Tuna are just a few of the items that represent this extensive menu. Dining room, patio and bar offers elegant decor. Open 5-10 pm, Sun-Thu. and 5-11 pm, Fri and Sat. Reservations recommended. 266.1611

Scarborough Fare
355 Romany Road. 859.266.8704. A gourmand’s delight, featuring an array of entrees that will tickle your fancy and menu changes daily. Sample the mouth-watering desserts and you’ll be back to feed your newest addiction. Special dinners prepared daily. Café dining, or gourmet carryout for those on the go. Open Monday-Saturday 10-8.

l 'Gourmet' for the Gourmand

As I sit and flip through the well-worn pages of my new "old cookbook," I cannot help but speculate on its previous owner. Did she attempt the shrimp in brandy sauce or just the recipes she marked, such as chicken liver pâté? Maybe she flagged the churros recipe because she enjoyed them so much in Spain? Her wonderful handwritten notes on torn paper are littered throughout the book and have given me a few hints of her taste and style, which seem to be quite cosmopolitan. Unfortunately I will never meet her, so to satiate my own curiosities and further imaginative causes, I will assign her the address of a tidy little apartment in New York with lots of windows. From this vantage point, I'll proceed to look at this book through her eyes.

I hope that you are not thinking of me as unhinged but have, yourself, found a cookbook that you can pick up and relate to easily. I received this book, an annual of bound Gourmet magazines from 1968, as a gift and every time that I have opened it there's something new to share with whomever will still sit and listen. The ads are charming and funny, the articles are dated yet informative, and the photos of food are, well, it's unbelievable how much fads in food and restaurants have changed.

Towards the end of each magazine, much more in 1968 than today, are small ads for restaurants, mostly in New York, and they imply so much fun and uniqueness that I want to visit each and every one. Actually, I would really like to know if any are still around, although certainly not at the prices they are advertising. Maybe the previous owner of this book flipped through and decided to have canard Grand Marnier at Du Midi or chicken alpigiana at Le Alpi for dinner. Suppose she was planning to meet friends after the theater for supper at La Comedie, which brings me to the pondering, why do we not have advertised after-theater late suppers in Lexington restaurants?

One of the most striking things that I noticed from my collection of magazines is that there is a large alcohol ad on almost every page spread. Premixed cocktails, imported liqueurs, or (an unbelievable) $45.00 Baccarat crystal decanter of Bisquit Cognac are shown with recipes to help the host or hostess impress their guests with creative new cocktails.

A last ad to mention is Crabiar, crab roe pate. "Atlantic Blue Crab eggs in an exclusive recipe of spices-and-nices!" It sounds horrible (a case of 12 cans for $10.00) but has become our new mantra around the house, "Dear, would you like some Crabiar with your cereal this morning?" or "I packed a PB & C in your lunchbox today."

There are monthly articles on "The Lively Pubs of London" and "A Wine Tour of France" which are amazingly detailed. Everything you would want to know, from where to go and what to expect, to when to get toad-in-the-hole or the eels of Gironde. The pub-crawling and wine tours are both in my future at some point so I have really enjoyed reading about them.

I was also thrilled to find that Leslie Charteris, author of The Saint series, occasionally wrote the column "Along The Boulevards" for Gourmet. It is a collection of observations and experiences in his travels from all over the world. Very interesting, but a bit biased against America's culinary nomenclature and customs compared to other countries.

As for the overall look of the magazine being drastically different than culinary magazines today, not only are there so many pink foods (potted shrimp, Shrimp Nantua with red food coloring added to cream, cold raspberry soufflé, and liptaur with paprika) sitting on shocking yellow and turquoise tablecloths (which would very likely never be shown in a more modern food spread), but also, the style of arranging food has completely changed. In the 1968 book, foods on a plate or platter are mostly grouped, covered in sauce, and garnished with a little parsley sprig - today, whether in a magazine or for customer consumption, the contrast, balance, height, and color of the foods are essential to presentation. Food fashion changes quickly.

As you probably can tell, this is my new favorite cookbook and as I have just found an article on truffles, I plan to sit back and read the former owner's notes and try to connect with her a little more. Maybe she will enlighten me with tricks of the trade or let a personal note slip so that I will know her a bit better.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at