The countdown is now on to Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and other beloved end-of-year holidays, but that doesn't mean restaurants in the Valley only have that on the brain. Sure, there is an ugly sweater contest and a holiday wine-and-dine night complete with carriage rides on this list, but there's also a fundraiser, a dinner series led by top chefs, a chicken-and-beer festival, and even a New Year's Eve preparty.
December is shaping up to be a good one.
Holiday Wine & Dine EventThursday, December 5
The SHOPS Gainey Village
8777-8989 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The SHOPS Gainey Village's fourth annual free event is a good way to kick off the upcoming holiday season. From 4 to 7 p.m., guests can enjoy festive horse-and-carriage rides around the shopping center, listen to live music, sip on juice samples at Kaleidoscope Juice, and drink coffee and hot chocolate provided by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. For those 21 and older, complimentary wine tastings will be available at Pomo Pizzeria, Koi Poke, Famous 48, and The Living Room.
Cork CraftingSaturday, December 7
6951 East First Street, Scottsdale
Need a DIY gift or piece of home decor? Complete a holiday craft project at this $10-per-person event at LDV Winery from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You'll get a glue gun and access to as many wine corks as you need. Register by calling the tasting room at 480-664-4822 or by emailing info@LDVWinery.com.
Holiday Artisan MarketSaturday, December 7
Tracy Dempsey Originals/ODV Wines
1325 West University Drive, Tempe
Tracy Dempsey Originals and ODV Wines' annual event is back, taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be samples, demos, and holiday shopping galore from vendors like Stoic Cider, Carolina's Chocolate, and Wonder Mustard. It's sure to be fun and a great opportunity to stock up on gifts for your foodie friends and family.
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Fundraising EventSaturday, December 7
1515 North Gilbert Road, #105, Gilbert
Fresh Millions is giving back if you dine in at this event from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. In fact, 50 percent of all purchases will be donated to the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, and there will also be food samples and cancer awareness information. The restaurant serves up a variety of food choices, from make-your-own stir fry bowls to panini sandwiches and wraps.
Monday Night Chef's TableMonday, December 9
ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale
This month, Champagne is being paired with a special four-course menu created especially for the evening at ZuZu. Enjoy conversation from Executive Chef Russell LaCasce and the bubbly pairings. The 6:30 p.m. event costs $109 per person plus tax and gratuity. Make a reservation by calling 480-376-2600.
Meet at Mowry Dinner SeriesTuesday, December 10
Mowry & Cotton at The Phoenician
6000 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
Mowry & Cotton is hosting a dinner feast with Mezcal Carreño, starting at 6:30 p.m. It will begin with a reception on the porch with passed bites and a specialty cocktail, and continue with a family-style meal and meet-and-greet with continuous courses and four mezcals. For tickets, email PHXLCReservationsAgents@marriott.com or call 480-423-2530.
Trinchero Family Estates Winemaker's DinnerWednesday, December 11
Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse
7212 East Ho Hum Road, Carefree
Enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings from the Trinchero Family Estates during this event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Keeler's Neighborhood Steakhouse. Dishes include a pan-seared scallop with adobo polenta cake, herb-crusted lamp chop with boursin cheese risotto, braised short with roasted potatoes, prime rib-eye with potato puree, and a chocolate tart with fresh berries and mascarpone. Purchase the $95-per-person ticket (plus tax and gratuity) online or call 602-374-4784 for more information.
Scottsdazzle Santa Wine AroundSaturday, December 14
Scottsdale Wine Trail
As part of the city of Scottsdale's Scottsdazzle celebration all month, the wineries in Old Town are hosting this event from 6 to 9 p.m. Don your best Santa or Mrs. Claus outfit or hat to receive a complimentary wine glass. The five wineries involved will also have specials and activities to celebrate the holiday season. Check out the map for how to get around.
Learn and Lunch Cooking ClassSaturday, December 14
7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Chef Marcellino will teach attendees how to make scialatielli alle vongole, a popular dish served in Italy on Christmas Eve, at this event from 1 to 3 p.m. The flavorful dish features handcrafted pasta sauteed with Manila clams, olive oil, garlic, white wine, and red pepper flakes. After the class, guests will eat the dish along with a fresh organic salad and biscotti. The class is $40 per person plus tax and gratuity, and reservations are required.
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Arizona Fried Chicken & Beer Chimac FestivalSunday, December 15
441 West Madison Street
You'll want to mark your calendar with this festival highlighting chimac, the Korean word describing the art of pairing fried chicken and beer. Nearly a dozen food vendors with be providing the goods including boba drinks, desserts, cocktails, and cold beer served by The Pressroom. There will also be a place to shop, play games, and watch a K-pop dance performance. Tickets are available for purchase online and range from $4 to $13 (food and drink sold separately).
Four-Year Anniversary and Ugly Sweater ContestWednesday, December 18
Pedal Haus Brewery
730 South Mill Avenue, #102, Tempe
Celebrate Pedal Haus Brewery's four-year anniversary and take part in an ugly sweater contest at the event from 6 to 10 p.m. First place is a $100 gift certificate, second price is a $50 gift certificate, and third place is one item from the merchandise cabinet. Attendees who RSVP through EventBrite will receive two free drinks including select Pedal Haus beers, well drinks, and house wine, access to a large buffet, and happy hour pricing on drinks all night.
New Year’s Eve Pre-PartyTuesday, December 31
4501 North 32nd Street
From 7 p.m. till Provision closes at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, guests can enjoy a "bottle and board" special featuring any bottle of wine and a charcuterie board for $40. Complimentary small bites and pastries will be provided plus a Prosecco toast at the end of the night.