Eat, Drink & Play
December, 2014 - Issue #122
{ EAT }

EAT: Pizza del Sardo
If you can't find the time or funds for a trip to Italy, bring Italy to you. The best Italian imported ingredients immigrate to the SCV on the regular, thanks to Pizza del Sardo. Taste the Old Country with their Penne con Salsiccia, made with fresh tomato sauce, sausage, olives, hot peppers, basil, olive oil and parmesan, or go for our favorite fall find: the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola. The gnocchi are like little light puffs of heaven, floating in an ethereal cloud of gorgonzola cheese sauce. 259-9090

EAT: Sabor Cocina Mexicana
Too often, "seasonal specialties" is a euphemism for "same old stuff, spiked with peppermint extract." But at Sabor Cocina Mexicana, the phrase most closely translates to "especially delicious." Take their Gorditas de Pancita, for example. This seasonal dish features handmade blue corn tortillas, tender and flavorful pork belly, mole sauce, beans, lettuce and queso cotija. The Pasilla Relleno de Pavo is also exquisite, with grilled chile pasilla, turkey picadillo, crema, queso fresco, butternut squash sauce and pumpkin seeds. Complete the seasonal dining experience with their fall-fresh margarita options: Pineapple Coconut and Hibiscus. 259-9002

EAT: Valley Produce Market
Those hoping to do things a little differently this year should seriously consider Valley Produce Market's newest catering options. Specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, Valley Produce's catering is ultra affordable (Full plates of delicious fare start at only $4.99!) and are entirely customizable. For big parties, small groups and everything in between, this is the place to go for healthy holiday eats that your guests will rave over. Valley Produce Market is conveniently located in the Bridgeport Marketplace. 254-3900

EAT: Marston's
If you're planning a private or corporate party, you owe it to your budget and your brain to read this. If you're looking for "easy," "delicious" and "affordable," you'll find them all and more at Marston's. Their online catering menu makes it clear: You can feed a small army without breaking your bottom line. From simple selections like the Assorted Sandwiches platter (Choose from options like Pecan and Red Pepper Chicken Salad, Barbecue Tri Tip with Cheddar Cheese and Horseradish Cream and Grilled Vegetable and Avocado.) for only $8.95 a person to special treats like Marston's Bread Pudding with Apricot Sauce and Whipped Cream and everything in between, this is the place for party perfection. Your goodies will be ready on time and come with everything you need - serveware, napkins and more - for a memorable event. 253-9910

EAT: Lady Di's Cookies & Sweets
Lady Di's Cookies & Sweets is celebrating the holidays with just-baked, soft and deliciously-fresh Pumpkin Spice cookies topped with a whole pecan. But if you love cupcakes more, they have something your palette will adore - Pumpkin Magic cupcakes made with fresh pumpkin and topped with delicious homemade cream cheese frosting and a pecan. Don't forget the newest Lady Di's treat, either: Shortbread. They have three delicious flavors: brown butter, lemon and almond. All are equally delicious and pair phenomenally with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. The English have nothing on us! 222-9102

EAT: Salt Creek Grille
Salt Creek Grille is where you go for your favorites, but this month it's time to try something new! Seasonal drinks and desserts are taking over, with fabulous fall flavors that will make you want to cuddle up in front of their cozy firepit. Try the Pumpkin Martini (Stoli vanilla vodka; pumpkin liqueur; simple syrup; cream and a cinnamon-sugar rim!), the Caramel Pecan Cheesecake, Pumpkin Creme Brulee served with ginger-snap cookies or the Pumpkin Silk Pie with a decadent ginger-snap cookie crust. Whatever you order, though, don't forget to add the gift cards. Purchase $100 in gift certificates and get a $25 gift reward card for yourself. (We're spending ours on the Beatnik Martini with premium Kentucky whiskey, Portuguese port and Averna!). Salt Creek Grille 222-9999


DRINK: Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co.
You've been waiting... pining for this all year long... checking and rechecking your calendar... And it was all worth it, because Winter Wonderland, Wolf Creek Brewery's famous holiday ale, is back for the Thanksgiving weekend. This unique beer is infused with the spices of the holiday and delivers the first present of the season. Only available once a year and in limited supply, you'll want to get it while you can - because when it is gone, there is no more! Share yours with friends at the restaurant or at your favorite location. Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. is in the business of holiday cheer! Banquets, catering and large pick-up orders to go will make your life easy and your year-end party one to remember. Call Beth and reserve your date! 263-9653

DRINK: Vines Restaurant
It seems like everyone is wishing us a "happy holiday" this time of year, but no one is giving a lick of guidance about how to make that a reality. But we figured it out - and it involves two elements: good friends and Happy Hour at Vines lounge and patio. Kick up your feet, if only figuratively, and treat yourself to $6 apps like the Chicken Chipolte Potato Taco, Calamari, the Cheese and Charcuterie Board and more, then wash it down as you relax with a $5 cocktail or Canvas wine by Michael Mondavi. Vines is located inside the Hyatt Regency Valencia, which is on Town Center Drive, so you can do your holiday shopping before or after "me time" daily from 4pm to 7pm. 678-4044

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PLAY: Bridalfaire Extraordinaire
Don't miss Bridalfaire Extraordinaire at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on the first Sunday of 2015. The three finest gown shops in SCV - Cruz's, David's Bridal and La Soie - will all be there to display gowns and offer promotions. The best DJs, including Barry Lamster, Masters of Ceremony and SOS will be there, too! See arrangements from Charmaine's Bouquet Canyon Florist and Acton Creative Flowers; taste desserts from Jill's Cakes and Popcornopolis and get to know many wedding venues. There will be giveaways like magazines from The Knot; honeymoon trips to Las Vegas and other prizes, including a Kindle Fire. Vendors that cover your every wedding need will be there to answer questions and offer services and promotions, including tuxes, invitations, bands, travel, photo touch booths, wedding planners and even horse-drawn carriages. Photographers including Genesis, Hector Vicente, R & R and William Innes will be there displaying the latest and greatest. Tickets can be found at all the vendors mentioned above, totally free of charge. See the ad on page 12
for more details. 255-1244

PLAY: The Master's College
Each year, The Master's College presents a moving Christmas musical experience - and 2014 is no different. This all-ages event includes traditional holiday music and a featured work; this time, it's John Rutter's "Gloria." TMC's musical ensembles, including the Collegiate Singers and Orchestra, The Master's College Chorale, Handbell Ensembles, Women's Chamber Choir and special solo features will take to the MacArthur Center while guests enjoy complimentary coffee and a selection of desserts for purchase. The concerts take place on The Master's College campus from Thursday, December 4 through Saturday, December 6 with concerts at 7:30pm nightly and a 2pm Saturday matinee. Group pricing, round table and theater seating is available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office or visiting 362-2262

PLAY: Santa Clarita Ballet
In Santa Clarita, it's just not Christmas without Santa Clarita Ballet Company's performance of "The Nutcracker" ballet. This December 20 and 21, the Santa Clarita Ballet will proudly bring to the stage at the Performing Arts Center a cast of highly-accomplished dancers. SC Ballet Academy students will perform alongside the Company's upper-level dancers, all of whom call Santa Clarita their home. These dancers represent every school district in Santa Clarita and represent nearly every elementary, junior high and high school in the community and from the homeschool programs present in SCV. Academy dancers are invited into the Company productions for the unique experience of dancing in a full-fledge grand production. Santa Clarita Ballet is also proud to feature an internationally-known list of esteemed professional artists in "The Nutcracker." "The Nutcracker" will be performed at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons on Saturday, December 20 at 2pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, December 21 at 2pm and 7pm. Do purchase your tickets in advance, as shows sell out quickly. For tickets, call the Santa Clarita Ballet Company. 251-0366

PLAY: SCV Junction
The halls will be decked at Heritage Junction for the December 6 and 7 installment of SCV Junction's Outdoor Marketplace from 10am to 4pm. Celebrate the holidays at the "Charlie Brown Christmas" themed event!

On Saturday, December 6 The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society will be turning Heritage Junction into a Holiday Village for the annual Christmas Open House. Bring your list! Santa Claus will hear your Christmas wishes at the Newhall Ranch House. Take a family Christmas-card picture with the Mogul steam engine. There will be holiday-themed kids craft projects and a history scavenger hunt, too. Your furry, scaly, feathered and four-legged friends can head to the Ramona Chapel for an Animal Blessing. Catch a ride up to Heritage Junction on the Hometown Trolley that will be running continually through Old Town Newhall down to the library and back.

Check some items off your holiday shopping list at the Outdoor Marketplace where you'll find a curated collection of arts and crafts vendors featuring handmade art, jewelry, decor and so much more. Free admission, free parking and bonuses like food trucks and live entertainment make this a do-not-miss event. This fundraising event benefits the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Heritage Junction is located inside William S. Hart Park at 24101 Newhall Ave. See you at the Junction!

PLAY: Valencia Laser Blast
At first glance, you might not think that Valencia Laser Blast's expansive, modern gaming space was such a draw for the over-18 set. But look closer and you'll find that the multi-level space-themed lasertag arena is ripe for corporate team building, friendship and family events. Catering is available too, making this a one-stop-shop of fun and festivities. The experience is thrilling, fun and super memorable. What else could you ask for in a party spot? 255-1600
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