New Ruby Jean's Café offers 'country-style cooking'

swthompson@herald-leader.com,by sharon ThompsonJuly 17, 2014 

If you're craving grandma's country cooking, try the new Ruby Jean's Café, 450 Southland Drive. Chef Mac McBride always wanted to open a restaurant with "good country-style food."

"I always said if I did, I would name it after my grandmother," McBride said. "It's a 'meat and two' and 'meat and three' concept with sandwiches, and burgers." A chalkboard menu features breakfast items, fried chicken, fried catfish, green beans, stewed tomatoes, corn pudding and corn bread. A brunch buffet is served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call (859) 277-0058.

New on the menu

■ La Petite Crêperie, 191 Kentucky Avenue, has a new chef and now serves wine and cocktails. Chef Gérard Aiache "brings to the Crêperie an amazing French flair which reminds me from back home," co-owner Linda Chambers said. Aiache recently worked at Le Deauville and Bourbon n' Toulouse restaurants. His specialty crepes include savory fresh salmon and ratatouille, fruits de mer, and poulet Basquaise. Call (859) 684-2737 or go to Petitecreperie.com.

■ The summer tradition — fresh peach pizza — is back at Saul Good Restaurant. Fresh peaches, topped with streusel and Belgian white chocolate chips, are cooked on a homemade pizza dough. Go to Saulgoodpub.com for locations.

■ Gene Williams claims Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade, has the best fries and best burgers in town. "We're saying it, our customers are telling us," he said.

"There really are 'fry connoisseurs' out there, and they are finding us. So what makes our fries outstanding? In the first place they are heart-healthy fries. I know that sounds odd, but we use a rice bran oil that actually lowers the bad and raises the good cholesterol. The flavor comes from using fresh everything — fresh minced garlic, fresh flat leaf parsley and freshly ground pepper on the spot."

The Alley burger is made using six ounces of locally raised Marksbury farm beef, served on a toasted brioche bun. The weekend special is the Alley burger topped with grilled portobello mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Bistro.beetnik.com.

■ Hanna's on Lime, 214 South Limestone, is featuring its farmers market special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Fresh offerings include corn on the cob, squash, tomatoes, new potatoes, melon, green beans, cucumbers and eggplant. Cost is $8.25 and features six items gathered from Tuesday's farmers market. Call (859) 252-6264 or go to Hannasonlime.com.

Events

■ Smithtown Seafood sous chef Agnes Teresa Marrero Rosa will prepare recipes from her native Puerto Rico for this month's Tanks to Table beer dinner on Thursday. A Kentucky Proud hog from Stone Cross Farm will be marinated 24 hours in Caribbean spices, then slow smoked that day until fork tender. It will be served with house-made hot sauces and chimichurri sauce. West Sixth Brewing will serve a firkin, lemongrass wheat with passion fruit and pineapple, with the meal. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Smithtown is at 501 West Sixth Street. Call (859) 303-4100, or walk up to the pop-up pork station that day and place your order. Cost is $25. Go to Smithtownseafood.com.

■ Lexington's Women Chefs dinner series continues with a Women in World Cuisine dinner at Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Children's Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass. Cost is $50. Call (859) 797-8461 or go to Brasabana.com.

Participating chefs are Jill Schrank, line chef at The Lexington Diner; Libby Allen, chef and culinary instructor at the National Center for Hospitality Studies for Sullivan University; Ranada West-Riley, executive chef and owner of The Lexington Diner; Vanessa Willhite, line chef at Azur Restaurant; Amy Harris, who was sous chef at Jonathan's at Gratz Park; and Shannon Collins, day chef at Azur.

Brasabana is at 841 Lane Allen Road.

■ Lexington Restaurant Week begins Thursday and runs through Aug. 2. More than 60 restaurants will offer $25 dinners. A list can be found at Lexrestaurants.com.

■ Wallace Station, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike in Versailles, is having "Burgers and Beats" from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds go to Faith Feeds/GleanKy, a group that feeds the hungry by gleaning and distributing excess fruits and vegetables. Entertainment provided by Silverback. Cost is $25. Go to Burgersandbeats2014.eventbrite.com.

■ Kentucky Eagle Distributing will be tasting/sampling Table No. 7 wine from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Unlimited Spirit, 404 Southland Drive.

Farmers market report

■ Bluegrass Farmers' Market is in full summer mode with locally grown corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, and melons. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog:flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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