Thanksgiving Dinner: It's always good to have a few options at hand in case something goes wrong as you're preparing Thanksgiving dinner. You just never know: The power goes out, your host comes down with a virus, the sewer line breaks, you accidentally overcook the turkey.
Here are a few options; you'll find more at "Eat This Now" at pantry.pressdemocrat.com.
Mateo's Cocina Latina (214 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) is serving a special menu from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $50 per person and menu highlights include butternut squash bisque with Dungeness crab flambe; traditional turkey with local chestnuts, bread stuffing and cranberry salsa; and, for dessert, blue corn tacos with vanilla ice cream, fruit salsa and sea salt. For reservations, call 433-1520.
Stark's Steak and Seafood (521 Adams St., Santa Rosa) is open from 2 to 7 p.m., with a special menu for $26 per person, which includes Willie Bird turkey, andouille sausage and mushroom stuffing, giblet gravy and pomegranate-cranberry relish. Call 546-5100 for reservations.
Farm (at the Carneros Inn, 4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa) is serving from 1 to 8 p.m. Cost is $69 for adults and $35 for children under 12; there is no charge for children under 4. Menu highlights include traditional organic turkey, cast-iron corn bread and apple-sage fritters with caramel sauce. A to-go menu is also available; cost is $240 for 6 to 8 people. For reservations, call 299-4880.
Artisano this Saturday: As of press time, there were still tickets for Saturday's Artisano event. The Grand Tasting takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at the events center of Vintners Inn. Cost is $75 in advance, and if the event does not sell out, tickets will be available at the gate for $90.
Artisano's Harvest Dinner follows the tasting at 5 p.m. and requires advance tickets. The dinner is limited to just 75 guests. Cost is $75 per person.
For more information and to buy tickets online, visit artisano.org.
Winterblast 2012: One of our favorite nights of the season is coming up Saturday, when South A Street gets all gussied up for the 8th annual Winterblast.
From 5 until 8 p.m., there will be street food, live music, art, all manner of lights, magic, kids activities and more on South A Street and Sebastopol Avenue.
This year, the new Spinster Sisters restaurant will be part of the party.
For the best time arrive early, before it's so crowded you can barely move. I also think it is a good idea to either leave your little dog at home or bring a back or front pack so you can carry your pup once it gets cramped. We speak from experience on this.
Holiday Faire & Quaker Tea: If you're looking for a peaceful respite this weekend, it would be hard to do better than the fifth annual Holiday Faire and Quaker Tea, taking place at Friends House (684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tea, with ribbon sandwiches, little tarts and more, will be served at half-hour intervals beginning at 10:30 a.m., with limited seating at each time. It's a good idea to purchase tickets in advance at friendshouse.org. If you prefer to reserve by phone, call 538-0152.
The faire includes a large array of items, with more vendors than in previous years. You'll find baked, beaded, canned, quilted, fired, turned and carved items, along with Guatemalan crafts and clothing and the popular Albino Pachyderm Shop.