The Twin Cities are alive with holiday festivities. Learn the ABCs of beer, trade in the roast beast for General Tao's tofu, and sip on brandy and cognac this Week in Food.
- You drink enough of it--you should try to get to know it. Learn the ABCs of beer at Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul. Join certified cicerone (the beer expert equivalent of a sommelier) Michael Agnew as he shows you the difference between an ale and a lager, which beers to store in the cellar and which to drink young, and the best glass in which to drink your favorite brew. The course includes a selection of craft beers from around the world and light snacks. $55. 6 p.m.
- Between all the roast beast and mincemeat pies, the holidays are a hard time to be vegetarian. That's why this one's for you, grass eaters: a multicourse vegetarian tasting dinner at Forum Restaurant. Dive into citrus gnocchi with braised fennel, brown butter, and sage; potato lasagna with gruyere cheese, wild mushrooms, and roasted, vine ripe tomato sauce; and General Tao's tofu with curry vegetarian fried rice and baby bok choy--each with a fine wine pairing. $50 plus tax and tip. 6:30 p.m.
- Kick off 2011: The Year of Being Fancy with a brandy and cognac tasting at Haskell's Liquor. Sniff, slurp, and slosh your way around the St. Paul store, and ask the experts all your questions about these sophisticated and international libations. Free. 2 to 5 p.m.
- It's Christmas Eve, but no need to fear--like Ebenezer Scrooge, plenty of restaurants stay open on the holidays. Here's just a smattering: B.A.N.K., Barbary Fig, Forepaugh's, Kincaids, The Lexington, Manny's, McCormick and Schmick, Moscow on the Hill, and the St. Paul Hotel. Roll on in and demand some figgy pudding!
- It's Christmas--give yourself the night off from the kitchen. Head to Faces Mears Park for a three-course Christmas Day Dinner. Enjoy organic green salad with cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese; petit poussin: young bird with rosemary stock and oregano thyme baby potatoes; and Christmas log: a gluten-free chocolate roll filled with espresso buttercream and meringue topping. $35 (also available a la carte). 4 to 10 p.m.