Alfalfa Restaurant is offering a "Low-Stress Black Friday" for shoppers who want to stay away from the shopping meccas but get some gift-buying done.
The restaurant, 141 East Main Street, has a new collection of T-shirts and gift cards that are a miniature painting by John Lackey of Homegrown Press. The gift cards may be purchased in any amount and may be reloaded.
In keeping with the Black Friday theme, Alfalfa will offer a couple of specials at lunch and dinner: blackened tilapia and "bargain hunter" chicken. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner. Call (859) 253-0014 or visit Alfalfarestaurant.com.
Holiday gift ideas
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■ Oliva Bella has holiday gift boxes for the foodie on your list. Boxes include a variety of extra virgin olive oils. A small box, $80, includes a bottle of Sardo or Delicato olive oil, a jar each of house-made cipollini and pomodori, and two bags of benedetto cavalieri pasta. A large box, $150, features two bottles of Sardo and Delicato, one bottle of 8-year-aged balsamico di Modena, a jar each of house-made cipollini and pomodori, and two bags of benedetto cavalieri pasta. Oliva Bella is at 400 Old Vine Street. Call (859) 983-3567or go to Olivabella.com.
■ Beginning Dec. 2, Holly Hill Inn chef Sara Gibbs will have gift boxes of homemade cookies, truffles and Chef Ouita's Woodford Reserve snack mixes ready for gift-giving. The items will be for sale at the inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, and its sister restaurants, Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles; and Windy Corner Market, 4595 Bryan Station Road, Lexington. Call (859) 846-4732.
Also, Holly Hill is offering holiday luncheons during the season. A three-course menu includes country ham biscuits or baked baby brie with pecan caramel and sea salt, Weisenberger blue corn meal-crusted catfish, gratin of roast turkey and wild rice, and roulade of pork tenderloin and buckwheat crepes florentine. Pastry chef Carrie Warmbier has created a special dessert menu, including traditional Kentucky jam cake with caramel icing. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday through Dec. 23, and Dec. 28 to 30. The cost is $18. Call (859) 846-4732.
■ Botanica, 6327 Old Richmond Road, will have its annual Christmas market and bazaar from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Beer cheese, herb seasonings, jams, fresh wreaths and garlands, and crafts will be available from Kentucky Proud vendors. Call (859) 806 9424.
■ Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, will serve braised pork riblets and polenta, and slow-cooked pork riblet meat with a creamy Parmesan and roasted red bell pepper polenta. Call (859) 259-2754 or visit Beetnik.com.
■ The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, will have oyster stew with andouille oyster crackers, Arctic char with cranberry brown butter, duck confit and pumpkin ravioli with foie gras, and venison tenderloin. Call (859) 226-0300.
■ Greentree Tearoom, 521 West Short Street, serves a festive holiday menu for December. Included are tomato bisque, cinnamon chip scone with strawberry jam, cheese timbale with roasted red pepper coulis, curried tomato rounds, cucumber-dill and ham salad tea sandwiches, cranberry tea cookies, bourbon balls and red velvet cupcakes. Tea is served at noon Tuesday through Saturday. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.
■ Josie's Grab & Go, 821 Chevy Chase Place, now is serving dinner. The menu includes salmon cakes, open-faced sandwiches and a build-your-own pasta dish. Call (859) 523-8328 or go to Josiesgrabandgo.com.
■ Rodney's on Broadway, 222 North Broadway in Georgetown, will offer a festive drink menu for the holiday season beginning Dec. 1. Included are "candy cane lane," "winter wonderland," "merry berry" and "turtle dove" martinis. Call (502) 868-7637 or go to Rodneysonbroadway.com.
■ Bella Notte, 3715 Nicholasville Road, starts its new winter menu Tuesday. Included are wood-fire grilled salmon with pomegranate molasses barbecue, grilled pork chop with roasted Granny Smith apples, roasted semi-boneless half-chicken, and fresh bucatini pasta with creamy northern Italian veal and pork ragout. For dessert, there's roasted banana bread pudding with a toasted oat streusel crumble. Call (859) 245-1789 or go to Bellalexington.com.
■ Bd's Mongolian Grill, 2309 Sir Barton Way, has some new recipes for guests to prepare their stir-fry dishes. Through Dec. 31, guests may create their own holiday feast with beef tenderloin, lamb and cheese tortellini. New items on the menu include orange-glazed fried shrimp, beef pot roast soup and wintermint brownie sundae. Call (859) 264-0686 or go to Gomongo.com.
■ Lexington Seafood, 867 East High Street, has fresh oysters and smoked fish for your holiday meals. Call (859) 266-8888 or go to Lexseafood.com.