The holiday season is almost here, and restaurants and wineries are making plans.
■ To help you celebrate Thanksgiving, winemakers at Horseshoe Bend Vineyards in Willisburg recommend their Rose of Cabernet, Golden Sun and Red Jester Chambourcin for the holiday meal.
Horseshoe Bend will have tastings on Saturday and Nov. 21. The cost is $10 and includes hors d'oeuvres. A fall dinner is planned for Nov. 14 and features shepherds pie with lamb; the cost is $35.
The winery will be closed Nov. 26 for Thanksgiving, but will be open Nov. 27 and 28. Call (859) 375-0296 or go to www.horseshoebend-ky.com. The winery is at 1187 Lawson Lane.
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■ Equus Run Vineyards officially releases its 2009 Holiday Blush on Saturday. Also Saturday, the vineyard is having its 10th annual Pouring for the Pantry open house from noon to 5 p.m. To get it, bring two or more non-perishable food items for God's Pantry Food Bank. Call (859) 846-9463 or go to www.equusrunvineyards.com.
■ Hanna's on Lime, 214 South Limestone, will have a pre-Thanksgiving special Wednesday. Turkey, dressing and fresh cranberries with one side is $7.65.
Also, chef/owner Beth Hanna has implemented her "South Lime Stimulus Plan — Phase 2": Guests may pick up a card at the restaurant that will get them their 16th lunch free after buying 15. This is dine-in for lunch only, she said. Call (859) 252-6264 or go to www.hannasonlime.com.
■ Kentucky State Resort Parks will serve Thanksgiving Day buffets at all 17 restaurants. Entrees include turkey and dressing, baked ham, carved roast beef and fried chicken. Vegetables include candied yams, country-style green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy. The cost is $16.95. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Go to www.parks.ky.gov for locations and more information.
Putting the vines to bed
Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery will have a hibernation celebration as it tucks in the vines for winter. The Saturday event begins with "wine in the vines" at 5 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Roger BonDurant and the Gray Squirrels from 6 to 9 p.m. Chef Katie Payne will prepare a Kentucky Proud supper that includes butternut squash soup, barbecued chicken on the pit, purple cabbage slaw with bleu cheese, kale greens with country ham bits, sweet potato fritters, corn muffins and apple pie. The cost is $25 for dinner, $10 for entertainment only. Call (502) 839-1299 or go to www.loversleapwine.com. The winery is at 1180 Lanes Mill Road in Lawrenceburg.
Tapping into True Blue beer
Bluegrass Brewing Co. in Louisville is introducing True Blue Kentucky beer this fall.
It's a Belgian-style wit beer made with Kentucky hops and blackberries grown on Paige and Dan Short's Windstone Farm in Paris.
The beer is expected to be available in mid- to late November, but only in restaurants and bars at first, brewery owner Pat Hagan said. Details about where you can find it are being worked out, but he expects it to be on tap at several bars in Lexington and definitely at BBC, 3929 Shelbyville Road in the St. Matthews area of Louisville.
Call (502) 899-7070 or go to www.bbcbrew.com.
A menu makeover for Natasha's
Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade, has added hearty steak and pot roast dishes to its menu. Natasha's new chef, Elizabeth Maggi, formerly of Phat Pies, once lived in Key West, Fla.; during her time there she created her own recipe for shrimp scampi. It's served with garlic-lemon butter sauce and whole-wheat pasta. Maggi also brought her specialty, chicken pot pie, to Natasha's. The new menu also offers sandwiches and a children's menu. Call (859) 259-2754 or go to www.beetnik.com.
Closing, but only temporarily
Often when a restaurant closes for vacation, rumors fly about the business.
When you see the sign on the door at Istanbul Palace, rest assured it will reopen. It will close Nov. 13 and reopen Nov. 20. The restaurant, at 393 Waller Avenue, offers lunch buffets and live Turkish music on Friday night. Call (859) 231-1792.
Also closing temporarily is Thai Orchid Café. It will be closed Thursday through Dec. 2.
Owners Toa and Mike Green will be volunteering with the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Greens and 13 other volunteers from Lexington will help build 82 homes. Thai Orchid is at 1030 South Broadway. Call (859) 288-2170.
Farmers market report
The Lexington Farmers Market continues to operate outdoors on Saturday in Cheapside Park and on Short Street behind the Lexington History Museum. Weekday markets are Tuesdays and Thursdays at South Broadway and West Maxwell Street. Seasonal items include winter squashes, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cooking greens, fresh herbs, artisan cheeses, beef, chicken, and turkey.