No matter how empty the fridge and pantry, you can usually come up with a meal of canned tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. A new restaurant in Hamburg is betting that you like that combination so much that you'll go out for its upscale version.
Tom+Chee, a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant, is open at 2200 War Admiral Way, near Sportsman's Warehouse in Hamburg.
The restaurant chain originated in a food tent on Cincinnati's Fountain Square in 2009 and has grown into three Cincinnati-area stores, three in Louisville, and its first one in Lexington. The store has been featured on Shark Tank, The Chew and several Travel Channel shows.
It's known for its creative renditions of the grilled cheese, including the Armagoetta (Goetta, cherry peppers, fried onions and pepper Jack cheese); hippy+chee (hummus, cucumber, mixed greens, tomato and cheddar); and pep+chee (pepperoni, tomato sauce and mozzarella). Tomato soup choices are classic, chunky and creamy.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 263-0144 or go to Tomandchee.com.
■ The Grey Goose restaurant at 509 Main Street in Paris will close Dec. 21, and new owner Cathy Vance will reopen a cafè in the historic Varden building the first of the year.
Vance, owner of Thyme Café and Catering in Paris, is expanding her business by taking over the Paris Grey Goose, which has been open a year.
Grey Goose owner Keith Clark said he will concentrate on his other restaurants — at 170 Jefferson Street in Lexington and 133 East Main Street in Midway — and opening a full-service kitchen at The Blue Heron, 185 Jefferson Street in Lexington. Go to Greygooserestaurants.com.
New Year's Eve events
■ Nick Ryan's Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, will be open regular hours on Dec. 31, serving its full menu. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner will be served until 11 p.m. Special menu additions for the evening include prime rib, lobster and pasta, and lamb. Three parking lots are now open for Nick Ryan's guests. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
■ The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, is celebrating with a "Midnight in Paris" theme. Phil Copeland and Friends will entertain. The cost is $100 including a champagne toast at midnight. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to Thejulepcup.com.
■ Winchell's Restaurant, 348 Southland Drive, will have a lobster boil, and the three-course meal includes New England clam chowder, whole lobster served with new potatoes and seasonal vegetables, apple cobbler, and champagne. The cost is $35. Call (859) 278-9424.
■ Akielo Temple Pageantry/Dancers will have breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Oleika Shrine Temple, 326 Southland Drive. The cost is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children younger than 10, and free for children younger than 3.
■ Brown's Bakery, 1226 Versailles Road, has a full line of desserts for holiday meals and parties. Included are butterscotch, chocolate meringue, pecan and pumpkin pies; bourbon chocolate pecan cake with bourbon glaze; and pecan cake with chocolate ganache. The deadline for orders is Dec. 21. Hours on Dec. 24 are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (859) 225-8400 or go to Brownbakery.com.
■ Larry Mac's Beer Cheese store, 3101 Clays Mill Road, will have a Christmas open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Along with beer cheese, guests can sample Bev's Best peanut brittle and Sondra's Wine Candy and jellies. Call (859) 967-6869 or go to Larrymacsbeercheese.com.
■ Grimes Mill Winery, 6707 Grimes Mill Road, is having a holiday open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Troubadours will entertain, and snacks will be provided by Kenny's Cheese. Call (859) 543-9691.
■ Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, is having a holiday open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Chef Carrie Warmbier will have samples of cookies, jam cake, cider and hot chocolate. The bakery staff has created boxes and bags filled with homemade cookies for gift-giving. Call (859) 846-4336.
■ Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, is having a Bouchaine wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Bouchaine representative Donna Creese will present the wines. The cost is $60. Call (859) 296-1007 or go to Azurrestaurant.com.
■ Unlimited Spirit, 404 Southland Drive, will host two master distillers who will sign bottles for holiday gift giving. Wild Turkey's Eddie Russell will be at the store 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Four Roses' Jim Rutledge will be there 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Call (859) 309-2903.