Restaurant News & Reviews

Edible piano takes the cake at Jordan Smith’s wedding

Jordan Smith playing his groom's cake

Brandi Romines of Happy as a Lark Cakes created The Voice winner Jordan Smith's groom's cake that played music.
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Brandi Romines of Happy as a Lark Cakes created The Voice winner Jordan Smith's groom's cake that played music.

When The Voice winner Jordan Smith married Kristen Denny on June 25, they wanted something extra special for their wedding cakes. Brandi Romines of Happy as a Lark Cakes delivered.

In addition to a custom-made five-tier pink and white wedding cake, she made a groom’s cake in the shape of piano that actually played. Romines used an electronic keyboard and speakers in the lighted “stage” underneath the piano for the sound.

“Everything from the keys back was cake,” she said, including the tiny photos of the Smiths on top. Ironically, the piano never actually got cut at the wedding but Smith did perform a little Heart and Soul on the keys.

Brandi Romines of Happy as a Lark Cakes created The Voice winner Jordan Smith's groom's cake that played music.

▪  Dig out your favorite pie recipe for the Great American Pie contest Friday at the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in Cheapside Park on Main Street. Deadline to enter the contest is June 29. Apply online at the Downtown Lexington Corp. website,

Pies, with recipe cards, have to be there by 10 a.m. Awards will be presented in two categories: made from scratch and semi-homemade. Awards will include first, second and third place in each category. Additionally, a special award of “prettiest pie” will also be presented.

After the judging, slices of pie, along with Chaney’s Dairy Barn ice cream, will be available for free at the Ice Cream Social hosted by Alltech. This event, held in conjunction with the pie contest, starts at noon and will last until both the pie and ice cream are gone. Call 859-335-8640 for more information.

▪  Georgia peaches are coming! H&S Citrus will bring Georgia peaches and Elliott pecans to two Lexington locations next week: On July 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., they will be at Eastland Bowling Center, 750 East New Circle Road. On July 7, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., they will be at Southland Christian Church, 2349 Richmond Road. Peaches are $36 for a 25-pound carton and pecans are $13 for a 1-pound bag.

▪  Also, The Peach Truck will be in town July 6, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at King’s Gardens, 4560 Nicholasville Road. They will be back at King’s Gardens on July 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m. as well as at other locations around the state. Check the online calendar for locations and times. Freestone (cling-free) Georgia peaches are available by the 25-pound box. The Peach Truck’s site,, also has recipes for baking, canning and freezing.

▪  Chef Ouita Michel will be on the CBS This Morning segment called The Dish on July 2. Michel will talk about summertime foods that reflect Central Kentucky and are great for picnics or grill outs, as well as Kentucky bourbon. Michel’s suggestions: an appetizer of grilled peaches wrapped in country ham, sides of Happy Jack’s sweet corn salad, black-eyed pea salad and bourbon beer bread, main dish of pork chops bourbonnais with Kentucky Bourbon Trail berry shortcake for dessert and a Woodford Thoroughbred cocktail.

▪  Enjoy some of the best food Central Kentucky women chefs have to offer at a six-course Women Chefs Series dinner July 21 at Creative Table Kitchen and Catering, 185 Pasadena Drive.

The dinner will feature the food of James Beard Award nominee chef Ouita Michel, Crank & Boom’s Toa Green, Martine Holzman of Martine’s Pastries, Lexington Diner’s chef Ranada West-Riley and Beard award-winner and Food Network star chef Elizabeth Falkner. Tickets are $100 per person, including wine pairings. Call 859-948-3125 for reservations. Proceeds will benefit Rowan County Fairness.

▪  Cork & Barrel, 2263 Nicholasville Road, is offering a Bourbon 101 class 6:30 p.m. June 29 led by bourbon industry insider and professional bourbon educator Tim Knittel, who will explain exactly what bourbon is. You’ll learn how to taste bourbon for flavor and the different styles within the bourbon category.

The tasting will include a flight of six spirits from “white dog” right off the still through multiple bourbon recipes and different types of barrels and a light appetizer plate. Tickets are $25 per person. Call 859-278-9463 to reserve a seat.

▪  Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will celebrate Filipino cuisine for International Night on June 29. From 5:30 to 9 p.m., you can get chicken adobo, pancit tofu (rice noodles with carrot, onion, red pepper and Napa cabbage in hoisin soy sauce topped with crushed peanuts, scallion and mung bean sprouts), coconut shrimp salad, lumpia (fried tofu, jicama, carrot, onion and lettuce wrapped in egg pancake topped with a sweet brown sauce, mung bean sprouts, cucumber ribbons, crushed peanuts and chopped scallions), and vegetables in coconut milk (eggplant, butternut squash, sweet potato, green beans, onion and tomato simmered in coconut milk with garlic, ginger, chilies and spices.) Call 859-253-0014 for more information.

▪  Smithtown Seafood, 501 West Sixth Street, Lexington, is participating in the James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project again this summer. The project, in its second year, is a nationwide challenge and contest to create a “better burger” by blending ground meat with mushrooms. The addition of mushrooms cuts calories, adds flavor and creates a more sustainable burger.

For the 2016 contest, Smithtown chef Jonathan Sanning created The Tapper Burger, a quarter-pound blended burger with Kentucky Proud beef and mushrooms, topped with fried oysters, Bourbon Bacon Jam, banana pepper mustard and roasted garlic aioli.

Last year’s entry, the Beef Well-ington burger, was so popular that Sanning kept it on the regular menu. Through July 31, diners vote for their favorite burgers by going to The five chefs with the most votes win a trip to New York City for the annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference in October.

▪  On July 9, from 10 a.m. to noon, Shaker Village, 3501 Lexington Road in Harrodsburg, will host an Urban Farming Roundtable. Learn techniques to maximize space and resources. Tickets are $25 per person, which includes a 20 percent off dining voucher. Call 800-734-5611, extension 1545, for more information. Order tickets online at At 5:30 p.m., there will be an urban farm tasting, too.

On July 10, Shaker Village also will offer Becoming an Urban Farmer from 10 a.m. to noon with tips on preparing seed starts for fall crops and how to establish a high-intensity garden in your backyard, patio or rooftop. Tickets are $35 per person, available online.

For $65 per person, you also could participate in the Hike for Beer with a Twist, which will feature Goodwood Brewing. Enjoy a short hike to a secret location for a summertime bash with a seasonal buffet, music and local brews. Tickets available online at

▪  Wilderness Trail Distillery, 4095 Lebanon Road in Danville, said fans should expect a shortage of its popular Harvest Rum, made with locally grown sorghum molasses and aged in used bourbon barrels, for the rest of the year.

“Due to increased demand across the state, we have sold out of our inventory. What is on the shelves in stores and the limited quantity available at the distillery gift shop is all that will be available until the next small batch bottling happens at the end of the year,” the distillery announced.

Wilderness Trail recently announced a major expansion that will allow them to increase capacity. They are now producing wheated Kentucky bourbon and offering tours at the new distillery. The visitors center is located in the historic Willis Grimes house. Tours are available Thursday through Saturday every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free tastings available Monday through Saturday.

▪  Butchertown Grocery, 1076 East Washington Street in Louisville, has launched its new summer lunch menu featuring salads, sandwiches and smaller portioned entrees. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday with prices ranging from $9 to $25.

Dishes include watermelon gazpacho with tomato, crema, pistachio and basil, served with toast for $12; avocado tartine with poached farm egg, arugula, citrus and pickled red onion, served with chips for $12; summer squash & zucchini with pepitas, alfalfa sprouts and roasted tomato for $16; and miso glazed salmon with baby bok choy, Marcona almonds and tea broth for $18.

The dinner menu will also include seasonal featured additions based on summer ingredient availability. Call 502-742-8315 for reservations.

Happy Jack’s Sweet Corn Salad

By chef Ouita Michel

Lime aioli:

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

Zest of ½ lime

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

2 teaspoons chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

5 to 6 ears fresh sweet corn in the husk

Garnish: Crumbled Feta cheese, thinly sliced scallions and chopped cilantro, chipotle chile powder

For the aioli:

Blend all ingredients together with a whisk in a small bowl. Chill.

For the corn:

Cook the corn, still in the husk, by roasting in the oven, boiling in salted water or grilling. Cooking the corn in the husk makes removing the silk and husk much easier. While still warm but cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels from the cob and place in a large bowl. Toss with the lime aioli and garnish with feta cheese, scallions and chopped cilantro, then dust with chipotle powder.