Dec. 14, 2005

NEWS Even though winter's hit, you don't have to kiss fresh market produce goodbye: Winter Farmers Markets are coming to two popular locations. The U District Winter Farmers Market,in the playfield at University Heights Center at the corner of University Way Northeast and Northeast 50th Street, will offer those same fresh fruits and veggies, meats, and baked goods every Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon, from Dec. 31 through Feb. 25. The West Seattle Winter Farmers Market will set up in the parking lot behind Key Bank on the corner of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street every Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon, from Jan. 8 through Feb. 26. Rain, snow, or shine can't stop these markets! For information, call the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, 206-632-5234. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most of the following events. Prices exclusive of tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. 'TIS THE SEASON . . . FOR HOLIDAY DINNERS! Saturday, Dec. 24 Spend Christmas Eve at Cascadia with an elegant five-course meal featuring the traditional roast Christmas goose (salmon and prime rib are also available). Other courses include wild mushroom bisque, lobster salad, and even a dessert buffet that offers a whole new way to indulge during the holidays. $65/adult, $12/children under 12. 4–8 p.m. 2328 First Ave., 206-448-8884, BELLTOWN Kaspar's is serving a Christmas Eve feast for anywhere from a few people to a crowd. The meal begins with appetizers like smoked black cod on roasted cauliflower served family-style, and continues with rabbit and rosemary polenta gratin, barley and oyster mushroom risotto, and a dessert sampler. $45. 4:30 p.m. 19 W. Harrison St., 206-298-0123, LOWER QUEEN ANNE Celebrate the night before Christmas at Tulio Ristorante with executive chef Walter Pisano's special feast, to include branzino with roasted fingerlings and Meyer lemon jam ($28), and crab ravioli with herbs and sweet butter ($20). 5–9 p.m. 1100 Fifth Ave., 206-624-5500. DOWNTOWN Sunday, Dec. 25 The Sorrento Hotel hosts a Christmas Day dinner for those hoping to avoid more dirty dishes! Stop by and enjoy homemade smoked salmon and corn chowder, boneless veal rib roast, and an assortment of desserts (like bittersweet chocolate tart and eggnog crème brûlée) that will put even your most impressive holiday presents to shame. $75. Noon–8 p.m. (call for reservations). 900 Madison St., 206-622-6400, DOWNTOWN McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Bellevue is serving a festive prime rib dinner for the holidays in addition to their signature fresh sheet. Price depends on dishes. Noon–8 p.m. 700 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-454-2606, BELLEVUE Saturday, Dec. 31 Drop by Szmania to take in a special early feast before heading on to other festivities. Their à la carte menu includes rack of lamb, grilled tenderloin with foie gras, roasted pheasant, and other dishes. Appetizers include Maine lobster chowder and salads, and there's a varied dessert selection. If you're planning to celebrate the big moment at the restaurant, Szmania also offers a Midnight Dinner, a prix-fixe four-course dinner with a champagne toast. Prices vary for the early dinner; $22/child for three-course meal (seating from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.). For late dinner, $59/person without champagne, $65/person with champagne (seating at 9 p.m.). 3321 W. McGraw St., 206-284-7305. MAGNOLIA All four BluWater Bistro locations will host New Year's parties with a four-course filet mignon and lobster tail dinner, complete with a midnight champagne toast and party favors! Begin with a truffled cream of wild mushroom soup, and move on to salad, the main course, and chocolate and pistachio terrine for dessert. $39.95. Locations in Green Lake (206-524-3985), Lake Union (206-447-0769), Leschi (206-328-2233), and Belltown (206-728-2000). Ring in the New Year at Teatro ZinZanni with entertainment by Kevin Kent as Miss Mabel Dean, El Vez, blues singer Francine Reed, and a five-course feast designed by chef Tom Douglas! A champagne toast, midnight buffet, and dancing will carry the festivities late into the night. $250. 7:30 p.m. 2301 Sixth Ave., 206-802-0015, BELLTOWN Maximilien plans a festive New Year's dinner with the cabaret group Rouge, who will perform while diners welcome 2006. The menu includes everything from fresh oysters to traditional Provencal fish soup to organic salmon tartar, plus a variety of desserts and side dishes. $70. Seating from 6–6:15 p.m. and 8:45–9 p.m. 81 Pike St. #A, 206-682-7270, PIKE PLACE MARKET The New Year also rings in at Canlis Restaurant with an early seating option at 5 p.m. that offers a five-course prix-fixe menu for those with other midnight plans. Late seating starts at 8:45 p.m. and includes an elegant eight-course prix-fixe menu offered until 10 p.m. $95/early seating, $150/late seating. 2576 Aurora Ave. N., 206-283-3313, LAKE UNION Le Pichet's late-night party boasts the usual dinner menu (from 5 to 10 p.m.), along with specials inspired by traditional French New Year's celebrations. At 11 p.m. the countdown to the New Year begins, with live music, desserts, and a selection of champagnes and sparkling wines by the bottle or glass. No cover charge. Dinner 5–10 p.m., party 11 p.m.–2 a.m. 1933 First Ave., 206-256-1499. PIKE PLACE MARKET Cascadia rings in 2006 with a seven-course tasting menu created by chef Kerry Sear, including roast Maine lobster, fresh chop of wild boar, beef tenderloin with foie gras, and other elegant dishes for your celebration. $95. Reservations from 5 p.m. 2328 First Ave., 206-448-8884. BELLTOWN ON THE PLATE Friday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Dec. 25 Pagliacci Pizza offers the Pear Primo this season, with each slice boasting the juicy fruit along with Gorgonzola, mozzarella, and fontina cheeses, mushrooms, red onions, and walnuts. Available at all Pagliacci locations. Visit for more information. THE GRAPEVINE Thursday, Dec. 15 Take a trip around the world at the Fremont PCC with some exciting Cabernet Sauvignon–based wines from different areas. $5. 6:30–8 p.m. 600 N. 34th St., 206-547-1222 ext. 191. FREMONT BACK TO SCHOOL Wednesday, Dec. 14 Celebrate American cuisine with Bon Vivant and learn how to create a slow-cooked dinner like the old New Englanders used to do, using ingredients like pork, corn, beets, carrots, potatoes, and dried beans. These hearty dishes can cook slowly in your oven while you work on those holiday tasks. Learn all about making hot buttered cranberry cider, corn crab chowder, braised New England corned beef dinner with fall garden vegetables, Boston baked beans, and apple pandowdy. $39. 7–10 p.m. Private residence, 206-525-7537, LAKE CITY Thursday, Dec. 15 Whip up some good old French comfort food at Culinary Communion as chef Gabriel Claycamp teaches participants how to make cassoulet, the classic French winter dish. Assembling this dish can be complicated, so let Claycamp share proper techniques and steps for duck confit and braised lamb stew. $70 including meal. 6–9 p.m. Private residence. 206-284-8687, WEST SEATTLE

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