Have you ever thought you were in the dark about Lexington's dining scene? At Natasha's Bistro & Bar you literally could be.
The restaurant, at 112 Esplanade, will have Dining in the Dark on Monday, when guests will be offered a menu of Kentucky Proud products to eat in complete darkness. It's designed for the senses of smell, taste, sound and feeling texture to be accentuated in the meal. Participants will wear blindfolds, which will be removed after each course.
Natasha's owner Gene Williams quotes Miami chef Adrianne Calvo about the concept of dining in the dark: "The concept of 'dark dining,' which enjoyed significant popularity throughout Europe for several years before its introduction in various major cities throughout the United States, has been defined as a sensory overload that maximizes flavor by suppressing vision, creating the ultimate in dining experience."
The dinner will be at 6 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $49. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Beetnik.com.
■ Bistro La Belle Market and Cafe will join other downtown Midway merchants in supporting a proposed senior-care center called The Homeplace at Midway and its "Voices in Cloth" quilt show on Saturday. Bistro La Belle will serve Laura's white bean soup and Weisenberger Mills cornbread from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meal is free, but the café will accept donations for The Homeplace. The regular menu will be available. Bistro La Belle is at 119 East Main Street. The quilt show will be at 128 East Main Street. Call (859) 846-4233 or go to Bistrolabelle.com.
■ Woodford Reserve Distillery serves a holiday buffet on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 22. Chef-in-residence Ouita Michel and her culinary team have created a menu of Kentucky favorites and seasonal specialties. Distillery tours are offered before dinner. Seatings are at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Cost is $50. The distillery is at 7855 McCracken Pike in Versailles. Call (859) 879-1812 or go to Woodfordreserve.com.
■ On Monday, you can help Baby Health Service by dining at Nick Ryan's. The restaurant's "Monday Matters" program donates a portion of the day's proceeds to charities. Baby Health Service provides free quality health care to children without insurance. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
■ The Village Idiot, 307 West Short Street, has a new winter menu. Chefs Andrew Suthers and Wyatt Sarbacker have put their personal touches on classic cold-weather comfort food. Included are ham-hock ragout with Lexington Pasta's spinach gnocchi and pork belly en croute with pickled onion and whole-grain mustard.
On Monday, the restaurant will serve a prix fixe dinner featuring seasonal dishes to complement selections from Schlafly Beer and wines from Vanguard. The dinner will include a reception of hors d'oeuvres and three courses each paired with wine and beer. The cost is $49. Call (859) 252-0099 or go to Lexingtonvillageidiot.com.
■ Casanova Italian Restaurant, 855 South Broadway, has some new menu items. Included are bronzini acqua pazza, a fish that owner Leo Capezzuto imports from the Mediterranean Sea; Neapolitan traditional sausages with rapini; and spaghetti aglio olio scampi. Casanova is accepting reservations for Christmas parties. Call (859) 309-3313 or go to Casanovaky.com.
Farmers market report
■ Lexington Farmers Market opens its winter season on Saturday in the atrium of Victorian Square, 401 West Main Street. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Items include winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, greens, onions, garlic, potatoes, radishes, turnips, canned items, breads, meats, cheeses, flowers, and greenery.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog:flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com