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MOUTHFUL

Keeping them fed with Christmas dinner

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

Evelyn Cheatham's Christmas Dinner: For the 23rd year, chef Evelyn Cheatham, founder and executive director of Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program (WOW), will prepare and deliver Christmas dinner to anyone who needs it for any reason. Friends of Cheatham's donate all ingredients, labor and transportation.

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Guest taking a sunset tour of the grounds at the Twilight on the Serengeti benefit held in 2011 at Safari West in Santa Rosa. Beginning Tuesday, Safari West offers safari tours at reduced prices. The offer is good through Dec. 30 and reservations are necessary.

PD FILE, 2011

Do you know someone in Sonoma County who may not be well-fed on the holiday? If so, you can call Worth Our Weight at 544-1200 with their name, address, phone number and number of people to add them to the list of meal recipients. There is no means test and no explanation needed. A simple request is enough. Reasons vary from being down on your luck, recovering from an illness or injury, grieving the loss of a loved one or unexpectedly finding yourself alone.

The meal is both delicious and extremely generous. In most cases, the bounty lasts well beyond Christmas Day.

All meals are delivered in the morning and very early afternoon.

And when you sit down for your holiday meal, consider raising a glass to Evelyn Cheatham and her remarkable generosity all these years.

Heads up, beer lovers: Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar has been celebrating National Lager Week, which began on Dec. 15, and there's still one night to go, Friday. From 5:30 to 10 p.m., you can enjoy a special celebratory menu.

Dinner begins with wood-roasted mussels in a pilsner-fennel broth, paired with Moonlight Brewing Co.'s Reality Czeck Pils. Next comes a Berkshire pork chop brined in Bourbon and served with creamy grits, bacon and apples and paired with Sudwerk Marzen, an amber lager made in Davis.

Dessert features a warm green apple crisp with house-made cinnamon ice cream and caramel, with Session Fest, a strong Czech-style lager from Hood River, Ore.

The $57 per-person dinner features 6-ounce pours of each beer; a $65 menu comes with 12-ounce pours.

For more information and reservations, visit thelodgeatsonoma.com or call 931-2042.

Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar is located at 1325 Broadway in Sonoma.

Christmas Eve at Vintner's Inn: John Ash & Co., located at the Vintner's Inn, will be serving Christmas Eve dinner from 5 to 8:30 p.m., with Hog Island oysters, roasted squash bisque, mushroom ravioli, pasta with duck confit, roasted sea bass, ginger-braised short ribs, pork tenderloin with tomato-bacon bread pudding, ribeye steak and black-pepper-braised lamb shank among the menu selections.

The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day.

For reservations, call 527-7687 or visit vintnersinn.com.

Christmas Dinner Options: If you're looking for a restaurant for dinner on Christmas Day, your options are limited. Hotels are a good place to look, as they have guests to feed.

For something more personal than a hotel eatery, host Herbert Zacher and chef Robert Buchshachermair of Cafe Europe would love to serve you. They will be open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from noon to 6 p.m. on Christmas day.

Menu highlights included beer-steamed mussels, Maine lobster, beef roulade with spaetzle, pork osso buco, roasted duck and much more. There are two prix fixe menus, a three-course menu for $38 and a four-course menu for $42; kids under 10 are half price.

You can see all the menu offerings at clickcafeeurope.com.

For reservations, call 538-5225.

Cafe Europe is located at 104 Calistoga Road in Santa Rosa.

Safari West and the end of 2012: Beginning Tuesday, Safari West offers safari tours at reduced prices, $58 for adults and $28 for kids aged 3 to 12. The offer is good through Dec. 30 and reservations are necessary. There are special prices for overnight accommodations.

On New Year's Eve, the animal preserve continues its “Romp with the Beasts” tradition, with dinner and dancing. Cost is $100 per person. If you'd like to spend the night, it's $550 for two guests, which includes dinner, dancing, breakfast and a safari tour for two adults.

To make a reservation, visit safariwest.com or call 579-2551. Safari West is located at 3115 Porter Creek Road in Santa Rosa.

Reveillon Dinner: On New Year's Eve, Rocker Oysterfellers hosts its 6th annual Reveillon Dinner, with new features including music, wine and cocktails from the 1960s.

An old Creole tradition, Reveillon — based on the French word “reveille,” to awaken — traditionally involved a multi-course dinner in Catholic homes throughout New Orleans after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and New Ever's Eve.

Menu highlights included little potatoes stuffed with créme fraiche and California caviar; Hangtown Fry deviled egg; ambrosia salad with persimmons, apples, endive, pomegranates, walnuts, satsumas and yogurt-cardamom dressing; oyster and celery-root stew; duck a l'orange; beef Wellington; pan-seared scallops; baked Alaska; chocolate-orange mousse and a local cheese cart.

To see the complete menu, visit rockeroysterfellers.com.

Cost is $75, plus tax, gratuity and beverages.

There will be two seatings, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and neither times require proof of church attendance.

Rocker Oysterfellers is located in the Valley Ford Hotel, 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford. For reservations, visit the Web site or call 876-1983.

Nick's Cove Seafood Feast on New Year's Eve: Like so many Bay Area restaurants, Nick's Cove is closed on Christmas but open on New Year's Eve, with a special five-course menu.

The evening begins with Point Reyes Miyagi oysters on the half shell with Champagne glacage. Next comes a Dungeness crab cake with Champagne aioli, followed by clams steamed in Champagne with bacon and cippolini onions. The fourth course is butter-roasted Petrale sole with French green lentils and Champagne beurre blanc.

For dessert, guess what? More Champagne: It's a frozen Seville orange souffle with Champagne sponge cake and candied tangerines.

Cost is $65 per person or $80 per person with wine pairings, plus tax, gratuity and other beverages. For reservations, call (415) 663-1033.

If you want to start the new year in coastal luxury, consider spending the night in one of Nick's Cove's 12 cottages. For more information, visit nickscove.com.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.

E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com

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