by Nancy Stiles
Yep, it's finally here. The final night of Hanukkah is Wednesday, and Christmas Day is Thursday. Get in some last-minute shopping at local businesses or take a night off before the relatives (and the snow) hit and enjoy yourself. Continue on for our list of food-related recommendations.
Monday (Dec. 22):
There's one last chance to enjoy an evening with friends before everything goes crazy. Grab your best pals and sip on Hemingway's champagne mojito while you make crab-cheese puffs, mini fig-prosciutto-goat cheese puff pastry tartlets, bourbon pecans, olive oil-poached jumbo shrimp with lemon-anchovy aïoli, roasted red pepper-pomegranate molasses dip with homemade pita bread and chocolate-cherry pecan pie bars. From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Registration is $55; this class is currently sold out, but you can call 314-862-2665 to be put on a wait list.
"If you're into breathtaking displays of flora and multicolored lights, the Garden Glow is for you. More than half a million lights and holiday music transform the Missouri Botanical Garden into a nocturnal fairyland. Fire pits and s'mores help beat back the chill, and concession tents offer seasonal treats such as decorated candy canes, Bourbon eggnog and cookies. The event is capacity controlled, so buy your tickets online to ensure you can visit on the night or nights you desire." From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday (Dec. 23):
Tonight's painting features a holiday reindeer in a very festive forest, wishing for snow. Take a break from holiday preparations and have a glass of wine with us! From 7 to 9 p.m. Registration is $35; call 636-778-2111.
Wednesday (Dec. 24):
There are several restaurants offering dinner tonight, but we'd suggest the Chinese-inspired spread at Three Flags. "The regular menu will be available as well, but this sounds pretty epic. The first course is a choice of pork dumplings in consommé or duck confit on flatbread. The main course is hot braised chicken bok choy with rice, curried shrimp and scallops with rice or steak with ginger and crispy noodles. For dessert, enjoy Chinese doughnuts with smoked cheddar. Dinner is available from 5 to 9 p.m. and is $35 per person. Call 314-669-9222 for reservations."
Thursday (Dec. 25):
Presents opened and nowhere to go? The Ritz-Carlton is offering its annual holiday spread. Enjoy maple-glazed ham, herb and butter-roasted turkey, sweet potato casserole, pastas and salads, sushi and sashimi plus other smoked fish, and holiday desserts like chestnut-pumpkin yule log and warm sticky toffee pudding. Sparking wine is included. $89 per person; call 314-719-1433 for reservations.