Adnan and Najla Ahmad have opened Grape Leaf Mediterranean restaurant in the former Istanbul Palace space at 393 Waller Avenue. The menu features organic meats, and entrees include grilled chicken, shawarma, kebabs and lamb chops. The specialty dessert is kanafa, made with semolina, cheese and homemade syrup and fresh pistachios, and served hot.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. A buffet is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays for $7.95, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for $9.95. Call (859) 231-1792 or go to www.grapeleafky.com.
A reason to celebrate
Sahara Mediterranean Cuisine, 3061 Fieldstone Way in Beaumont Shopping Center, will be closed Friday. Chef Sam Sayyed and the staff will be traveling to Covington to celebrate with Sayyed as he becomes an American citizen. Sayyed is from Amman, Jordan.
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The restaurant also will be closed June 15 to July 25 for vacation. Call (859) 224-1138.
Take a jar home
The Julep Cup is launching a signature line of condiments and preserves. The products will be introduced at a "spring pickle and preserve" dinner Friday and Saturday.
The menu includes pickled beet and pork rillette salad with goat cheese cream; mushroom crusted Maine diver scallop with green tomato chow-chow; Bob White quail with a sun-dried cherry and barley stuffing, and cipollini onion jam; Colorado lamb chop with a parsnip-potato puree, lambs lettuce and fig preserves; and aborio rice pudding with plum compote, caramelized condensed milk and mint julep syrup. Cost is $55.
Products include pickled beets, $5; green tomato chow-chow, $5, cipollini onion jam, $8; fig preserves, $8; plum compote, $8, and mint julep syrup, $5. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to www.thejulepcup.com.
Two restaurants are getting an early start on Memorial Day weekend.
■ Merrick Inn, 1074 Merrick Drive, is having a luau party on the patio Thursday. A pig roast will be accompanied by grilled pineapple, Merrick's potato salad and cole slaw, and $5 pineapple martinis. Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call (859) 269-5417.
■ Murray's Restaurant, 3955 Harrodsburg Road, is having a Blues, Bourbon & BBQ party Thursday. Woodford Reserve and Bourbon Review magazine will offer free samples. Willie Eames will play acoustic blues from 6 to 8 p.m., and the Tall Boys will entertain from 9 to 11. Call (859) 219-9922.
■ Sarah's Corner Café will celebrate its first anniversary May 29. The first $500 in sales that day will go to the Lexington Humane Society. The café is at 4300 Winchester Road, at Cleveland Road. Call (859) 309-1220.
■ The Taste of the Bluegrass, God's Pantry's annual fund-raiser, will be 7 to 11 p.m. Friday at the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center at Keeneland. Tickets are $65. Call (859) 288-5332 or go to www.godspantry.org.
■ Lovers Leap Vineyards, 1180 Lanes Mill Road, Lawrenceburg, is having a pizza palooza from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. The Patty Butcher Trio will entertain. Tickets are $20. Call (502) 839-1299.
■ Beginning May 30, Holly Hill Inn will prepare a monthly local harvest Sunday buffet dinner. All foods will be locally produced. This month's menu will feature Hickory Run Farm's roast chicken. Cost is $35. The regular menu also is available. The inn is at 426 North Winter Street. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to www.hollyhillinn.com.
■ P.F. Chang's China Bistro introduces a wine that's created exclusively for the chain. Vineyard 518 was created in partnership with California winery Wattle Creek. The name was inspired by Chinese numerology; the number 518 means "I will prosper." The first two varietals available under the label are a sauvignon blanc and a syrah blend. P.F. Chang's is at 3405 Nicholasville Road. Call (859) 271-1165 or go to www.pfchangs.com.
Farmers market report
Bluegrass Farmers Market will have strawberries, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, baked goods, greens, honey, herbs and plants. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The market is on Richmond Road in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs. Go to www.localharvest.org/blog/29529.