Holiday eats…

Pearl –  located in Bellevue, WA at the Bellevue Collection (Lincoln Square), Pearl is a worthwhile visit for happy hour 3-6 pm and 9 pm to close… daily.  Enjoy half off of signature cocktails, small plates, glass wine, and $2 off draft beer. Ross at the bar made me a delicious Crown Royal (as a Dry Manhattan) up…one of the best I have had in the area.  Also, I enjoyed the wonderful Goat Cheese Crostini.  This small plate consisted of yummy goat cheese with tapenade and just right crostini.  Other sides tried were House Cut Fries (truffle), Dungeness Crab Cake, and Tempura.  Oh, and the Pearl Cosmo was a nice treat for the holidays too.  The happy hour menu can be seen here…  UPDATE 1/28/11 – the Blue Cheese Tenderloin Strips is a hit ! and the Seared Ahi Tuna was ok too.

Rock Bottom Brewery – located in Bellevue, WA at the Galleria (also in Seattle)…always seems to please.  It is a reasonable outing at happy hour.  Also, join their Mug Club and instead of a pint…you get a mug with your favorite brew…whether it be Lumberjack Red (my fave) or one of the other fine selections.  The nachos will please..size and presentation.  A side salad is a nice accompaniment.  Other Starters have been tried as well.  And you may know this, but there are locations in 15 other states as well.  UPDATE 1/17/11 – the Spicy Spinach Cheese Dip – GREAT choice!  Really delicious!  I liked that it was served with both flatbread and tortilla chips.

Snowflake Lane

Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection.  Great energy…15 minutes of holiday joy…snowflakes fall, music, winter costumes with warm greetings, toy soldiers giving it their all, and when it isn’t raining…it really hits the mark.  Make it an annual outing… or consider it every other year and you just might appreciate it even more.   Visit nightly through December 24th at 7 pm…then December 26th thru December 31st…check out Celebration Lane.   Also to enjoy in downtown Bellevue…the decor and ambiance of The Bravern.

The holly and the ivy…

“The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown:
O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.”
–   Christmas Carol 

“Lighting one candle
from another –
Winter night”
–   Buson

“So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!”
–   Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

Happy Holidays…plenty to do!

Happy Holidays!  So much to see…so much to do!  Enjoy the festivities of the season by taking in any number of the following in the Greater Puget Sound area:

  • Light displays…Garden D’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden, Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Park in Renton , Space Needle, Zoolights at the Woodland Park Zoo, The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood
  • Snowflake Lane…every evening at 7 pm at the Bellevue Collection until December 24th
  • Bellevue Magic Season Enchanted Holidays at the Bravern – nightly lighting, visit Santa
  • Enjoy the Holiday Star, Tree, and Carousel at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle
  • Ice Skating…at the Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena, Seattle Center
  • Festival of Trees at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
  • Gingerbread Village display at the Seattle Sheraton and Bellevue Magic Season at Gingerbread Lane at the Hilton Hotel
  • Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mt. Zoo in Issaquah and see Santa’s reindeer at University Village
  • Arts and craft shows
  • See the lights and enjoy carolers by ship
  • Choose your tree at a tree farm
  • Figgy Pudding Contest…but we missed it as it was yesterday
  • Festivals of Lights at the Children’s Museum – Hanukkah, Diwali, Santa Lucia, Kwanzaa and Christmas
  • Nursery decor – Molbak’s (Woodinville), Swanson’s (Seattle), Wights (Lynnwood), Squak (Issaquah), and more…
  • Shop Shop Shop
  • See the Sound of Music, the theater, or other musical performance
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker and other dance performances around the Sound
  • See the Seattle Men’s Chorus, the Northwest Boy’s Choir, and other fine classical music performances
  • Give to Northwest Harvest, Salvation Army, or another charity…season of giving and goodwill
  • Local lighting displays, tree lighting, and Santa…ex:  Redmond, Renton, Country Village in Bothell, Auburn, Langley, and many more…
  • and take a drive (or walk) to see what your neighbors have been up to

URBAN enoteca

URBAN enoteca’s VIP pre-opening party took place November 30, 2010.  Experience the grand opening December 8th…that’s the buzz I hear.  You will find some of the top wines in the state of Washington at their new SODO location.  At this new style wine bar, you can try a taste, a pour, a glass, or a bottle of seven different wineries offerings.  Stop in with friends after work, on the weekend, or book an event.  This is a perfect location for an intimate get-together, a corporate party, a wedding, or any other type of special event.  The wine country feel is awaiting your arrival…just under the 1st Avenue South bridge.

Great wine, Great food, Great venue!