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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

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 A Little Slice of Heaven

Holding a crusty, round of bread, he turns to me and says, "This is bread. It has the color of earth. It is beautiful. It is made with flour, salt, water and nothing else." He is Mo Tama and he, along with his partner, Deanna Offord, own Sunrise Bakery on Main Street, where they turn out wonderful loaves and rolls for wholesale to many local restaurants and retail from their bakery and Good Foods Co-op, on Southland Drive.

What they make that is unique is artisan bread. The art of making this bread, as a profession, is around 2,000 years old and the tradition of hand-made, all natural, stone baked bread is carried on today with pride. This bread really is beautiful; rustic and imperfect and so obviously not machine made.

Mo is Algerian born, the fourth generation of artisan bakers, and very passionate about the bread that he makes. I asked him what he felt had kept this tradition going in his family. "I think we are just born to it. I didn't choose to go into baking. It's a relationship that you build. Baking is very satisfactory. You get a lot of satisfaction when it works [laughing] and when it doesn't work, you don't."

The process of making bread can be a long one but basically, the flour and water are mixed with a of leavening agent for about fifteen minutes and then salt is added. Salt slows down the process of fermentation. The dough then sits from one and a half to five hours (depending on the type of bread) until it is ready to be shaped, proofed again, and then loaded onto the baking stone.

"We load them straight onto the stone. That is what the stone does, and these are the prints of the hand." Mo is holding the handmade bread and pointing out several physical characteristics on the crust. "You see these little bubbles here? If someone tells you this bread is made without yeast, if you don't see the little bubbles then it's not true. If it is without yeast then you get the little bubbles."

This is bread that not only tastes good but is also healthy. There is no sugar or oil, except when used specifically for flavor, and due to the length of time that the dough sits, it is pre-digested. The cultures in the dough work on the grain, breaking down the proteins and creating simple sugars from complex carbohydrates so that it will easily be absorbed into our system. "Bread, when it ferments, well, let's say that it ferments for three hours. It hasn't developed the acids yet. But bread that ferments over three hours develops acids and, take this bread here, it is full of acids," he explains. "Even if you are sick, you are going to digest it when you eat it. You are going to digest it all. This will be transformed by your body, nothing is going to be left. It is very beneficial to you. You won't feel any heavier."

One thing that I found very interesting is that I have been eating bread incorrectly, which is to say, warm, and not allowing my body to absorb all of the nutrition that bread has to offer. "When you eat it at room temperature you chew it really good," he explained to me. "That way, the saliva in your mouth will act on the starch and it starts decomposing in the mouth and not in the stomach. If you mix it right here (pointing to his stomach), it's not going to decompose. So, if you eat it hot, there is more chance that you will not chew it and the inside is doughy and you cannot break it down."

There are many types of room temperature, delicious breads offered at Sunrise Bakery, both with and without yeast for those concerned about their yeast intake. The boule, from the French word, boulanger (for baker) is a round, bowl-shaped bread in which Mo and Deanna offer plain, sourdough, wheat or olives and rosemary or sundried tomatoes from Italy. There are French breads, batards and baguettes, and croissants made with French butter.

This bread stores and freezes very easily. It should not be placed inside plastic, because it will trap moisture, but should be kept in a wooden bread box or just covered on the counter with a tea towel. To freeze it (maybe you can only eat half a loaf), freezer bags work well and the bread can be thawed when you are ready to eat it.

Artisan bread is a treat to have locally. This is an art, thankfully not lost, and bread baking friends have reassured me that all of the time and work involved is a love (maybe somewhat closer to an addiction) that spurs them on to manipulate the flour and water into dough creating beautiful bread to share with others. Whatever, I will buy mine at Sunshine Bakery.

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