<strong>Ms. Mouthful's Thanksgiving Pick:</strong> If you're looking for a special option for Thanksgiving, Ms. Mouthful recommends Safari West's annual feast.
There are two seatings, one at noon and one at 4 p.m. Cost is $65 for adults and $25 for kids aged 4 to 12.
This year's menu begins with appetizers (fruit, cheese, artichoke dip, bread), followed by green salad with candied pecans, apples and lemon-poppy seed dressing and butternut squash soup topped with creme fraiche.
The main holiday buffet features roast turkey with cornbread and apple stuffing and gravy, with cranberry sauce and cranberry chutney; grilled flank steak; spiral-cut honey ham; mashed potatoes; candied sweet potatoes; green beans with butter, garlic, basil and tomatoes and fresh Costeaux breads. For dessert, there's pumpkin pie and apple pie, both with freshly whipped cream.
Beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase.
The specific menu almost doesn't matter. The most wonderful part is simply being at Safari West, watching the giraffes, cranes and flamingos and visiting the cheetahs.
For more information and for reservations, visit <a href="http://safariwest.com" target="_blank">safariwest.com</a> or call 579-2551.
<strong>New Tasting Fun at Meadowcroft Tasting Room:</strong> Meadowcroft Wines, in Cornerstone Sonoma (23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma) has recently introduced new pairing opportunities for visitors.
One pairing features five wines paired with dried apricot, pecans, maple-bacon popcorn, a chocolate-covered blueberry and Vella cheese.
A second option is a confection extravaganza, with too many sweet nibbles and too many wines to mention. A highlight is the grand finale, a dark Belgian chocolate with fleur de sel accompanied by either Meadowcroft Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon or All She Wrote port.
Meadowcroft Wines include three labels, Meadowcroft, Thomas Henry and Foyt Family. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cornerstone Sonoma is a great place to simply hang out and a perfect destination when you want to send visiting family out of the house for a few hours. The gardens, now free to visit, are really interesting; there's a great garden shop, a good restaurant, art galleries, design shops and more. And starting Nov. 29, there is special entertainment.
Le Cirque de Boheme begins Nov. 29 and continues through Dec. 2. Although several performances are sold out, there are seats available for Nov. 29 at 5 p.m., Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.and Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The show is a 1920s-style circus in the French tradition, with magicians, sword throwers, slack rope walkers, contortionists and more, all part of a 10-year-old girl's dream journey.
Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 15 and younger. It all takes place under a large garden tent, with just 80 guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit <a href="http://cornerstonegardens.com" target="_blank">cornerstonegardens.com</a>.
<strong>Sixth Annual Friends House Celebration:</strong> On Saturday, Friends House (684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa) hosts its sixth annual Holiday Faire and Quaker Tea, one of Ms. Mouthful's favorite events of the season. It offers a gentle, thoughtful entry into the holidays and alleviates the stress that may already be developing.
The fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a marketplace featuring baked goods and preserves, knitted, quilted, felted, turned and carved items, international imports and more. At the Albino Pachyderm Shop, you'll find all manner of gently-used treasures.