tidbitswhat's cooking at Central Kentucky Restaurants

Film document's 60-course birthday dinner

swthompson@herald-leader.comApril 1, 2011 

A 60-course dinner is worthy of a film.

Graham Waller, owner of Winchell's Restaurant, will be featured in a documentary that airs this weekend on Kentucky Educational Television.

"Last January, I served a 60-course dinner to my father (Gregory Waller of Bloomington, Ind.) for his 60th birthday. This was an epic meal that lasted 81/2 hours," Waller said.

"I decided about a year before his 60th that I wanted to do something special for him," Graham Waller said. "The idea came to me to do 60 courses for his 60th birthday. This allowed me to go back to the fine-dining training of my 20s and pick a huge variety of dishes I learned over my career. It was also a way to give my dad an extremely personal gift that would be memorable and not something that could be bought.

"The dinner was also a chance for me to really challenge myself and keep up my fine dining skill-set using ingredients we don't often use at Winchell's. I kept the menu French-based and broke it down like a regular six-course dinner would be, but had 10 sub-courses for each full course," he said.

Menu items included Southern fried quail, sauteed rabbit loin and braised rabbit leg in grain mustard sauce, beef short rib with parsnip puree, and squab with blackberry sauce. Stella Bussey helped prepare the desserts and sorbets.

The 30-minute documentary, Small Cities, Big Cooks, was filmed by Parkerlane Productions. It airs at 4 p.m. Friday on KET2. It will repeat at at 10:30 p.m. April 10 on KET. For more air times, visit KET.org.

Winchell's is at 348 Southland Drive. Call (859) 278-9424.

Upcoming occasions

■ John Schweder, owner of the former Mason's Restaurant in Chevy Chase, will be guest chef at Jonathan at Gratz Park on Sunday.

Schweder, who has worked at several of Lexington's top restaurants, will serve his signature tuna dish, black and white sesame seed-crusted ahi, which several chefs around town have tried to copy, he says. "Those who have tried to copy the dish take a shortcut, which you can't take, and I haven't shared it with them," Schweder said.

Also on the menu are grilled asparagus with three-pepper chow chow, Rob's arugula with truffled lemon vinaigrette, sauteed greens, wasabi mashed potatoes, pork with wine reduction, and strawberry rhubarb financier with buttermilk ice cream. The price is $45.

Call (859) 252-4949 or go to Jagp.info. Jonathan is at 120 West Second Street.

Oliva Bella olive oil store will have a grand-opening party Saturday to celebrate its new location and the arrival of its new extra virgin olive oil. The party, 1 to 5 p.m., will feature Italian food and live music by Big Maracas.

The Tasting Room is at 400 Old Vine Street, Suite 104. Call (859) 983-3567.

■ Temple Adath Israel's TAI on Rye deli will be back Sunday with its New York-style sandwiches — including corned beef, pastrami and turkey — plus homemade chopped liver and other offerings. The specials will include cabbage strudel, and black and white cookies.

Deli hours are noon to 2 p.m., and food is available for dine-in or carry-out. The full menu is at Lextai.org/tai_on_rye. The temple is at 124 North Ashland Avenue.

The next date on the deli's calendar is May 22.Restaurants welcome spring and Keeneland

■ The April menu for Greentree Tearoom features springtime flavors. Included are: spring vegetable soup; white chocolate chip scone with blackberry curd; spanikopita; mini corned beef, egg salad with sprouts and herbed cheese tea sandwiches; lemon cake; strawberry panna cotta, and chocolate truffles. Tea is served at noon Wednesday through Friday and at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com. Greentree is at 521 West Short Street.

■ The Bigg Blue Martini's outdoor patio is open, and the bar will introduce an expanded menu Tuesday. Included are raw bar selections such as fresh oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, and tiger shrimp ceviche.

On April 8, the bar will open earlier, at 11 a.m., for Keeneland's spring race meet. Mint juleps and mimosas will be on the menu.

Bigg Blue Martini is in the Hilton Lexington/Downtown hotel, at West Vine Street and South Broadway. Call (859) 231-9000 or go to Thebiggbluemartini.com.

Special dinners

Giuseppe's Ristorante Italiano, 4456 Old Nicholasville Road, is serving art with dinner. The dining room now features works by Central Kentucky artists Lee Sturtevant, Deborah Westerfield, Marianna McDonald and Elizabeth Dryden. Call (859) 272-4269.

The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, will have an April Fool's Day wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Kentucky Eagle representative Jessica Hundley will discuss the wines from Oak Ridge Winery in Lodi, Calif. The menu includes linguini with clam sauce, rabbit raviol,; petite filet and lava cake. Jo Nardolillo will entertain.

The Chung Yen Twins will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and Tony Lovello plays the accordion for the Italian dinners on Mondays. Call (859) 226-0300.

Reach Sharon Thompson at (859) 231-3321 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3321.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service