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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 From Dot Com to the Oven

Earlier this week I needed a recipe and the cookbooks in the house were leaving me flat. I needed flashy pictures of smiling men and women holding out plates of perfectly placed food, telling me how easy it is to replicate this meal and how much happier I will be once I do. So I went to the Internet.

This is something that I rarely think to do because once I log on, it's just too overwhelming if I'm not looking for a specific subject or ingredient. I thought this time, why not try brand names and narrow down the search? Their products are tried and true, the recipes are kitchen tested, and with the holidays approaching, there should be festive food ideas. Three brand name sites that I found really surprised me because they are so much more than I expected: Land O' Lakes, Pillsbury and Kraft.

Land O' Lakes, the maker of sweet cream butter, has created a practical, extremely helpful web site ( that looks professional and is full of information. Not only are there recipes and tips for entertaining, but there is also a "Baking Class" that really takes the cake. Baking can be daunting - cakes fall and candy becomes a gooey mess - but this site takes out a lot of the guesswork by showing photographs and the step-by-step process for several recipes.

Butter toffee, made with just butter and sugar, is one of their featured recipes and this time of year is perfect for giving to friends and family. They start with the most basic step - gather and check your equipment - and then show how the ingredients look at several stages when cooking and explain the cold water test for doneness (which is the most difficult part of making candy). All of the instructions are very specific, such as using a wooden spoon to stir the mixture and taking altitude into consideration, but because it's so detailed it looks easy.

There are many other useful hints at this site such as how to make the perfect piecrusts and edible ornaments, how to organize a gift basket and ship it, and descriptions of baking tools and where to find them. Also, gift tags can be downloaded and printed onto sheets of 2" x 4" labels.

Pillsbury, known for its little giggling doughboy, has a web site ( that is really fun because it has party planning down to an art. From a catering point of view, everything that you need to know is here. There is a page that lets you select what type of party food you need whether it be brunch, appetizers, or entrees. You then choose how many people will attend and it creates a menu, a categorized shopping list, recipes and a preparation timetable. I chose brunch for twenty people and received a lovely list with photos including overnight brunch egg bake, overnight gingered fruit bowl, lemon-pecan sunburst coffee cake, petite caramel pecan rolls, assorted meats and Sunrise Mimosas (yum). I added up the shopping list (an old catering habit) and found that the food and drink for this brunch would cost approximately $7.00 per person.

The keys to enjoying a party that you are hosting are preparation and organization, which this site understands. Other holiday planning ideas include a timetable that begins two to four weeks before the party (invitations, reservations, rentals) and intricately works its way towards the big day. There are bar and food quantity estimations per person, bar accessories needed, and ten excellent ideas for making the event run more smoothly. Need to know how to carve a turkey? It's there.

One last thing to mention about the Pillsbury site; at you can send someone a personalized "Best Cook Award" via e-mail, with which we had grand fun. I sent one to a friend for his bizarre ramen noodles and another to a friend that makes the best nasi goreng.

Kraft, for its large selection of packaged food, has an interesting nutrition and exercise section on its web site ( Alongside nutrition facts and figures, there are personalized meal and fitness plans (general, diabetic and vegetarian) generated by answering questions such as height, weight and lifestyle activity. It will tell you how many calories you need a day, plan menus, send recipes, and create a calendar for exercising. This is great if you are looking for a healthy new regimen.

I tried the personalized menu and while looking at my suggested meals for the week noticed that, except for the taco broccoli, a lot of the suggestions look delicious. Tonight's dinner is supposed to be salmon in tarragon cream sauce, which upon further inspection is a four ounce salmon filet marinated in orange juice, tarragon and brown sugar, then grilled, and the sauce is made with the left-over marinade, Madeira, and reduced fat sour cream. It sounds interesting and I am pleased to note that my snack #2 on Saturday will be ants-on-a-log (celery with peanut butter and raisins).

On-the-go people with Palm Pilots can enjoy this site even more. You can have daily recipes sent to you or enter up to three ingredients that you have and they will send a recipe, which I can imagine would be extremely helpful if you are between work and the grocery store needing an idea for dinner.

There are many wonderful cooking web sites from all over the world to pore over, many of which try recipes and give technical advice, but sometimes you must follow the advice of advertisers and try the brand names.

By the way, if you get to the Borden's web site, there is a history of Elsie the Cow and her rise to stardom.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at