Lexington Pasta, 962 Delaware Avenue, will be opening Pasta Garage Italian Cafe in early June, according to co-owner Lesme Romero. "You will be able to come in, pick out your shape of pasta, your sauce and eat on the spot, while you watch us make the pasta in the back," he said. The restaurant will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to start, then add dinner hours in about three months.
■ Spiceracks Kitchen, 255 West New Circle Road, has opened in the former location of Ho-Ho Chinese Express. Owner Matius Tanmas said his restaurant features Asian fusion, Chinese, Japanese, and ethnic foods, including daily bento lunch specials, noodle soups and stir fries. It's open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. See the menu at Spiceracks Kitchen on Facebook; call (859) 299-6880.
■ Mark your calendars: Mark Bittman, the New York Times op-ed columnist and best-selling author of How to Cook Everything, will speak at Locust Grove on Sept. 9. Money raised will go toward two new programs, one at The Berry Center and one at Locust Grove. The Berry Center, named for author Wendell Berry, is raising underwriting funds for farmers and other agricultural-related businesses in rural Kentucky. Locust Grove is seeking funds to research the agricultural history of the Greater Louisville area in the early 19th century for educational programming and a future historic garden. Tickets are $125 and limited to 200 guests. The reception includes a bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres made by James Beard Award-winning chef Kathy Cary of Lilly's restaurant in Louisville. Call (502) 897-9845
■ Seedleaf's 2015 Tour de Coops: Selfie Scramble, a chicken coop tour organized by CLUCK!, will be 1 to 4 p.m. May 24. Come see how chickens make good neighbors and learn how friends, family and coworkers are discovering the joy of keeping chickens. There's an after-party at Southern States, 2570 Palumbo Drive, from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring live music, grilled burgers and hot dogs, a question-and-answer discussion on responsible urban chicken keeping with University of Kentucky poultry extension associate Jacquie Jacob, and a chicken coop raffle. Event tickets are $7, free for ages 12 and younger. Get tickets at Pet Wants, Southern States Lexington, Good Foods Market and Café, North Lexington Veterinarian Clinic, Alfalfa Restaurant, or at Clucklex.org.
■ Keeneland will host Encore! on May 30 in the sales pavilion. The fundraiser for OperaLex will feature Metropolitan Opera stars Gregory Turay and Cynthia Lawrence, both faculty members at the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre in Lexington. Dinner in the Limestone Café will feature a four-course tasting menu designed and prepared by Keeneland's chef de cuisine Ed Boutilier, accompanied by a course-by-course wine pairing. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Reserved patron's tables are $1,250 (for four) or $2,500 (eight), and individual tickets are $125 at Operalex.org/encore.
■ Good Foods Market and Café, 455 Southland Drive, will kick off summer with a free sampling cook-out from 5 to 7 p.m. May 29 featuring Marksbury Farm beef sliders on Sunrise Bakery buns, dressed with Howard's Creek beer cheese and a Casey County organic tomato. Vegan burgers also will be available. Other sampling stations will have bean salad, vegan cole slaw, Kettle chips, summer fruit salad, Good Foods hummus with carrot chips, Brunkow bread cheese, olives, house-made strawberry shortcake, iced cafe drinks and snow cones.
■ Evan Williams Peach, from Heaven Hill Brands, has launched. Bottled at 70 proof, it's $14.99 for the 750 ml. size, but look for the $7 mail-in trial rebate.
■ Lucky Clover Farm near Richmond will sell six varieties of heirloom tomato plants at 48 Kroger stores in Eastern Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville this spring. Varieties will include Abe Lincoln, Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad, Black Mountain Pink, Cherokee Purple, Grandfather Ashlock and Kentucky Cabin. Under the Lucky Clover Farm label, they also sell jams and jellies made from locally sourced fruits. If you can't find Lucky Clover Farm tomatoes or jams and jellies at your local Kroger, try (859) 779-8522, LuckyCloverFarm@gmail.com, or the farm's Facebook page to order directly.
■ Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, 3501 Lexington Road in Harrodsburg, has a new summer menu for The Trustees' Table, created to highlight fresh vegetables and herbs straight from the farm's garden. The menu features fried chicken, fried green tomato salad, Kentucky hot brown and lots of other options. Call 1-800-734-5611, Ext. 360, to make reservations.
Shaker Village also has a series of Fresh Food Adventures lined up for the summer. Patrons could Hike for Beer, 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 27, for a bash with Country Boy Brewing, complete with seasonal buffet, for $50.
Or enjoy Dinner on the Grounds, 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 18, with garden-to-table lifestyle expert and Southern Living editor-at-large, James Farmer. Enjoy a meal prepared from Farmer's latest cookbook Dinner on the Grounds — Southern Suppers and Soirees, along with garden and design advice. The event also features Bulleit Bourbon cocktails to sip. Tickets are $110. Call (859) 734-5411
■ Burger King has broken ground for a restaurant at Bluegrass Commons, 209 Kroger Way in Versailles. The more than 3,000-square-foot store will hire 80 employees and open in late August or early September.
■ Buffalo Trace Distillery said last week that demand continues to outstrip supply, so popular brands such as Elmer T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Van Winkle and the Antique Collection (George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Thomas H. Handy, and Eagle Rare 17) will continue to be rationed and hard to find for the foreseeable future. The distillery said it won't increase pricing, discontinue brands or lower alcohol by volume. The whiskies from Buffalo Trace are benefiting from resurgence in the category as a whole. According to Nielsen, bourbon and whiskey sales grew at 6 percent for the 52 weeks ending March 28, with premium volumes up 6.2 percent and ultra premium volumes up 19 percent.