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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

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.

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 The Wondrous World of Walnuts

It is easy to get a little sentimental this time of the year. The leaves are changing, the air is a little crisper, and thoughts are moving towards the upcoming stream of holidays. Walking along a wooded path, maybe humming to yourself, when all of a sudden, another one of those damn green balls comes screaming towards you from fifty feet above.

Other than organic missiles, black walnuts are very functional because every part of them can be used. The nutmeat has a warm and distinctive taste that is used in baking and desserts, the hard outer shell is usually ground for polishing or sandblasting, and the green hull makes a chestnut brown dye for fabric and yarn.

It is difficult to find anyone who grew up in a rural setting in Appalachia that did not have to collect black walnuts as a youngster and go to school with stained hands. They were be considered as potential income and winter treats wasted if they were not gathered, hulled, then sold or stored.

Although, Lexington is not particularly rural anymore, many people have black walnut trees in their yards and after not picking them up have probably been approached by someone asking if they could have them. Which brings up the questions, "What? Why? How do you get the walnut out? What do you do with them?"

There are only two ways to get the walnut out of its hull. The first is to run over them with your vehicle (I am not kidding) and the second is to sell them. The first way seems fairly self-explanatory and the second, well, the best way to find information on selling black walnuts is to pick up a Fact Sheet from the local Cooperative Extension office. The Fayette and Woodford offices were very helpful, saying that they receive many calls in September asking black walnut questions.

There are many commercial hullers in the state and prices are generally $10.00 per 100 pounds after hulls are removed but G.M. Taylor Seed in Georgetown will pay $4.00 per 100 pounds with hull so you do not have to wait and they are accepting them until November. This is the only commercial huller that I called, and have been told that many people call around for pricing. This may not seem like very much money but, well, they are free. They just fall off of very tall trees for you, no picking. Remember, though, the outer hull is used as a dye and will not come off, as I have also been told, even through the use of many home remedies.

To use black walnuts for yourself (holiday baking is coming up) be sure to remove the green hull as soon as possible because it can affect the taste and appearance of the nut. Wash them several times and then place them in a cool, dry place in a single layer to dry. Shelling the nuts is typical of shelling any nuts, everyone seems to have a favorite system but when the nuts have been shelled they should stored in airtight containers and then refrigerated or frozen due to their high oil content.

The black walnut has a strong and distinctive flavor and used in moderation can be a wonderful addition to baking. Jam cakes, tortes, and even quick breads are all excellent palettes for this nut. But, please do not take my word for it, Jonathan Lundy, of Jonathan's in the Gratz Park Inn, is sharing a recipe with us in which we can use this currently ample treat.

I will leave this to him, and I am off to gather walnuts. I believe that I have all of the items needed and packed: pith helmet, leather work gloves, wellies, and many burlap sacks.

Banana Black Walnut Bread Pudding with
Banana Cream Anglaise and Caramel

Banana Black Walnut Bread

Yield 2 4x8 Loaf Pans


3/4c. Sugar

1/2c. Butter


1c. Mashed Ripe Bananas

1/3c. Milk

1t. Pure Vanilla Extract

1c. Black Walnuts

1t. Baking Soda

1/2t. Salt


Preheat oven to 350 and grease loaf pans with butter on the bottom only.

In a large bowl combine sugar and butter, beat until mixture is light and fluffly. Add eggs, milk, bananas and vanilla extract.

In another bowl combine flour, nuts, baking soda and salt. Flod the wet mix into the dry until thoroughly mixed.

Pour into the loaf pans and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Banana Black Walnut Bread Pudding

Yield 12 portions


4 Eggs

1c. Brown Sugar

1/2t. Cinnamon

Pinch Ground Nutmeg

1t. Pure Vanilla Extract

3c. Heavy Cream

1c. Milk

6c. Day Old Banana Bread

2T. Butter


In a large bowl combine eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, heavy cream and milk. Mix well. Add banana bread that has been cut into 1 inch cubes.

2) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

3) Grease 12 muffin tins with butter and fill with bread pudding.

4) Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

5) Remove for tins and plate serve with Banana Cream Anglaise.

Banana Cream Anglaise

Yield 2 1/2 c.


5 Egg Yolks

1/2c. Sugar

2c. Heavy Cream

1t. Pure Vanilla Extract

1c. Mashed Ripe Banana


1) Place egg yolks in medium sauce pan with sugar and beat with a wire wisk until mixture becomes thick and lemon colored.

2) Place cream in another sauce pan and bring to the scalding point, right before a boil and remove from heat.

3) Slowly add cream to the yolk mixture while stirring, place on medium heat and stir until mixture starts to thicken. Be careful not to overcook or the sauce will curdle.

4) Wisk in the vanilla and the banana mash in the sauce.

5) Strain sauce through a fine meshed strainer.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at