Ethiopian Food in the Bluegrass? This Weekend Only!

The celebrated Holly Hill Inn Winter Dinner Series—also known as Around the World in 80 Days—brightens the darkest months considerably. Each weekend January through March the amazing people at this lovely place in Midway, Kentucky present meals from a different world cuisine. It's like a series of exquisite pop-up restaurant events, all plated up in one sweet, warm spot.

This weekend, bitter cold and all, the menu features Ethiopian food, right down to the Tej cocktail and injera, the spongy pancake-ish bread made from gluten free teff that serves as a way to pick up and enjoy the many savory, spicy (but not overly "hot") dishes. While the teff won't come from central Kentucky, parts of the dinner will, including the star of Yebeg tibs:

"Yebeg tibs are made with cubed Kentucky lamb sautéed with onions, peppers, rosemary and niter kibbeh, a spiced butter unique to Ethiopian cuisine. Tibs are prepared to pay a particular compliment or respect or to commemorate a special event."

Surely getting out of the house to Eat Ethiopian constitutes the best ever antidote to cabin fever. Savoring Kentucky salutes Holly Hill Inn's ambitious efforts to enliven our food culture, support our local farms and farmers, and offer unparalleled mid-winter adventures. The Inn's newsletter about this event offers a tantalizing geography and food lesson, and provides notes for the menu, which is extraordinary enough to present here in full:

Ethiopian Feast

January 23-25


Cocktail or Wine Pairing additional


Culinary Cocktail

The Tej Cocktail

Tej honey wine, spiced rum, fresh lime juice



Dabo Kolo

Little Ethiopian pretzels


Bite-sized beef and lentil turnovers


The Platter


Served on injera bread


Doro Wat

A spicy stew of chicken, hard-boiled egg and

our own blended berbere spice mix


Yebeg Tibs

Tender cubes of Kentucky lamb shoulder sautéed with onion, pepper, rosemary and niter kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter)



Minced and spiced beef dish marinated in niter kibbeh


Gomen Kitfo

Sautéed collard greens with ginger and garlic

over a spiced fresh cheese


Kik Alicha

Split yellow lentils with ginger, turmeric, garlic and onion


Mesir Wat

Spicy red lentil stew


Yataklete Kilkil

Green beans, carrots, potatoes, cabbage

in a cardamom and ginger sauce


Queen of Sheba Green Salad

Shredded lettuces, grape tomatoes, peppers,

onions, lemon juice and olive oil





Coconut Tembleque

Creamy pudding with mangos and spiced honey



Here are the upcoming Winter Series dinner plans at Holly Hill Inn:

January 23-25: Sailing the Horn of Africa-Ethiopia

January 30-February 1: India

February 6-8: Indonesia with Brigitte Nguyen

February 13-15: Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Menu

February 16: Sweetheart Brunch

February 20-22: China

February 27-March 1: Japan

March 6-8: Omaha — Prime Beef

March 13-15: Ireland

March 16: St. Patrick’s Day Brunch

March 20-22: London in 2014

Sponsors mentioned in this post: Holly Hill Inn. Additional sponsor information here and in the site footer.

Photo Credit: marekuliasz. Thank you!


Rona RobertsComment