Ortygia Christmas Eve dinner: Ortygia Restaurant, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, offers a five-course Sicilian Christmas Eve menu with two seatings. Cost: $50 per person excluding tax and gratuity. Call 941-741-8646 for reservations. To view the menu, go OrtygiaRestaurant.com.
Mattison's City Grille Christmas Eve dining: Mattison's City Grille, 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 24 offering holiday menu specials along with the current menu. Happy hour is 2-6 p.m. and live music by the Kara Nally Band 6-10 p.m. The restaurant will be closed Christmas Day. Information: 941-330-0440, mattisons.com.
Holidays at Pier 22: Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton, is open on from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 24 and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25 featuring a holiday prime rib special. The current menus will also be available. On Dec. 31, enjoy a lively indoor and outdoor waterfront celebration with buffet and cash bar from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. including a Champagne fountain and mini burgers at midnight along with party favors, photo booth and entertainment by Party Pro DJs. The buffet includes an assorted sushi, gourmet cheese and fruit, mini crab cakes, coconut shrimp, spinach and artichoke crostinis, blackened rib-eye and mushroom bites, antipasto, Pier 22's house salad, 1976 salad, prime rib, grouper Oscar, bruschetta chicken and much more. Price per person is $69.95 plus tax and gratuity. The restaurant also hosts an all-inclusive New Year's Eve Elegant Ballroom VIP Celebration that features an open bar, Party Pro DJ, buffet, desserts, Champagne toast and mini burgers at midnight. Price is $99.95 plus tax and gratuity. Pier 22 will also be serving an early New Year's Eve dinner with a limited menu from 4 to 6 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 941-748-8087. The full party menu can be found at pier22dining.com. Complimentary valet will be available.
Mar Vista happy hour/Christmas party: Mar Vista, 760 Broadway St., Longboat Key, is launching its new happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the bar. The happy hour will feature drink specials as well as Chef George's gourmet tater tots, Bud and Old Bay shrimp bowl, calamari, oysters on the half shell, Florida smoked fish dip and PEI mussels. Mar Vista recently extended is dock in Sarasota Bay and welcomes guest to come by boat or car. Boaters just need to look for ICW Marker No. 39.
New Year's Eve dinner: Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery, 1114 12th St. W., in the Village of the Arts has a special menu planned for New Year's Eve. The $50 price-fixed dinner includes four courses, Champagne and live music. Reserve at 941-201-6647 or on Open Table for one of the two seatings: 6-8 p.m. or 9 p.m.-midnight and beyond. Michael "Sparky" Edelstein performs favorites from Broadway shows at the early show and Seabreeze takes you into the New Year. The full menu is available at www.artsandeatsfl.com/newyearsmenu2015.
Beachhouse New Year's Eve Celebration: The Beachhouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, will host a New Year's Eve celebration Dec. 31. Guests are invited to celebrate either indoors or outside on the gulf-front deck. Tables under the covered pavilion are available for $100 each for seating for up to six guests. The reserved tables will be ready at 9 p.m. The reservation also includes a Champagne toast, party favors, music by DJ Chuck Caudill, dancing and a view of the fireworks show. Guests may order from the regular restaurant menu. Seating elsewhere on the desk and inside the dining room will be first come, first served basis. Food and beverages are not included in the reservation. Fireworks are weather permitting. Reservations and information: 941-779-2222 or groupersandwich.com.
Ortygia New Year's Eve dinner: Ortygia Restaurant, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, offers a New Year's Eve candlelight dinner with two seatings. Cost: $50 per person excluding tax and gratuity. Call 941-741-8646 for reservations. To view the menu, go OrtygiaRestaurant.com.
Jazz brunch: Through winter, the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, offers music from top local musicians during the restaurant's Sunday brunch, which begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.
Musician John Rinell, an acclaimed national headliner whose work has been inspired by Frank Sinatra, plays Sundays through December. Information: 941-778-0444.
Mattison's City Grille New Year's Eve Dining and Celebration: New Year's Eve, Mattison's City Grille1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, is open from 11 a.m. and is the center of Downtown Sarasota's Main Street Celebration and New Year's Eve Street Party with live music, dancing, count down to midnight, cash bar, current lunch and dinner menus with New Year's Eve drink and entrée specials. There are two dinner seatings at 7 and 9 p.m. There is no entry fee, reservations highly recommended, and can be made beginning by phone only, call 941-330-0440.
Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival tickets: Tickets for the Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival are on sale now. Presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals (SMO), this four-day culinary celebration (Jan. 23-26) brings together celebrated regional chefs and world-renowned vintners. To purchase tickets, log on to dineoriginal.com/forksandcorks.
ON THE MENU
Apertivo: Ortygia Restaurant, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, is hosting a Sicilian-style Apertivo 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays. For reservations call 941-741-8646.
wine & COOKING CLASSES
Italian cooking: Giuliano Hazan, chef, teacher, cookbook author and son of Italian culinary legend Marcella Hazan, has launched a new series of intimate Italian cooking classes. Hazan and his wife, Lael Hazan, a food historian, will open their Sarasota riverside home to a maximum of nine participants per class. Guided by Hazan, attendees will prepare a four-course Italian meal, which will be enjoyed at the table and paired with select Italian wines. Classes are Jan. 8, 16, 22, 27 and 30. All classes are from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Cost is $150 per person per class. For a full schedule and to make reservations, call 941-363-1258 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to mull wine: Bunker Hill Vineyard & Winery, 8905 Bunker Hill Road, Duette, will open its doors to a holiday event, "How to Mull Farm to Table Wines," 5-7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 13. Each night is limited to 16 couples. Must be age 21 or older. Casual dress. Cost: $15 per couple. Reservations: 941-776-0418.
Apron's classes: Apron's Cooking School at Publix At University Walk, 2875 University Parkway; students may register for all classes online at www.publix.com or by calling 941-358-7829.
Culinary Calendar: Email information to email@example.com.