Sharon Thompson: Lexington, Louisville chefs bet their food, not their money, on Cats vs. Cards

swthompson@herald-leader.comMarch 27, 2014 Updated 3 hours ago

Sharon Thompson

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF — mcornelison@herald-leader.com

The battle on Friday between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is spilling over into Lexington and Louisville kitchens.

Bill Lynch, chef at The Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville, is challenging Jeremy Ashby, chef/owner of Azur in Lexington, to a wager.

If the Louisville Cardinals lose to the Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis on Friday night, Lynch has agreed to wear Kentucky blue and serve Ashby's signature dishes at Azur. If the Wildcats lose, Ashby will don Louisville red and serve patrons at The Bristol's Hurstbourne Parkway restaurant.

A date for the dinner has not been announced. Go to Azurrestaurant.com and Bristolbarandgrille.com.

Nick Ryan's Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is celebrating the Kentucky- Louisville game with all-night happy hour on Friday. In celebration of the Wildcats' 26 wins, the restaurant will offer its 8-ounce filet mignon for $26; it's regularly $29. If the Wildcats win, Nick Ryan's will serve the special on Saturday for $27. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.

Special events

■ Seventeen wineries are participating in McConnell Springs' 7th annual Wine Barrel Tasting on Saturday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any participating winery. Call (859) 272-0682 or go to Mcconnellsprings.org.

During the event, Jean Farris Winery, 6825 Old Richmond Road, will offer a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included are filet burger, smoked chicken salad, grilled chicken Caesar, shrimp and grits, and duck sausage pizza. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.

■ Kathy Archer will serve Howard's Creek authentic beer cheese at the Taste of the South in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Taste of the South was founded in 1982 by transplanted Southerners living in Washington. The group decided to host a party where they could share with Washington residents their love for all things Southern. Thirteen states are represented, and this year, Kentucky is the featured state, with proceeds going to West End School in Louisville. The free alternative school serves at-risk boys from preschool to eighth grade.

Openings

■ Sherrie Keller-Pauley and her husband, Ben Pauley, are back in the restaurant business in the same location where their original Three Suns Bistro was, 502 North Main Street in Nicholasville. The Pauleys' Three Suns opened in 2000. It moved to Brannon Crossing in 2005 and closed in 2012.

Now called The Bistro, the restaurant will offer "some tried and true favorites from the Three Suns Bistro menu including pecan-fried chicken with praline glaze, lobster bisque, and our honey vinaigrette, a Kentucky Proud product," Keller- Pauley said. The menu includes hand-cut steaks, seafood, pasta, salads and burgers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call (859) 221-3925.

Specials

First Watch Daytime Café is offering three new limited-time items for spring: lemon ricotta pancakes; AB&J waffle topped with almond butter, strawberry sauce and granola; and smoked salmon and roasted vegetable frittata. Locations are 3071 Richmond Road, (859) 899-3447; and 1080 South Broadway, (859) 252-2226. A new First Watch will open this spring on Winchester Road in front of Hobby Lobby. Go to Firstwatch.com.

■ Saturday and Sunday specials at 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, in Mason County, are Hawaiian chicken with grilled pineapple, pesto grilled shrimp, grilled pork chops, sausage quiche, and white chicken chili. Call (859) 907-6093. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Email: swthompson@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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