If you're taking a drive to the mountains to look at fall foliage, plan your trip around a visit to The Red River Rockhouse near Red River Gorge. The restaurant is operated by climbers and photographers Aaron Brouwer and Tina Carter, local brewer August Wasilowski and climber Chad Lembree.
The Rockhouse serves burgers (poblano, bacon cheddar, barbecue, make-your-own), burritos, sandwiches (ham and brie with apple), and tuna salad. It offers indoor seating, an outdoor patio and a stand-up bar.
It's at 4000 Ky. 11, 3 miles past Natural Bridge State Resort Park. Take the Mountain Parkway's Exit 33. Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (606) 668-6656 or go to Redriverrockhouse.com.
Openings and new menus
■ The Local Taco, a popular restaurant in Nashville, now is open at 315 South Limestone in Lexington. It's in a renovated 1860s building on the restaurant row at the edge of the University of Kentucky's campus. The front opens onto the sidewalk for student gatherings. The limited menu has tacos and enchiladas, and the fillings range from smoky brisket to spicy shrimp. Menus are by the door, and you can place your order before taking a seat. Call (859) 523-3700 or go to Thelocaltaco.com.
■ Shorty's: Cellar 157 opens Saturday, next to Shorty's: The Urban Market at 157 Short Street. The grand opening is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The store offers international and Kentucky wines and select liquors. Weekly wine tastings will be held, and you can join the wine club. Call (859) 309-3810.
■ The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, is introducing its fall menu this weekend. Included are oysters Rockefeller, warm spinach and cheddar fondue, chicken livers Normandy with collard greens, and king salmon with tarragon tomato grits. Beth Mankel entertains 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday; John Hedger, 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday; and Carolyn DuPont, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 226-0300.
■ Three Suns Bistro in Nicholasville has added some heartier dishes to its menu for fall. Featured are a chicken hot Brown, bison meatballs, chicken-fried flatiron steak and braised pork chop on pumpkin polenta. Three Suns is at 298 East Brannon Road in Brannon Crossing. Call (859) 245-0048.
Specials and events
■ Chateau du Vieux Corbeau Winery in Danville will feature a vidal blanc special for October. The wine has won medals and people's choice awards. The winery is at Old Crow Farm, 471 Stanford Avenue. Call (859) 236-1808 or (859) 236-1775.
■ Orchid Flower is having a sake with plum wine tasting 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 7. The Indonesian restaurant is at 3090 Old Todds Road. Call (859) 543-1126 or visit orchidflowerrestaurant.com.
■ Marikka's Restaurant and Bier Stube, 411 Southland Drive, is celebrating Oktoberfest through Oct. 15. Dinner specials include rouladen with green beans and spaetzle, schweinshaxe with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, Black Forest cake and German chocolate cake. There will be live oompa music in the dining room from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Call (859) 275-1925 or visit Marikkas.com.
■ Reed Valley Orchard will hold its Country Festival and Back 40 Natural Walk on Saturday. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins and buy fresh-squeezed cider, jams, and apple and pumpkin butters. Entertainment includes gospel, bluegrass, pop, dulcimer and country music; line dancing; and fiddlers. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The orchard is at 239 Lail Lane in Paris. Call (859) 987-6480 or go to Reedvalleyorchard.com.
■ Wilson Farms will have its annual shrimp harvest at 11 a.m. Saturday. Ponds are in Lancaster on Ky. 1150. Look for signs. The cost is $8 a pound. Bring ice and a cooler to transport the fresh shrimp. Call (859) 339-1802 or (859) 792-1443.
■ Botanica, 6327 Old Richmond Road, is having its annual Pumpkin Harvest, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Fall decorating items for sale include Indian corn and gourds, and there will be pumpkins for children to decorate and a petting barn. Call (859) 806-9424.
■ Vina's Tearoom, 1455 Leestown Road, is closing Friday, but owner Vina Taylor will still make her popular bourbon balls, marshmallows and jam cakes. Call (859) 252-1601.
■ Oliva Bella's newest extra-virgin olive oil has arrived. Olio Delicato has a rich buttery flavor with a little spice. The wheatberry salad, drenched with house-made golden garlic dressing, returns for fall at the Tasting Room, 400 Old Vine Street. Call 859-983 3567.
Farmers market report
■ The Bluegrass Farmers Market at Mill Pond shopping center has closed for the season, but the Richmond Road spot will remain open through Oct. 29. This week, farmers will have heirloom beans, watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and eggplant. The market is at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Go to Localharvest.org/blog/29529.
■ Fall is full of activities at the Woodford County Farmers Market. Customer Appreciation Day is Oct. 15; bring your dog to the market day is Oct. 22; and kids can decorate pumpkins, squash and gourds at 11 a.m. Oct. 29. Hours and locations are 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays on Main Street in Midway, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Courthouse Square in Versailles.