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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." Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday & Saturday 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 on the Park
369 W. Vine St. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. (859) 231-9000. Wonderful view of Triangle Park. Breakfast 6:30am until 10:30am daily; breakfast buffet served in season. Lunch 11am-2pm, (pasta bar on Thursdays) Affordable upscale American cuisine and a wonderful wine list 5pm-10pm. 90 minute complimentary parking.

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.

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. Affordable American Cuisine. Gourmet pizzas, fresh pasta, specialty salads and sandwiches, and a wide array of entrees. 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, 245-4444, 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.

255-2431. It’s all about the food at this continental eatery where Chef Jim Plymale builds his menu around fresh, seasonal ingredients. For lunch how about Black Bean Cassoulet or Crispy Polenta Napoleon? Imagine the dinner fare. Located on (that’s right) 431 Old Vine St., the atmosphere is smart and cozy. And the bar is the swankiest in town. Dress: As yourself. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:30-10; Fri-Sat 5:30-11.

"Food with Character" 735 E. Main Street (859)266-9000. Full-blooded, dipped in the Bayou, authentic Southwest Louisiana Cuisine at Furlongs! PO-Boys, Burgers, Creole, Etouffees, Gumbo, Pastas, Salads, Seafood, Steaks, Fresh Fish, great daily dinner specials and extensive wine list. Open for dinner: Mon.-Sat. 4-11.

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
3955 Harrodsburg Rd, 219-9922. Why not tonight? 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. Open for dinner six nights a week. Open Sundays during Keeneland and holidays. Dinner: 5:30 Mon-Thur, 5:00 on Fri & Sat.

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. 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.

The Mansion
at Griffin Gate
1800 Newtown Pike. 859-288-6142. Lexington's landmark of good taste. The elegantly restored antebellum mansion offers traditional American and regional southern cuisine with European flavors. Experience gracious dining at Lexington's first Four Diamond rated restaurant. The Mansion is open daily from 6pm-10pm. Reservations are suggested.

Merrick Inn
3380 Tates Creek Rd. (Top of the hill in Merrick Place.) We pride ourselves on being the establishment of choice for over 30 years. Enjoy Chef Jeremy Ashby’s savory nightly specials and superb signature southern cuisine all served in our Kentucky manor house. When the weather’s warm, enjoy Lexington’s favorite patio by the pool offering a more casual menu. Mon.- Thurs 5:30 to 10:00, Fri and Sat 5:30 to 10:30.

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade 259-0203. An array of tastes from Kiev to Cairo in the elegant atmosphere of a Parisian cafe. World cuisine buffet for lunch. Fine dining for all income brackets evenings after 5:30. Tour buses, business meetings and accordion players welcome. Voted Lexington's Best Ethnic Fare (ACE Weekly Readers’ Poll, 2001). Lunch Buffet 11A-2P, M-F and Noon to 3P on Saturday.

Scarborough Fare
355 Romany Road. 859.266.8704. A gourmand’s delight, featuring an array of entrees that will tickle your fancy. Menu changes daily. Deli dining, or gourmet carryout for those on the go. Open Monday-Saturday 10-8.

Starbucks Coffee
University of Kentucky Student Center. 257-1209. Lexington's first full size Starbucks location. Stop in today for fresh brewed coffee, espresso drinks, Frappuccinos, delightful pastries, and Starbucks merchandise. Conveniently close to downtown. We are a cyber-café; come surf the 'net on our laptop computers. Open Mon.-Thurs. 7am-9pm, Fri. 7am-4pm, Sat. 9am-4pm.

Yamamoto Japanese Grill
& Sushi
130 West Tiverton Way. 859-272-6668. Call for reservations. Prepared before your eyes!! Come enjoy our Fresh Sushi and a variety of Sushi Rolls and fantastic performance and taste in Habachi Grill. Lunch Specials and Lunch boxes available $5.95-9.95. Mon-Thurs 11-2, 5-10; Fri 11-2, 5-11; Sat 5-11; Sun 12-9.

l Straight, No Chaser

Have you ever noticed, when eyeing a bottle of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, that the name Lincoln W. Henderson is signed on the bottom front label and then possibly wondered, what does Mr. Henderson have to do with the bourbon and branch water that is in my immediate future?

The answer is that he is a master distiller. Actually, to be exact, he is the Director of Whiskey Development and the Master/Maturation Distiller for Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide, which is the parent of Labrot & Graham Distillery who creates the award-winning Woodford Reserve. He is world renowned for being an expert on whiskey production and maturation, even recently being inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. His expertise of taste, aroma, and color takes him all over the world to speak at seminars and to judge competitions, as he will this year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in Great Britain, and, fortunately for us and little closer to home, he will be speaking locally at a dinner next week that we can attend.

On Tuesday, April 23rd, at 6:00 p.m., Ed & Fred's Desert Moon will be presenting Bourbon, Distilled Spirits and Cuisine, a three course meal wherein Mr. Henderson will discuss the three different types of Brown-Forman spirits involved in the menu and how they complement the food. The cost for the meal and presentation will be for $45.00 per person and seating will be limited so call early, as reservations are required.

The first course of this meal will be Gentleman Jack roasted salmon with grilled shitake relish, baby spinach, and pine nuts. Gentleman Jack is a super-premium whiskey from the Jack Daniel's Distillery that has been charcoal filtered, "mellowed", for impurities before aging, as is Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whisky, but then filtered again after it has reached maturity, four years later, to create its smooth taste. Created from an old recipe, it is the first new whiskey to come out of Jack Daniel's distillery for one hundred years.

"Mmm. Nice, earthy undertones."
The entrée for the evening will be Woodford Reserve smoked duck breast, (smoked with wood from a actual bourbon barrel) with pear chutney and sweet potato gratin. Because Woodford Reserve is a small batch bourbon made in Woodford County at the oldest aging house in Kentucky, it may have a slight advantage over the other two brands of the evening due to its hometown advantage. It is the product of an intensive, long process culminated from the laws of bourbon and historical process. According to Saveur Magazine, "Labrot & Graham's 90.4 proof masterpiece is soft and delicate, with an irresistible apricot and honey flavor."

The dessert course is a delicious sounding Appleton Rum-banana-espresso crème brulee. Appleton Estate Rum, the oldest of Jamaica's sugar plantations, was established in 1749 and today produces 160 tons of sugar a day and distills around ten million liters of rum annually for international sales. They purport themselves as the finest rum in the world.

Ed & Fred's Desert Moon is a wonderful place for this dinner; it is charming inside while being contemporary and eclectic. The event will be served in the fireplace room, which is cozy and the design makes it feel like you are not in Lexington, but visiting another city. The food on their regular menu is consistently tasty and interesting as I am sure that this special dinner will be as well.

Many restaurants are now offering the marrying of food and beer, wine, and distilled liquor in the form of informational dinners. This is a happy marriage: we learn hands on what makes a delectable pairing, how to infuse different liquor flavors into our cooking, some background on different alcohols such as geography and process, and enjoy a chef's creative menu that veers from their daily while enjoying pleasant surroundings.

Lincoln Henderson began working at Brown-Forman in 1964 and has advanced his learning of distillation and skills of tasting to the point that he is considered an expert on the subject and an evening speaking with him and listening to him could only be fascinating. Is there a better job than the one of tasting and approving of excellent bourbon?

Call Ed and Fred's Desert Moon at 231-1161 to make reservations.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at