Looking for an excuse to eat out?
Thursday is the annual Lexington AVOL Dining Out for Life fundraiser. Participating restaurants will donate 25 percent of your bill to support AIDS Volunteers Inc. in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
There are options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining, including Locals’ Craft Food & Drink, 701 National Avenue, where LexGo Eat will be helping out as ambassadors during lunch.
Other restaurants include all three A&W, Alfalfa, Azur, Blue Door Smokehouse, Broomwagon Coffee & Bikes, BRU Burger Bar, Coles 735 Main, Columbia Steakhouse, County Club, Crossings Lexington, Doodle’s, Dutch’s Bake Shop, Good Foods Co-op Cafe, Goodfellas Pizzeria, Hanna’s on Lime, J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar, Le Deauville, Lexington Diner, Liberty Road Cafe, Mad Mushroom Pizza, both North Lime Coffee and Donuts, Pasta Garage, Sal’s Chophouse, all three Saul Good, Sidebar Grill, Smithtown Seafood, Soundbar, Stella’s Kentucky Deli, Third Street Stuff, West Sixth Brewing and Wines on Vine.
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“Rent” cast members, in town for the 20th-anniversary tour performances at Lexington Opera House, will be at West Sixth from 7 to 8 p.m. for a Q&A session in the beer garden.
▪ VisitLex’s Beyond Grits dining guide to local cuisine will be released Wednesday at the Jefferson Street Soiree and will be available afterward at the visitors center, 401 West Main Street in The Square.
This year’s edition adds a new designation: tractors. It highlights which restaurants source the most food products directly from Kentucky farms, as rated by Bluegrass Farm to Table. Three categories have been added: local landmarks, porches and patios, and smoked meats and barbecue. This year there are six recipes from local restaurants that feature popular bluegrass specialties.
▪ Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, will host the Women’s Chefs Series Creole dinner, 6 p.m. Sept. 20. Menu includes a mojito-inspired ceviche shooter by chef Shannon Wampler-Collins of A Mark Above Food Truck; chicken and andouille gumbo by chef Chloe Dykes of Mezzo Italian Café and Provisions, creole boudin served with black bean and sweet corn salsa, and drop biscuit with cane sugar and cajun butter by chef Kelly Barker of Le Deauville French Bistro, sweet potato and plantain-braised beef short rib with crispy quimbombo over spiced quinoa by chef Amy Harris of Brasabana, and bananas Foster beignets with vanilla bean ice cream by chef Jill Shrank. It’s $60; call 859-303-5573 for reservations.
▪ Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will host a four-course hemp dinner at 6 p.m. Sept. 21. Chef Jeremy Ashby will prepare tuna poke with sesame-roasted hemp hearts, Kentuckyaki and hemp oil dressing and wilted fall greens; sweet corn and hemp hoe cakes with whipped country ham butter; chicken “pot” pie with carrots, turnips, yukon gold potatoes and celery root; hemp-crusted duck breast with butternut squash and roasted apple puree, mascarpone cheese and smoked maple chipotle sauce; and hemp brownies with mocha ice cream, Bluegrass Sundown coffee and bourbon sauce. Bourbon and wine pairings are available. It’s $35 plus tax and tip. Call 859-296-1007 for reservations.
▪ The Akielo Daughters of the Nile Eqyptian Band will hold its annual fall tea and style show at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 at Oleika Shrine Center, 326 Southland Drive. The formal tea will have four courses of food and unique table settings for $20. Reservations are required; call Susan Wade at 859-333-0146 or Kathe Vaughn at 606-492-9353. There also will be a style show by Midway Boutique and a silent auction.
▪ If you love craft beer and reading or writing about beer, check out the University of Kentucky’s Craft Writing Symposium, a one-day event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 30.
The featured speakers will be Joseph Tucker, executive editor of RateBeer; Heather Vandenengel, writer for All About Beer and Beer Advocate; John Holl, editor of All About Beer and author of the “American Craft Beer Cookbook;” Jeremy Danner of Boulevard Brewing of Kansas City; Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association and publisher of Craftbeer.com; and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, owner of Evil Twin Brewery of Brooklyn and author of “Food & Beer.” It’s free; register at Craftwriting.as.uky.edu. After the symposium, attendees are invited on an informal brewery crawl to The Beer Trappe, Lexington Beerworks, West Sixth, Blue Stallion and Ethereal Brewing.
▪ Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will celebrate Portuguese cuisine for International Night on Wednesday. From 5:30 to 9 p.m., you can get codfish bake, francesinha (sliced French bread layered and baked with ham, roast chicken, chorizo, cheddar and edam cheese topped with brown ale gravy), peixinhos da horta (lightly batter fried green beans, red peppers, yellow squash, red onion and sweet potato with piri piri sauce and red pepper aioli), spinach egg pie, and white beans. Next Wednesday: German night.
▪ The historic Glen Willis House, 900 Wilkinson Boulevard in Frankfort, has added new fall items to its lunch menu, including meatloaf sliders, corned beef casserole, stuffed cabbage rolls and pumpkin soup from Terri’s Catering. Lunch is Tuesday through Thursday, beginning at 11 a.m. Reservations accepted. Call 502 875-3031.
▪ Maker’s Mark Distillery, 3350 Burks Spring Road in Loretto, will honor chef Vivian Howard, the Peabody Award-winning host of “A Chef’s Life,” with the 2016 TasteMaker’s Award at a supper, 4 p.m. Oct. 8.
The family-style country supper will feature bourbon cocktails and signature dishes from Howard’s new cookbook, “Deep Run Roots,” including tomato pie, blueberry BBQ chicken, and Viv’s Favorite Beet Salad. Local bluegrass band The Wooks will perform live. Tickets are $160; go to Makersmark.com. Price includes a copy of the book.
▪ Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont on Wednesday will open what is Kentucky’s first cocktail experience, the Jim Beam Bourbon Bar.
Under legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year, distilleries are allowed to sell cocktails by the glass. Featured cocktails will rotate monthly and feature the complete Jim Beam family of brands.
The Jim Beam Bourbon bar will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Drink tokens must be bought in person by those of legal drinking age at the front desk of the Jim Beam American Stillhouse. Daily token limits apply.
▪ Last week, Wild Turkey unveiled its first television commercial directed by and starring Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey. The commercial, McConaughey’s directorial debut, is part of the new global marketing campaign titled “It’ll Find You.” The television spot will begin running in the United States in September and is part of a global broadcast, print, and digital campaign to reintroduce Wild Turkey.
▪ Four Roses will release its 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, featuring three of the distillery’s 10 unique Bourbon recipes, in mid-September for National Bourbon Heritage Month. Bottled at barrel strength with a proof of 111.2, ithas notes of sweet cherry and green apples, hints of sweet molasses, peppery spices and crème brûlée, according to a news release. Four Roses will distribute 9,258 hand-numbered bottles, priced about $99.