Food & Drink

Great Mexican eatery is coming out of 'hiding'

Wine tastings are offered during the summer concert series at Equus Run Vineyards in Midway.
Wine tastings are offered during the summer concert series at Equus Run Vineyards in Midway.

Sometimes when you find a great little out-of-the-way restaurant, you keep it a secret so you won't have to wait for a table. It seems that is what has happened at La Marquesa Mexican Restaurant, 165 East Reynolds Road.

It had been a grocery store for years, and the owners, Gloria and Marcos Moreno, turned it into a restaurant a while back. It's behind Captain D's Seafood Restaurant and not noticeable from the street, so customer traffic has been slow. But word is getting out about the handmade tamales.

Gloria Moreno makes tamales with cheese and jalapeño, chicken and green sauce, pork and red sauce, and sometimes she makes chicken and pork tamales in banana leaves. "Everything is most like homemade," she said. "I make mole sauce like my grandmother made it. We cook like we were in Mexico."

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 225-4840.

Openings and new hours

Top Cats Grill and Bar has opened in the former Rumors location, 3110 Maple Leaf Drive, at Man o' War Boulevard. Owner Cheri Gustafson said Top Cats serves "tons of appetizers" and a "huge" selection of salads and sandwiches. Specialties include ribs, rib-eye steaks, crab cakes, fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (859) 523-2287.

Bill's Saloon at Connemara Golf Course is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The restaurant, in the historic 1840s plantation house at 327 Lexington Road in Nicholasville, serves salads, sandwiches and a grilled Alltech Angus hamburger, and it has Alltech's trio of beers on tap: Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Light and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Call (859) 885-4331 or go to

Special events

Equus Run Vineyards kicks off its summer concert series Saturday. Swing Street Band will entertain in the amphitheater at the winery, 1280 Moores Mill Road, Midway. Tickets for the concert and dinner buffet are $24.50 in advance. The menu includes grilled rib-eye sandwiches; vegetarian meals are available. Wine tasting is $2. Gates open at 4 p.m. Go to

Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, is celebrating summer Caribbean-style with a calypso night at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The chefs will grill jerk chicken, jerk pork, curried goat, and catfish with rock shrimp salsa. Clary Hill Farm in Anderson County is picking the first of its hot chili peppers for the dinner, including the Trinidad scorpion, scotch bonnet peppers, habaneros and ghost chili pepper. Connie Lemley in Frankfort is harvesting greens for the callaloo, a traditional Jamaican dish. Caribbean Blues will entertain. The cost is $50. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to

Jonathan at Gratz Park, 120 West Second Street, is having a seafood boil on the patio Sunday. Chef/owner Jonathan Lundy will use lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, and fresh corn and potatoes. It will be dumped promptly at 8 p.m. Dinner will be served family style and is limited to 25. The dinner is $45 and is by reservation only. Call (859) 252-4949.

Wilson Nurseries in Frankfort is having a Bluegrass Eggfest on Friday and Saturday. Sage Garden Café is smoking salmon on the Big Green Egg grill at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The menu also includes beef tenderloin. On Saturday, you can sample the winning recipes from the Eggfest Cook-off for $3. The nursery and café are at 3690 East West Connector. Call (502) 223-1488 or go

Farmers market report

Bluegrass Farmers Market is having customer appreciation day Saturday at both market locations: 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, and Mill Pond Shopping Center. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Shoppers will receive free tote bags Saturday. Go to

Woodford County Farmers Market has tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, honey, beef, pork and baked goods. Locations and hours are: Main Street in Midway, 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays; Versailles Presbyterian Church, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays; and Versailles Courthouse, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.