December is such a hectic time for busy families juggling work and school along with holiday concerts, parties, shopping, and travel. Whether you’re looking for an opportunity to slow down and treat yourself amid the bustle of the season, spend some quality time with the kids, or let someone else do the cooking for the big holiday meals, here are a few hand-picked events to help add even more shimmer to your December.
If you’re looking for some fun community-oriented dinners, look no further than the Homegrown Revival, which will stage two dinners this month. On Sunday, December 9, Chef Sonya Cote and hunter Tink Pinkerton team up with the HOPE Farmers’ Market folks for HOPE For the Holidays, a locally sourced meal featuring Peeler Farms poultry and benefiting the HOPE Foundation’s community programs. For more information, visit the HOPE FM Supper Club series or Homegrown Revival’s websites.
Perhaps fermented noms are more your speed. In that case, check out Slow Food Austin’s annual Beer and Cheese pairing showcasing handcrafted suds from 512 Brewing and cheeses from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop on Thursday, December 13. For more information, check out Slow Food Austin’s event page on Facebook.
Oenophilic cinephiles who also like to support the local food community will want to mark their calendars for this Monday, December 3, to attend the Sideways feast at the Alamo Drafthouse as part of Edible Austin’s Eat Drink Local Week. The film is accompanied by a four-course meal comprising fresh, local ingredients; each course is paired with a carefully selected Pinot Noir. Click here for tickets or more information.
For something a bit more family friendly, why not decorate a gingerbread house together at La Patisserie? On Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, families can purchase a large ($40) or small ($30) gingerbread house to decorate (and Mom and Dad can enjoy a latte and a macaron while you’re at it).
Want to win your cookie swap? Sign up for cookie decorating classes at Blue Baker in the Arboretum on either Saturday, December 8 or Saturday, December 15. $100 gets you mad cookie-decorating skillz, a dozen cookies to take home, and $10 credit toward a future meal. (I recommend the Tejas Blue sandwich.)
How about a little Chanukah cheer? On Saturday, December 9, celebrate Chanukah in the Hood at Central Market North Lamar. From 12-3pm, play dreidel, do arts and crafts, dance to the tones of the Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour (and others), and munch on latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts).
The following restaurants plan to serve you on Christmas Day with sumptuous buffets:
Finally, if you’re feeling like ringing in the New Year in downtown style, the W Hotel will offer a Coast-to-Coast New Year’s Eve party featuring “dinner-by-the-bite” small plates featuring the flavors of three other W properties: New York, Scottsdale, and Hollywood, three champagne toasts, and live music from Austin’s own Quiet Company.
For a smaller-scale – but no less fabulous, of course – ring in 2013 on the deck at Paggi House. Call 512-473-3700 for more information and reservations.