My holiday lunch at Jardinière (yes, there are two cocktails).
Holiday time means you need more locations where you can celebrate with loved ones, dine with co-workers, and tipple with fellow boozehounds. One of my favorite places to celebrate is at ~BIX~, which opens for lunch every weekday during the month of December (and not just for their usual Friday lunch). Yup, it’s martini and burger time!
Another fun option is lunch at ~JARDINIÈRE~, where you can have lunch on the first three Fridays in December (3rd, 10th, and 17th) from 11:30am-2pm. The menu includes a salad of smoked Hoffman Ranch hen ($18), an awesome bread salad with roasted artichokes and crescenza cheese ($14), a wagyu beef burger with avocado, bacon, and Fontina d’Aosta ($16), along with many other dishes (including a plate of holiday cookies for dessert). The restaurant will also be opening early at 4pm for Nutcracker performances—you can see all the Nutcracker opening dates on the website.
Up in Larkspur, ~THE TAVERN AT LARK CREEK~ will be serving a weekday lunch from December 6th to December 23rd from 11am-2pm. Items on the menu include roasted golden beets with fennel, blood orange, and farro; a turkey Cobb salad; tea sandwiches; and hand-picked Dungeness crab spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, and chile flake. You’ll also be able to partake in some refreshing cocktails. 234 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, 415-924-7766.
I was impressed with how affordable the holiday executive lunch special is at ~SEASONS~, which started today. For $20, there’s a prix-fixe lunch menu (a starter, entrée, and dessert) with a glass of sparkling wine. Potential selections include a traditional cassoulet. Available 11:30am-2:30pm.
Now, this is way off my usual tablehopper beat, but I think the ~MADRONA MANOR~ in Healdsburg is so special, and can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the winter for this event. This is the 17th year that the 1881 manor becomes the setting for the Dickens Dinners. Upon arrival, guests are served a glass of sparkling wine while enjoying the 4,000 twinkling lights on the 14-foot Christmas tree, hung with care by gardener Geno Ceccato—and it takes owners Bill and Trudi Konrad more than one week to decorate the manor’s first floor with wreaths, garlands, and more. Chef Jesse Mallgren prepares a five-course dinner (once per evening) with a seating at 6:30pm ($85 to $115 per person, and $30 additional for suggested wine pairings). Dishes include petite lobster shepherd’s pie, beef wellington, and a Christmas pudding to finish. During dinner, there are performances by carolers dressed in period clothing. There will be a 1:30pm matinee and 6:30pm dinner on Christmas Day. Make your reservation as soon as possible; 800-258-4003, or locally at 707-433-4231.