Whether your favorite version of A Christmas Carol stars Alastair Sim or Donald Duck, there’s something endearing about Scrooge’s change of heart and Tiny Tim’s blessing. And how about that Christmas goose? The Golden Lamb has it! The historic inn in Lebanon — always a beautiful setting for a holiday moment — is celebrating with a tasty historical take on Christmas past that honors Dickens and George Washington, who were guests at the inn, as well as the area’s German heritage. The special menu, available through Dec. 23, has Cratchit’s Christmas goose breast prepared two ways, Mount Vernon-style pork loin and roast turkey duo, Frohe Weihnachten venison duo and a soothing Smoking Bishop — warm port wine infused with oranges and clove. You won’t say “Bah, humbug” to triple chocolate Yule log with peppermint cream for dessert, or a cup of pumpkin-spiced eggnog cheer. For more info or to make reservations, go here or call 513-932-5065.
Summit Restaurant remains one of our best-kept dining secrets, and it shouldn’t be, really. The students at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State definitely earn their chops (no pun intended) preparing and serving top-notch food and beverages. On Thursday, Dec. 20, Chef Robert Coltrane and his team of students will condense the traditional 12 Days of Christmas treats into six delectable courses, each paired with a complementary spirit. The wines for this dinner will be brought to you by Laura Landoll, an advanced-level sommelier from Grand Cru Wines. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
Complimentary valet parking is provided at the college’s new entrance overlooking the Mill Creek Valley. The full menu — with features like oysters, pomegranate, tapioca pearls and preserved lemon — can be found on the Summit’s Facebook page. The cost is just $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For more information, call the Summit at 513-569-4980.
At 7 p.m. that same evening, Dec. 20, Chef Julie Francis is featuring ginger at Nectar restaurant’s popular Dinner Club. Partnering with Vicky Tewes’ Thistlehair Farms, Nectar’s five-course menu includes carrot ginger soup with wild mushroom ragout and fried ginger; spicy crab and ginger handrolls with fennel and allspice, ginger soy dipping sauce; turkey and chipotle dumplings with spinach, peas and cinnamon ginger broth; achiote duck breast with seasonal lo mein noodles and ginger chutney; and house-made gingersnaps with coconut lime sorbet, peanut brittle and mango caramel. Grab a red-headed friend and go! For reservations, call 513-929-0525.
If the holidays are bringing you downtown to skate, shop or see a show, Jean-Robert’s Table has some very celebratory offerings to entice you, featuring the Holy Trinity of special ingredients: caviar, lobster and truffles. In addition to their regular menu — which is pretty special itself — they are offering unique and decadent Saturday lunches with champagne, two seatings for “Soiree de la Saint Sylvestre 2012” New Year’s Eve in the dining room and a lobster and truffle four-course tray at the bar. The bar tray sounds like a great deal: lobster salad with truffle dressing, bisque with truffle chantilly, short rib with lobster béarnaise, then savor a truffle and lobster sweet and a glass of Jean-Robert’s Table Sparkling Cremant for $50. Oui, oui! For reservations, call 513-621-4777.
Last but definitely not least, our friends at Fresh Table at Findlay Market have the perfect way for you — the cook — to relax and enjoy the holiday. They are offering three special complete meals to go. Orders should be placed by Wednesday, Dec. 19 by calling 513-381-3774 or emailing email@example.com.
Chef Meredith told me that they did this at Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit, and judging from the menu, I predict they’ll be just as popular for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The meals serve six to eight guests and include main courses like gourmet prime rib, leg of lamb, beef tenderloin, grilled salmon and home-style ham, sides like Caesar salad, grilled asparagus, Potatoes Anna, shaker corn pudding and cheesecake with a Woodford Reserve caramel sauce or your choice of pumpkin, pecan or chess pie. All made with love, since Meredith, Louis, Victor and the rest of the Fresh Table folks are about as nice as anyone can be.
CONTACT ANNE MITCHELL: firstname.lastname@example.org