Keeneland’s fall racing meet begins Friday and racetrack chef Marc Therrien has some new items around the track to tempt racegoers. New to the menu: grilled local cheddar and honey crisp apple panini, foraged mushroom three-cheese tortellini, bourbon-brined grilled chicken BLT, catfish with cornmeal crust, chili cheese fries, Martine’s chocolate flourless cake, caramel apple cheesecake and more.
The former Mane Street Deli in the grandstand is now the Fresh Market Express with wraps and salads, including the smoked turkey wrap, cranberry chicken salad wrap, and roasted vegetarian wrap and the Keeneland Cobb salad, Greek vegetarian salad and grilled chicken garden salad.
And the craft beer tent that was on the North Terrace Patio will now be a trackside stand next to Winner’s Circle Bar, featuring craft beers, including Country Boy’s Fall Sale Ale, New Belgium Belgium White, Kentucky Ale Barrel Aged Vanilla Cream Ale, Sierra Nevada Side Car Orange, SweetWater 420, Ethereal Lamba Stout, Blue Stallion Dunkel, Goose Island IPA and College Heights IPA.
Gates open at 11 a.m. and first post begins at 1:05 p.m. daily except Mondays and Tuesday. Free tailgating on The Hill is available. The racemeet begins with the Fall Stars Weekend which has five Grade I races. Tours of Keeneland, including the stables, are available. Sunrise Trackside events take place on Saturdays. A memorial service for Secretariat owner Penny Chenery will be Oct. 9 in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. Other events scheduled include college scholarship day on Oct. 20, Heroes Day on Oct. 22, and SeeBlue Day on Oct. 27. A Halloween edition of Sunrise Trackside is set for Oct. 28.
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▪ Kentucky Native Cafe, 417 East Maxwell Street, will celebrate Oktoberfest under the trees with live music, giant pretzels, and extra beer taps Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. each night. Live music will start at 5:30 p.m. and headliners will start at 7 p.m. Performers will include Seth Murphy, Robby Cosenza, Coralee, The Wienerschnitzels, Joshua Wright and The Swells. Free parking is available at 446 East High Street.
▪ Following the success of this summer’s Chihuly at Maker’s exhibition, the Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto is extending the exhibit of works by glass artist Dale Chihuly through Dec. 3. Summer tourism at the distillery was up almost 40 percent compared to the previous year, with Saturday evening Dinner at Chihuly Nights sold out within weeks, according to Maker’s Mark. Chihuly Nights with $20 self-guided tours will continue through Nov. 25 with additional Saturday evening dinner seatings for $100 per person at the distillery’s Star Hill Provisions added in October and November. Go to Makersmark.com to order tickets.
▪ Corto Lima, 101 West Short Street, is having a special pop-up event: On Thursday, Oct. 12, the Corto Lima team will present a Polynesian cocktail party, Tiki at Iki,with downtown hair salon The Iki Movement at 257 East Short. Tickets are $40 and include two drink tickets, heavy appetizers, tax & tip.
▪ Fida’s Caribbean Cafe has moved into the kitchen at Al’s Bar, 601 North Limestone, and is opening up a lunch buffet, beginning at noon, with Haitian coffee, Caribbean dishes and vegetarian options. The kitchen will be open until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Fida’s eventually plans to move into a separate building behind Al’s as a permanent restaurant.
▪ Cherry Seed Coffee House, 427 Southland Drive, formerly Southland Perk, is under new ownership. New owners Sandra and Luke Gifford have partnered with local roaster Cherry Seed Coffee to roast beans in-house. The shop is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They also have local baked goods and coffee specials daily.
▪ Broomwagon Coffee + Bikes, 800 North Limestone, has added a new drink to the coffee menu: the Dreamsicle, made with cold brew, coconut, orange juice and cream.
▪ Elmwood Stock Farm, 3520 Paris Pike in Georgetown, will host the final farm tour of the year on Oct. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. Learn how food can get to your plate without the use of chemical pesticides and the way it interacts with the soil biology. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for CSA members and free for kids.
▪ At the Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic last month, Lockbox chef Jonathan Searle won the People’s Choice award for the Grill Invitational. The winning dish? A wood fired roasted Berbere quail with watermelon rind pickles, sweet’n’sour cabbage and fresh coriander.
▪ Woodford Reserve has announced the 2017 Master’s Collection limited edition release: Cherry Wood Smoked Barley. This expression will use malted barley that has been exposed to cherry wood smoke. Cherry Wood Smoked Barley will be available beginning in November with a suggested retail price of about $100 for a 750ml bottle presented at 90.4 proof. According to the tasting notes, this one-off version has an aroma of deep caramel, brown sugar and dark chocolate covered in a layer of cherry jam; the flavor has notes of smoked almond and cherry pie filling.
▪ Has pumpkin spice peaked? No, according to a Upserve, a restaurant management platform; their survey of early fall data showed that while the dollar total of pumpkin sales isn’t surpassing last year’s figures but there more pumpkin spice items than ever before and the average price is lower than last year. According to Upserve, the last two weeks of October is peak pumpkin spice season and the more pumpkin spice items on a menu, the more people buy, with weekends being the biggest times for spicing out. According to Upserve’s restaurant and bar data, just this year, when 60 percent more pumpkin items were added to menus, sales of pumpkin-flavored items grew over 80 percent.
▪ National Public Radio has formed the NPR Wine Club in collaboration with licensed wineries and retailers, along with Direct Wines, and Wines That Rock. NPR listeners can join the club and get cases of special wines or shop directly at NPRWineClub.org. As part of the introductory offer, new members will receive the inaugural releases of three NPR-inspired wines: All Grapes Considered Malbec, Weekend Edition Cabernet Sauvignon and NPR Uncorked Merlot.