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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

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.

Daniel’s Fine Food and Spirits
243 Broadway (across from the Old Capital in Frankfort), (502) 875-5599, Voted “Best Place to Have Dinner in Frankfort.”One of the region’s newest upscale fine dining adventures set in 150 year-old buildings. Enjoy “Traditional with a Twist,” extensive wine list, outdoor dining, private dining room, and the frequent special events. Check out our website for calendar, menu, map, and more. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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.

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

Phil’s Cookshop
on romany

342 Romany Road 266-0099 Seriously good food for the gourmet on the go. Artisan bakery, hot entrees, freshly prepared salads, made to order sandwiches, absolutely exquisite desserts, pies and cakes. Incredible selection of wines Join us for wine tasting Wed and Fri 4-8 pm. Open Monday-Saturday 8-8:30 Call the Cookshop catering, too!

l Food for What Ails Ya'

I am sick: the sore throat, runny eyes, and snotty nose with just a hint of a fever. You know it if you've lived here for any amount of time: the Kentucky Fall Blues. That ragweed time of year when your only friends are a sympathetic ear, food that is warm, liquid, laced with cayenne, and amber dew from down Loretto way.

I am susceptible to this condition and have tried to prepare myself for the onslaught of chrysanthemums every year since I moved to Lexington by dusting off the telephone and stack of take-out menus. I know that very soon I will need spicy, stick-to-your-ribs food and it's really difficult to think about standing over a hot stove making even boiling water for yourself when you are ill.

The food to cure what ails you, especially made by someone you trust, is the best food for the ragweed blues. My grandmother makes the most wonderful vegetable soup and cornbread, but since I don't have the patience of a saint to wait until U.P.S. delivers it from South Carolina, I am relying on my brand new husband to fill my belly with the next best thing.

I have ordered up spaghetti with extra garlic, onions, anchovies, and mushrooms, and I am sure that he will accomplish his mission.

If you do not have a brand new husband (as obviously I didn't either, until recently), there are many gracious substitute food ladlers in our town. Of course, you know that everyone has his or her own version of medicinal grub, but I have chosen just a few of my current favorites to mention, in case you are in the same predicament.

In the category of chicken soup, the necessary two ingredients consisting of anything lethargy-inducing and filled with vitamins can be found at Kashmir Indian Restaurant on South Limestone. This is for the first stage of the sniffles. You can rip pieces of nan (a flat, chewy Indian bread), filled with a tidy sum of opaque chopped garlic, and dip them into mint chutney saying things like, "niss is goond," before they place an amazing, hot broth full of chicken in front of you. Even without being able to smell, the steam off of the bowl seems to help (and it doubles as a facial).

If you lean more toward vegetarian in your taste for recuperation, spicy lentil soup from The Oasis in Chevy Chase is what you may need. This is the second stage of common allergies called, "even my teeth hurt." No chewing necessary. It's smooth, thick, peppery, and complements a nice hot cup of mint or clove tea. The spices in this soup are the remedy and although you probably can't taste them, you can feel them. Your throat will be crying out for more. If you are too ill to sit in their restaurant, they have always been very efficient in prepping take-out orders - probably secretly suspecting that one might bring a hot water bottle and blanket to camp out if they weren't quick enough, so feel free to call your order in and ask a friend to pick up your meal for you.

Practically anyone in town can tell you where to get the best American, down-home, almost-as-good-as-my-mamma's type of food.

You can ask five people and get five different answers. We are just lucky like that.

I would like to recommend that you try Ed & Fred's Desert Moon for their rosemary chicken and poblano mashed potatoes. This meal is basic, good for you, easy on the eye, and delicious. It may seem strange to include this eatery in a comfort food category but when I walk in feeling under the weather, I know exactly what I want and that my favorite server will bring it piping hot.

Well, my meal is here and he it includes capers, so I could not be happier at this moment. But before I take myself, my man, dog, spaghetti, Kleenex, blankets, book, and hot toddy off to bed, I would like to ask a favor of you - the readers.

Last week, I missed a squirrel fry somewhere in our county. I had just not heard of it. I am not overly excited about eating squirrel, trust me, but it's a Kentucky food and if it's a Kentucky food, then I want to try it and tell you about it. Just let me know when the next one's coming up.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at