How online ordering just became your stomach's new BFF:
Don't look now, gastro-intestinal system, but online ordering is a thing at Rustic Eatery, which means you can get your grub on near instantly with the help of blessed technology. Set a specific pick up time and you won't wait a minute before your to-go goodness goes straight to your mouth.
What to order:
Rustic's Shabu cut Ribeye is thinly sliced, served hot on house-made rustic sourdough bread with your choice of cheese and accompanied with a House Salad complete with a tart lemon vinaigrette. 254-8100
What you should bet the farm on:
Rustic Burger's "The Farm" burger is worth the chance. With belly, bacon, egg, arugula and pepperjack cheese atop your choice of protein #Choose from tofu, salmon, chicken, shrimp, chuck and brisket or sow and cow.#, you'll quickly discover just how good a burger really can be.
The only way to make it better:
Add on Mac & Cheese with mornay and a panko crust. 254-1300
The food equivalent of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas":
There are just some things that are synonymous with the holiday season, and Cold Stone Creamery's Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream is one of them. Made fresh in store, we can't get enough of it when it's the star of Chocolate Peppermint Perfection #Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with fudge, whipped topping and Oreos#.
Your new holiday favorite:
Gingerbread Ice Cream in the Gingerbread Caramel Delight creation #Gingerbread Ice Cream, caramel, whipped topping and graham cracker pie crust#. Love it? Share your enthusiasm and snag a gift card for your Secret Santa exchange while you're devouring the ice cream version of that little guy in all the "Shrek" movies.
And your go-to pick me up: Coldstone's Peppermint Mocha Frappe, which is what you should order for yourself when you head over to the store in Valencia to grab your Holly Jolly Peppermint Cake. Those layers of Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with chocolate shavings and Red Velvet Cake frosted in a rich fudge ganache is reason alone to host a holiday party. 253-4123
The cutest cupcakes you'll find this season:
Give up the search; the most adorable cupcakes you'll find anywhere are at Lady Di's Cookies & Sweets. Just take a peek at this little gingerbread gal, posing perfectly atop the Sweet Sensational Double Chocolate Cake or Vanilla Rave. Doesn't she just make you want to take her home and eat her? 222-9102
Where Santa's taking the elves for Christmas Eve dinner:
1 courtesy of Shutterstock
Vines at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
Why the big guy's pre-flight choice is Vines:
When you're piloting a sleigh powered by magical mammals at the crack of dawn, what you have for dinner's kind of a big deal. At Vines, Christmas Eve's beauteous buffet features handcarved meats like prime rib and turkey, plus plenty of shrimp, salads and gourmet desserts. It's a festive spread that's sure to make your family smile. Prices won't put you on the naughty list, either. Cost is $33 adults; $16.50 kids.
And for Christmas day...:
You've never seen a Christmas Day buffet quite like this. An explosion of holiday flavor takes over Vines on the 25th, with an expansive variety of traditional and California fusion flavor. We went last year and were endlessly impressed with the incredible selection of salads, hand-carved meats, seafood and more... and the kids are still talking about the desserts! Cost is $65 for adults, $28 for kids 5 to 12; little people 4 and under are free. 678-4044
What to order when your holiday party is at your place and time is not on your side:
Anything from Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company, because it's delicious but also because you don't even have to get out of your car to get it. All dining and catering options are available with parking lot pick up. Just call your order in, schedule a time to pick it up and they'll bring your order to your car.
And the specifics:
Need some inspiration for your catering order? These awesome options are some of what we ordered for our holiday gatherings. Whether you're feeding 10 or 100, these crowd pleasers rocked our socks off! Here are just a few of our faves: Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Guacamole and Brie Crostini with Chipotle Dipping Sauce, Chicken and Apple Empenadas, Spinach and Artichoke Dip by the pint, Oven Roasted Prime Rib, Herb Crusted Chicken Mattone, Grilled Salmon with Tomato Basil, Spicy Thai Pasta, Sausage and Peppers, BBQ Pizza, Baby Greens with Gorgonzola, Meghan's Famous Chocolate Layer Cake, lemon bars, cheesecake squares, chocolate pecan squares, assorted seasonal pies, the incredible Six Layer Coffee Toffee Torte and more. Wolf Creek 263-9653
What's better than a smooch at the strike of 12:
2/3 courtesy of Shutterstock
The "Kiss Me at Midnight NYE Cake Pops" from Cake Goodness.
What's so special about these yummy pops:
These adorable Kiss Me at Midnight cake pops come with a gold clock that is about to strike 12, a glittery red lip all puckered up for the first kiss of the New Year, a sparkly black heel that is ready to dance the night away, and a glittery silver star. These cuties are available in all of your favorite flavors, too: Cookies and Cream, Triple Chocolate, Red Velvet, Brownie and Cinnamon Crunch. Call for pre-order or walk in the store to pick some up for your special night. Pops are sold separately for $3 each or a dozen in a carrying case for $42. 799-7510
How to ring in the new year in style:
Head to The Oaks Grille at TPC for one of their most popular events of the year - their New Year's Eve Celebration. Log onto www.oaksgrilletpc.com for details.
How to combine your love of a gourmet meal with live NYE entertainment:
Vines at the Hyatt Regency Valencia is serving a five-course meal featuring live music from Paul Lemire for $78 a person.
Where you'll feel like it's high school or college again, but in a good way:
1 courtesy of Shutterstock
Do you remember that feeling you had on a good day at school? That sense of, "All my friends are here and life just can't get better" sensation? The happy vibration that penetrates each step and lifts your soul? If it's been a while since you've felt the warmth of community and belonging, maybe it's time to get out more #Or, um, get new friends!#. Either way, with end-of-the-year sign up incentives, now's the time to check out The Paseo Club lifestyle. It's more than just "fitness" at Paseo; it's comradery. It's a place where you go to the gym... and the bar, pool and social events. It's where you play tennis... and play cards with the people you met playing tennis. Basically, every day at Paseo is like your most fun day of school, but without the homework. 257-0044
Where membership means business:
Your bottom line wants you to go golfing. On the links is where friendships are made and deals are sealed - and no where does that happen more than at the timeless Valencia Country Club. The establishment club, often ranked at the top for course quality, is the best game in town... and now could be the best value, too. A limited number of attractively-priced spots are available, including junior memberships for those 26 years of age and younger. Call Membership Director Missy Skinner for details.
Where to go share the freshest fish with friends:
Fish Tail Grill puts a priority on the details. Their fish batter is made daily with an Asian tempura mix accompanied with a premium micro-brewed beer. Their efforts for absolute freshness continue with the soups - both the miso and clam chowder are prepared every morning - and the fresh fish is delivered six days a week. With added Saki, wines and variety of beers, an after-work get together is always an option at Fish Tail Grill, too. Plus, the online menu makes it easy to order food to go without compromising freshness and taste. Try their specialty, the Hawaiian Poke Bowl. 295-3474
The drink you'll order, and thus inspire everyone at your table to follow suit:
Marston's Pumpkin Pie Martini. Only the liquor lords at Marston's could come up with a way to turn a favorite seasonal dessert into a drink so deliciously sweet and pumpkin-spicy, guests ask for it all year long. We can't disclose the secret ingredients and the proportions are as protected as a display at the Smithsonian, but what we can tell you is this: get a designated driver and order two. Better yet, order two... and an order of Marston's Bread Pudding for the ultimate in winter dessert mastery. 253-9910
The drink you won't even try to make at home:
Sabor Cocina Mexican's Mezcalito de Pina. This powerful punch takes some serious prep work - and it's worth it. Specially seasoned habanero bitters are combined with hand-grilled pineapple, mint, agave nectar, fresh citrus and 100-percent agave mezcal reposado for a drink that's sweet, spicy and filled with fresh flavor. 259-9002
The drink you'll try to make at home because it's so precious:
Can we please take a moment to congratulate the mixologists at Salt Creek Grille? Seriously, guys. Take a bow. You didn't cure cancer #Yet.# but you did create the most adorbs cocktail ever. Reader friends: Don't let the "quaint" of this cutie fool you. The Graham Cracker Martini packs a real punch with vanilla vodka, Goldschlager, cream, agave nectar and graham cracker rim. It's sooooo good. 222-9999