By Annika Tomlin
Holiday season is here! One of the most exciting times of the year is celebrating the end of the year and the beginning of the next one. There are places to go and things to do and a whole lot of stuff to eat across the Valley this upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Here are two lists of several places that might tickle your fancy.
Christmas is a time to celebrate with the ones who you love most. Several restaurants across the Valley are making it easier on customers to indulge in the good stuff without having to deal with the actual prep and cooking. Here is a list of Christmas specials to look into:
Blue Hound Kitchen
Celebrate the holiday with a delectable dine-in, prix-fixe, three-course menu by Executive Chef Brian Peterson. Select Christmas menu choices include mustard crusted grass-fed beef tri tip, cauliflower and chestnut soup, roasted organic salmon, toffee bread pudding and peppermint bark cheesecake. Reservations are recommended.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, 2 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 602-253-6661, bluehoundkitchen.com
Miracle Mile Deli
Get ready to serve up to six people with the following family meals. Each meal includes 2 quarts of homemade mashed potatoes, 1 quart of homemade gravy, 1 quart of steamed veggies, 1 quart of baked macaroni and cheese, six Kaiser rolls and one whole pie (apple, pecan, cherry, pumpkin, lemon meringue, Boston cream and coconut meringue). The difference between the meals is one includes 3 pounds of oven-roasted white meat turkey breast along with 1 pint of cranberry sauce while the other meal includes 3 pounds of savory brisket of beef. Preorders must be placed by Wednesday, December 22, for Friday, December 24, pickup.
Miracle Mile Deli, 4433 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, 602-776-0992, miraclemiledeli.com, starts at $170
Pork on a Fork Christmas Feast
Take the stress out of holiday hosting and instead let Pork on a Fork do the cooking. The to-go Christmas Feast that feeds 10 to 12 people includes a whole smoked turkey, traditional stuffing, cheesy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy, dinner rolls and cornbread. Reheating instructions are included for sides that come cold. Turkey can be served hot or cold. Preorders must be submitted by Sunday, December 19, for pickup on Friday, December 24.
Pork on a Fork, 1515 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, pickup before 3 p.m., 602-884-8226, porkonafork.com
Tarbell’s has prepared divine to-go Christmas meals that include one entree, a plethora of sides and a choice of two desserts. Entree options are prime rib, Arizona honey glazed ham, and a roasted organic salmon with crusted pecan and maple glaze.
Featured sides include haricot verts with shallots and sweet butter; crispy Brussels sprout casserole with caramelized onions and bacon; mushroom risotto with Crow’s Dairy chevre and fine herbs; buttery mashed potatoes, and housemade aged cheddar biscuits.
The desserts included in the takeout package are chocolate peppermint mousse, Emma’s Buche de Noel (Yule log), and double chocolate chip cookies. Last day to preorder the to-go menu is Friday, December 17, for Christmas Eve pickup.
Tarbell’s, 3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-955-8100, tarbells.com, $125 per person
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is less than a week after Christmas but not any less fun. Trying to figure out how to get out of the house and celebrate the end of 2021? Look no further than following list to find events happening on New Year’s Eve that might interest you.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Ring in the new year with delicious menu options including Dungeness crab bisque served with smoked trout roe crostini and cultured butter; baby arugula with grapefruit, beet, whipped goat cheese and mesquite honey; organic chicken roulade served with foie gras and mushroom bread pudding and charred broccolini; roasted prime beef loin with crispy beef belly, tallow whipped potato, asparagus and cabernet; and trio of flourless cake, strawberry gelato and champagne cheesecake. Reservations are required.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, 2 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, seatings are 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., 602-253-6661, bluehoundkitchen.com, $100-$125 per person
This party is for the movers and shakers only. Dance the night away with top Phoenix DJs playing the ultimate club mixes, two hours of an appetizer buffet, festive party favors and one spectacular mega-size ballroom countdown experience.
Mover’s tickets include two prepaid alcoholic beverages, appetizers including vegetable spring rolls, beef and manchego empanada and cilantro lime glazed chicken brochette, along with access to the main ballroom.
Shaker’s tickets, or VIP include three prepaid premium alcoholic beverages, upgraded appetizers adding Malibu coconut shrimp and bacon pecan dates along with access to the VIP Lounge with a private DJ, a private bar and early access to the venue.
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 100 N. First Street, Phoenix, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $75-$225
Labyrinth Masquerade Ball
Have you ever wanted to go to the masquerade ball that happens in the 1986 movie “Labyrinth”? Well, now is your chance. Dance and dream among costumed nobles and magical creatures during an immersive allure and fantasy. Dazzle among aerialists, fire breathers, stilt walker, food trucks, glittering decorations, bubble and DJs playing a slew of ’80s classic for the whole night. Costumes or masks with formal wear are encouraged. This is a 21-and-older only event.
Thunderbird Lounge, 710 W. Montecito Avenue, Phoenix, 7 p.m., bit.ly/3qVKxoX
New Year’s Eve Bash
Start off 2022 with good tunes, booze and bubbles at Luckys Indoor Outdoors. DJs will spin all night and guests can secure their seats by making table reservations online. Each table comes with a bottle of champagne and a liter of Miller High Life.
Luckys Indoor Outdoor, 817 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., luckysphx.com, $10
New Year’s Eve Tipsy Tea Party
Celebrate the New Year early with a daytime celebration with a date or friends. This event includes a tray of sweets and savory treats that perfectly pair with the two cocktails served. All drinks and bites are plant based and gluten free. Reservations are required.
Drink Me! Tea Room, 1730 E. Warner Road, Suite 5, Tempe, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., drinkmetearoom.com, $45 per person
Phoenix City Grille
Before ringing in 2022, Phoenix City Grille invites guests to say goodbye to 2021 with incredible dining specials. The specials include starters New England clam chowder with ocean clams, Yukon potatoes, smoke bacon, fresh herbs and chive ($7/cup, $13/bowl); entrees including surf and turf, Oscar style featuring coffee-rubbed 5-ounce beef tenderloin filet, cognac hollandaise, guajillo prawns, citrus chiltepin vinaigrette, Tillamook pepper jack, Pima grits, lump crab meat and organic asparagus ($49); smoked prime rib featuring a 12-ounce prime beef cut with bleu cheese smashed Yukons, balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts and caramelized onion and bacon jam ($42); and pan-seared Chula seafood seabass with sunchoke mash, winter citrus and pomegranate relish, local citrus roasted beets and Meyer lemon beurre blanc ($34).
Phoenix City Grille, 5816 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., phoenixcitygrille.com
Tarbell’s has a New Year’s Eve dinner menu all planned out for to-go packaged meals. The celebratory package includes a choice of one entree including prime Chateaubriand marinated in Napa Cabernet and fine herbs; duck confit “new style” with a champagne glaze; whole lobster with all the fixings; and herbed crusted lamb rack. Seven sides are included in each catered package including parmesan purple kale salad with golden raisin and organic hemp seed, spinach gratin with comte cheese, asparagus with shallots and sweet butter, risotto with wild mushrooms and spinach, buttery mashed potatoes, sweet potato galette, and housemade cream biscuits. A choice of two desserts is included and the selections are caramel chocolate mousse, classic cheesecake or champagne glazed fruit tart. All guests must place their to-go orders by Thursday, December 23, to be picked up on Thursday, December 30.
Tarbell’s 3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, tarbells.com, $150 per person
Toast to the New Year with Italian wine, family and traditional Italian cuisine in a fine dining space. Tomaso’s special New Year’s Eve menu will include handcrafted pasta recipes and legendary specialties such as veal cannelloni ($26), filet medallions ($48) with garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, olives, capers and oregano, and Alaskan halibut oreganata and lemon prawns ($46). Reservations are highly encouraged.
Tomaso’s 3225 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.,