In September 2004, Hidenori Yamaguchi opened Lexington's first izakaya, or Japanese bar and grill, and in February 2008, he turned it into Japanese Express. Now, Yamaguchi's has moved on to sake and tapas.
"After struggling with many troubles associated with doing my own business for the first time and learning preferences and customs of American guests, we are ready to present this new concept," Yamaguchi said.
Yamaguchi's Sake and Tapas, 125 Codell Drive, is a "small place for those guests who like to enjoy wines, sake and small dishes, and good quality time with friends and loved ones."
Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. To learn more, go to www.sakeandtapas.com.
Sweet treats and sweet wines
Gary Doernberg is celebrating the holidays with Dessert Before Christmas at Corner Wine on Friday and Saturday.
"We'll be tasting all sorts of dessert and sweet wines, such as a late-harvest reisling and a lot of raspberry concoctions and several ports," Doernberg said.
Tastings are 2 to 6 p.m. Corner Wine is at Euclid Avenue and High Street in Chevy Chase. Call (859) 381-0990.
An Awesome opportunity
DeVassa is catering the Winter Roses party Sunday at Awesome Inc. Lounge, 348 East Main Street. The event will be 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., and entertainment will be provided by Darnell Levine, Harry Porter Trio and DJ Warren Peace. Tickets are $15. Call (859) 492-9525 or go to www.devassa.net.
Pick your celebration
It's going to be a "Very Merrick Christmas" party at Merrick Inn on Wednesday with the arrival of Santa. Mike Archer and Brown and Clark will entertain. The restaurant is at 1074 Merrick Drive. Call (859) 269-5417.
Murray's Restaurant, 3955 Harrodsburg Road, is having a "Very Murray's Christmas" party, also on Wednesday, with live music by DJ Rice. Call (859) 219-9922 or go to www.murrays-merrick.com.
Truffles from Viburnum Valley Confections will be available in gift packaging at the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturday.
The European-style truffles are made with Jamieson's 70 percent dark chocolate. Flavors include chevre, bourbon and "simply chocolate." A new item is Persian gems, which are pistachios, almonds and dried apricots dipped in Jamieson's chocolate.
The indoor farmers market is in Victorian Square, 401 West Main Street. Go to www.vvfconfections.com.
Christmas cooking done for you
If you're too busy to cook this Christmas, here are places that will do it for you.
■ Tinker's Cake Shop is making yule logs and white-chocolate peppermint cheesecake. Saturday is the deadline for Christmas orders. Call (859) 224-0639 or go to www.tinkerscakeshop.com. Tinker's is at 109 Springdale Drive, Nicholasville.
■ The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, is offering a holiday meal to enjoy at home. A single meal is $18, or $90 for dinner for six. The menu features turkey and spiral ham, and sides that include mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn pudding. The deadline for ordering is 2 p.m. Tuesday; pickup is 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to www.thejulepcup.com.
■ Lundy's Special Events will prepare the menu for a last-minute Christmas party, the holiday feast or your New Year's Eve celebration. Call (859) 255-0717.
Eating out on New Year's Eve
Dinner reservations for New Year's Eve usually fill quickly, so book your party now.
■ A la lucie, 159 North Limestone, will serve a five-course meal with entree choices that include lobster, duck, halibut and tenderloin. The cost is $50 if you dine before 7 p.m. Late seatings are $65. Stone Soup will entertain. Call (859) 252-5277.
■ Duggans American Grill, 133 East Main Street, Midway, will serve New Year's Eve dinner at the restaurant, and guests may ring in the New Year at the nearby Thoroughbred Theater, 127 East Main Street. The menu features barbecue-grilled shrimp cocktail, grilled Angus petit filet mignon with roasted asparagus, and strawberry shortcake. The cost is $45. Call (859) 846-4373 or go to www.duggansmidway.com.
Doodle's takes a holiday break
Doodle's Breakfast and Lunch, 262 North Limestone, will be closed from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1. The restaurant will reopen at 8 a.m. Jan. 2. Call (859) 317-8507 or go to www.doodlesrestaurant.com.