Here’s something to mitigate that post-Christmas letdown: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which at one time had two locations in Lexington, returns Dec. 27, opening at 10:30 a.m. at New Circle Road and Old Paris Pike with spicy chicken, tenders, seafood, red beans and rice, and buttery biscuits. Franchise co-owner Bill Mann said they hope to open two more locations in other areas of Lexington.
▪ The Sage Rabbit, 438 South Ashland Avenue, will have a New Year’s Eve four-course menu for $50 featuring spinach mezzaluns filled with butternut squash, smoked gouda in saffron cream; herb panko crusted scallops with creamy beet and chard risotto, with sriracha sour cream; roasted half hen with rosemary maple pan sauce, house fettuccine and roasted carrots and spinach; pan roasted halibut, saffron oil, Hoppin’ John cakes and carrot slaw; skillet-roasted rib-eye with smoked mushroom bordelaise, onion rings and wilted spinach; pork roulade with caramelized onion, rosemary in bourbon sorghum pan sauce, roasted potatoes; cherry cola braised short ribs with sweet potato mash, braised collards and cherry cocoa demi-glace; lamb tagine with local fruit, preserved tomatoes and roasted hominy; or butternut and spinach curry over basmati rice. Call 859-523-2095 for reservations.
▪ For New Year’s Eve, Woodford Reserve Distillery, 7855 McCracken Pike in Versailles, is offering a six-course dinner from chef-in-residence Ouita Michel and chef Nat Henton, featuring a bourbon-graced dinner ranging from smoked lobster salad to beef tenderloin to bourbon apple strudel. The evening starts with a flavor wheel experience alongside Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and Double Oaked. Cocktails at 5:30 p.m.; tour of the distillery at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow. Cost is $100. Reservations are required; call 859-879-1953 or email email@example.com.
▪ Bour-Bon, 616 Main Street in Paris, will have a New Year’s Eve dinner. For $69.50, you get four courses, including your pick of Caribbean red snapper with quinoa, roasted leeks, creamed spinach and beurre blanc; bacon-roasted pheasant with root puree cranberry jam and sage butter sauce; or fillet of Angus with truffled whipped potatoes and morel mushrooms. Call 859-987-1662 for reservations.
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▪ The Blue Heron,185 Jefferson Street, will have a special four-course menu for New Year’s Eve with seatings at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Cost is $75 and includes a glass of champagne. Reservations required; call 859-254-2491. Chose among: grilled 8-ounce filet with warm fingerling potato-kohlrabi salad, Point Reyes blue cheese, zinfandel reduction and fried shallots; seared black cod with lobster fritters, frisée and celery salad, sauce Americaine; slow-cooked prime rib with twice-baked redskin potatoes, roasted asparagus and au jus; braised Berkshire pork cheeks tossed with Lexington Pasta bucatini, rapini, and roasted cippolinis and trumpet mushrooms, finished with roasted garlic crème fraiche and Parmigiano reggiano; and pan-roasted duck breast with port wine-fig sauce, salsify puree, and sautéed bitter greens with duck cracklings.
▪ Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer announced that the sixth annual Cram the Cruiser food drive netted 246,705 pounds of food for Kentucky families this year. Brewer initiated the program in 2010 to assist needy families in the local post and region areas. Since then, the agency has contributed more than 780,000 pounds of food to shelters, food banks and churches across the commonwealth.
“Once again this project illustrates the tremendous partnerships and support that our agency enjoys across the commonwealth,” Brewer said. “Because of the generosity of numerous businesses and citizens, we have set another record that will help feed those in need this holiday season.”
The Henderson post is the 2015 champion, having collected 44,670 pounds of food.