The Feast of the Seven Fishes returns to Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, on Dec. 16. The dinner, which begins at 7 p.m., honors the Italian tradition of serving a feast without meat on Christmas Eve. The dining room will be arranged in communal tables for the evening, and the meal will be served family style on platters to be passed. The dinner is $65 a person plus tax and tip; call 859-296-1007 for reservations. Unlimited table wine is $20.95 a person. Mention that you were sent from Glean KY or St. Peter Claver church when making your reservations, and $10 of your meal will be donated to the charity of your choice.
The feast menu includes fried calamari; garlic marinated shrimp and mussels salad, linguine with clams, risotto with grilled octopus, tuna crudo with citrus, scallops with squash ravioli, roasted snapper, and broccolini with burrata and slow-roasted garlic. For dessert, there’s butterscotch and chocolate pudding, and ricotta, honey and raspberry fritters.
▪ JDI Grille & Tavern, 319 Cedar Street, will host a Spirits & Suds dinner on Dec. 15 featuring master distiller Mark Coffman and master brewer Ken Lee from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. The dinner begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. includes beer and spirit flights to go with a pork slider, brisket slider, smoked salmon, ribs and fries. In honor of the 15th anniversary of Kentucky Ale’s Bourbon Barrel Stout, the flight will feature a stout aged for three years in bourbon barrels. It’s $40 a person; call 859-246-0202 for reservations.
▪ Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, will hold a holiday open house 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19. Chef Carrie Warmbier will have samples of several holiday baked goods, cider, hot chocolate and more. You can pick up treats for gifts, including a vanilla cranberry shortbread cookie box, a winter fireside snack box, jumbo cookie bags, a poinsettia baby cake, holiday cookie cakes, hot drink mixes, snack mixes and spiced pecans in a holiday bag. Also find the classic Kentucky jam cake, served during the holidays at Holly Hill Inn.
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Pies also are available, including pumpkin, chocolate bourbon pecan, pecan, sour cream apple, peanut butter, and traditional mincemeat pie, which became a customer favorite in its debut in 2014. Gift boxes and gift cards are available.
▪ Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, is open daily in December for its annual holiday luncheon. The restaurant, decorated for the Christmas season, also is open Wednesday-Saturday for dinner. Chef Ouita Michel has created an Italian holiday menu for the season. Reservations available 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch and beginning at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Group and private room reservations are available for lunch or dinner. Menu is also available at Sunday brunch. Cost for prix fixe lunch or brunch is $20. Prix fixe dinner begins at $45. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to Hollyhillinn.com for more information.
▪ Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which serves spicy and mild fried chicken, seafood and signatures sides like red beans and rice and crawfish, will open at New Circle and Old Paris Pike on Dec. 27, according to the sign out front.
▪ North Lime Coffee and Donuts, 575 North Limestone, has added cakes to the lineup of goodies. Custom cakes are made at the North Lime at 3101 Clays Mill Road; customers can pick them up at either location. Go to Northlimecakery.com for pricing. Cake orders take 10 days notice, so if you want something for the holidays, call (859) 903-5648.
▪ Equus Run Vineyards, 1280 Moores Mill Road in Midway, has released its annual holiday label. The Holiday Blush 2015 features a mare and foal in the snow. Call 859-846-9463 for availability. According to the winery, the wine is a sweeter rose, akin to white zinfandel, with a nose of cantaloupe and citrus and tastes of fresh strawberries, watermelon and cherry.
▪ Looking for a quick fix for your sweet tooth? Ready to Bake has pouches of cake, muffin and brownie batter that you can pour and bake. There’s even a glutten-free option. From the French gourmet goodies maker PrePat’33, the mixes are sold locally in Meijer for about $4 each. (I tried the samples they sent and they are pretty tasty; especially the salted caramel lava cakes.)
▪ Lucie’s Red Light, the new restaurant from chef Lucie Slone Meyers, received more than $40,000 in pledges on Kickstarter. She hopes to open the new place by March.
▪ Still hoping to give someone a special bottle of bourbon for the holidays? Capital Cellars, 227 West Broadway, is drawing names for who gets to buy their bottles of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, Pappy Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year, and Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year. They will draw names every Tuesday at 7 p.m. You must be present to win; tickets to enter the raffle are given out from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 502-352-2600.