by Nancy Stiles
'Tis the season for pub crawls! The holiday events keep comin', and while some may choose more, ahem wholesome activities this weekend, like decorating cookies or meeting Santa, some will be traipsing through the city bedecked in their holiday best (or worst). Check out our food-related recommendations after the jump.
Friday (Dec. 13):
"For the 26th annual Beast Feast on December 13, Missourians go super local: The dinner is based around wild game donated by local hunters. Hosted by Stone Hill Winery (1110 Stone Hill Highway; 800-909-9463) in Hermann, the terroir-heavy fundraiser benefits the Gateway Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The night begins with a silent auction and appetizers. The live auction begins during dinner, with a father-son auctioneer team. Many of the auction items are donated by Hermann businesses, like bed and breakfast stays, wildlife prints and older vintages of Stone Hill wine. Tickets, which include appetizers, drinks and dinner, require a $60 donation. Reservations are required; call the LLS at 1-800-264-2873."
Bissell presents its annual Christmas show, the interactive murder-mystery A Christmas Killing. Shows take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from now through December. The cost per seat is $52.95 per person and includes a four-course meal with entree options such as an eight-ounce New York strip and baked white fish with an almondine sauce. Call 314-533-9830 for reservations.
Saturday (Dec. 14):
"f you're looking for that perfect gift for the beer enthusiast in your life, you can't do much better than taking them down to the International Tap House's (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333) annual "Nightmare Before Christmas," held this Saturday, December 14, at the Soulard location and the following Saturday, December 21, at Chesterfield location -- both events begin at noon so be ready for a full day of imbibing. The theme here is "big and scary beers" -- translation, dark and heavy. These rich beers were brewed with coffee beans, aged in bourbon barrels and infused with smoke. Check out the full tap list here." Admission is free.
"It won't be long now till Santa makes his rounds from house to house, filling stockings with care and leaving presents under the tree for all the darling do-gooders on his list. But this Saturday, Santa takes some well-deserved time out for himself and makes an altogether different kind of round. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Franklin's Pub (728 Lafayette Avenue; 314-436-7664) hundreds of thirsty Santas converge on Soulard for the Soulard SantaCon, a pub-crawl parade through that neighborhood's finest drinking establishments. And unlike Christmas night, when one Santa is enough to serve the world, tonight the more Santas who show up the better. So don your finest red-and-white furred pajamas, grab your sack and join the party. Admission is free."
Brave enough to wear your ugly sweater in public? Start this Tower Grove pub crawl at Colorado Bob's (3457 Morganford Road; 314-772-7564) and hop on down to Stella Blues, Tower Bar, Amsterdam Tavern and Three Monkeys. A $15 ticket gets you a beer or well drink at each stop. You can buy tickets the day of at Colorado Bob's or at any participating bar ahead of time. Start time is 6 p.m.
Continue for the rest of the weekend's events.
The St. Louis Botanical Garden's Butterfly House is pairing with Noodles & Company for a pasta dinner with Santa. There is also cookie decorating, hot cocoa, night walks through the Tropical Conservatory, crafts, a photo booth, ornaments, and of course, photos with Santa. Tickets are $15 for non-member adults and $20 for kids twelve and under; $13 for Garden members and $18 for Garden members' children. Reservations are required, call 636-530-0076.
Explore the bars and brews of Clayton while raising money for four local charities: Autism Speaks to Young Professionals, HavenHouse, Hope for Young Adults With Cancer and Stray Rescue. Organizers hope to raise at least $20,000 this year. Meet at Crowne Plaza Clayton starting at 4 p.m. to pick up your sweatshirt, mug and bag. The pub crawl and shuttles begin at 8 p.m. from Crowne Plaza. Then head to the Plaza Grill & Restaurant, Bar Napoli, BARcelona Tapas, Barrister's, Cardwell's, C.J. Mugg's, J. Buck's, JPF, Molly Darcys, Roxane, and Wheelhouse. Tickets are $28 and required for participation, available here.
For the second time, Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588) is putting together a brunch specifically aimed at the Saturday beer crowd. "We have been piggy-backing onto beer events so the beer community can lay a base layer down before going out drinking," says chef Rick Lewis. Why not hit up Kegs & Eggs before heading to iTap's Nightmare Before Christmas? Choose from entrees like carmelized apple pancakes with bourbon laced maple syrup, friend green tomatoes and eggs, fried chicken for breakfast and "The Quincy Street Hangover." Each entree comes with your choice of a draft craft beer. Brunch available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sunday (Dec. 15):
The gingerbread-house-making class this weekend is already sold out, but you can still stop by for some couture cookie cutting. Culinary educator Rebeca Graboyes will teach you how to make fabulous holiday cookies like holly, snowflakes, wreaths and more. You'll also learn fancy decorating techniques like outlining, flooding, feathering and use sanding sugar and dragees. Class is $55 per person; register here.
Every Sunday night you can enjoy a feast of local produce and meats at Chaumette Winery in Ste. Genevieve. This week, it's cream of sweet potato soup, spinach with simple vinaigrette and toasted walnuts, boneless roasted chicken stuffed with dried fruit, brioche, herbs and celery, plus Dempsey Farm winter squash hash and caramelized brussels sprouts. $18 per person, $7.45 for kids twelve and under. Call 573-747-1000 for reservations. From 5 to 8 p.m.