Food & Drink

It has to be a special event to be at The Mansion

The Mansion — the 155-year-old house at 1800 Newtown Pike that was opened as a restaurant 25 years ago at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort — now is open for special events only.

The building housed the hotel's executive offices before it was converted to a family-style restaurant in 1983 and transformed again in the mid-1990s into a fine dining establishment.

The historic home and grounds have always been a popular spot for weddings and private parties. It has rooms that can accommodate groups of 20 to 150.

The hotel's top dining spot now is JW's Steakhouse, which has updated its wine list and menu, and now offers early evening dinner specials. Call (859) 231-5100 or go to www.griffingatemarriott.com.

A menu fit for a new president

Stonefence Bistro, 730 Main Street in Paris, is offering a special menu on Inauguration Day in honor of President-elect Barack Obama.

Co-owner Mara Whalen said the restaurant will serve Obama favorites including chili, broccoli casserole, sautéed spinach, pumpkin pie, Hawaiian-inspired coconut shrimp and curried rice, and two Kenyan dishes — kunde (black-eyed peas and tomatoes) and nyama na irio (steak and mashed potatoes).

The restaurant is offering half-price dinners on weeknights through the end of January, and then just on Tuesday nights. Call (859) 987-1990.

Annette's keeps food, music coming

Annette's City Café, 431 Old Vine Street, is a hot spot for dining, dancing and live entertainment. On Friday, Jessie Laine Powell and the Dave McWhorter Trio will entertain, and on Saturday, Jay Flippin will perform. The Big City Brunch on Sundays now includes lighter fare, and items have been added to Annette's lunch and dinner menus. Call (859) 296-6444 or go to www.annettescatering.com.

Tasting includes six-pack to take home

Wines on Vine, 400 Old Vine Street, will have a beer tasting at 6 p.m. Thursday featuring six beers from Kentucky Eagle. Appetizers will be served. The cost is $20 and includes a six-pack to take home. Call (859) 243-0017 or go to www.winesonvine.net.

Catch a catfish buffet

Campbell's in Paris, 519 Main Street, is serving a catfish buffet from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Included are corn bread salad, fresh kale, and macaroni and cheese. Cost is $14.95. Call (859) 987-5164.

bd's accommodates special diets

Bd's Mongolian Grill is focusing on Fun Fit Food for patrons who are on heart-healthy, gluten-free or vegetarian diets.

At bd's, customers create their own stir-fry from a selection of meats, seafood, fresh vegetables and sauces. Nutrition information is available for sauces and includes fat content, carbohydrates and cholesterol. Two sauces, spicy buffalo and lemon, are gluten-free.

Bd's is at 2309 Sir Barton Way. Call (859) 264-0686 or go to www.gomongo.com.

Do you sense a theme?

Lilly's Bistro in Louisville is celebrating its 22nd birthday. On Feb. 5 and 6, Lilly's will offer 22 savory and 22 sweet dishes priced from $2 to $22. Everything will be offered in small-plate format. Call (502) 451-0447.

He made the better burger

It was Harold Cohen's burger that won Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown.

Cohen, 74, a retired plastic surgeon from Hollywood, Fla., won $25,000 and the opportunity for his recipe to be featured on the menu at T.G.I. Friday's restaurants nationwide. Cohen's pimento cheese burger was the inspiration for Friday's triple stacked burger, a beef patty with a zesty red pepper pimento blend of sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, topped with ham, crispy bacon and pickles, stacked on a toasted bun.

Instead of chopping the ham in with the patty as Cohen did, the chefs at Friday's stacked it on the burger with the bacon.

Among those competing with Cohen was Brigitte Nguyen of Lexington, who showed off her Vietnamese bistro burgers.

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