December 8: hunter, blogger, and author Hank Shaw will join St. Jack for a special dinner and cookbook signing.
December 8: hunter, blogger, and author Hank Shaw will join St. Jack for a special dinner and cookbook signing.

Departure’s Peking Duck Month

What: Leave your leftover turkey in the fridge and try a more exotic bird this December. All month at Departure, Chef Gregory Gourdet will be serving up one of China’s national foods, the Peking Duck, with steaming Mandarin pancakes, candied kumquats, and traditional garnishes. Prepping this bird is no easy feat, but Gourdet has done all the leg work– it’s cured overnight in a seven spice blend, and fried up traditional style, giving it that sought after thin, crispy skin and succulent flavor.
When: The month of December.
Where: Departure Restaurant + Lounge, 525 SW Morrison St.
How Much: $82, per bird (feeds 2–4). Call Departure at 503-802-5370 to reserve your bird.

Mi Mero Mole’s 2 Year Anniversary Party

What:  Celebrate Mi Mero Mole’s second anniversary at this birthday bash. All attendees will get a chance to spend the rueda de fortuna (prize wheel), where the minimum prize is a free taco and the grand price is two 100-level tickets to the Blazers. The restaurant will also be giving out champurrado, spiced Mexican hot chocolate, and masa drink, and offering discounts on margaritas, beer, and horchata.
When: Thursday, December 5 from 5 to 9 pm.
Where: Mi Mero Mole, 5026 SE Division St.
How Much: Free to attend. Food and drink available for purchase.

Reading & Book Signing of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

What: Meet James Beard Award-winning writer Anya Von Bremzen at this reading and book signing of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing. This inventive tragicomic memoir shares the stories of feats, famine, and life under the Red socialist banner.
When: Friday, December 6 from 6:30 to 8 pm.
Where: Pages to Plate event space at Baker & Spice Cakery, 6306 SW Capitol Hwy.
How Much: Free to attend. Call 503-546-3737 to reserve a spot. 

Ugly Sweater Decorating Party

What: Decorate holiday sweaters with puffy paint, pom-poms, glitter, and more. A photo booth will capture the creations, which will be submitted to social media for a chance to win “Portland’s Ugliest Sweater.” Guests are also invited to play shuffleboard, bowling, or darts, sing holiday carols in the karaoke lounge, and partake in holiday treats. A limited number of sweatshirts will be provided for decorating, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own sweater, as well as additional warm clothing for Transition Projects, a local organization working to alleviating homelessness.
When: Saturday, December 7 from 11 am to 2 pm.
Where: Punch Bowl Social, 340 SW Morrison St.
How Much: Free to attend. Guests are encouraged to contribute to the warm clothing drive.

Imperial’s Holiday Cookbook Social

What:  Finish your holiday shopping early at Imperial’s second annual holiday cookbook social, featuring the area's most acclaimed cookbook authors. Over twenty local author-chefs, including the minds behind Toro Bravo, Le Pigeon, and The Paley's Place Cookbook, will be on hand to discuss and sign copies of their work. Imperial's Bar Manager Brandon Wise will be serving up cocktails, and several of the authors will prepare complimentary bites.
When: Sunday, December 8 from 1 to 3 pm.
Where: Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway
How Much: Free to attend. Cookbooks available for purchase. More information here.

Hank Shaw Dinner at St. Jack

What: Rub elbow with hunter, blogger, and author Hank Shaw over a delicious dinner inspired by his newest book, Duck, Duck, Goose. Chat with Hank over goose terrine and stuffed duck neck laced with pistachios, prunes and pork sausage, paired with St. Jack’s wine selections. Discuss the finer points of fowl—which breeds are the most sought after and how to identify, hunt, and prepare them—with the expert while enjoying first–hand the delightful flavors these birds offer.  
When: December 8, with two seatings available–5 pm and 8 pm.
Where: St. Jack, 2039 SE Clinton St.
How Much: $65 per person, $30 for optional wine pairing. Reserve your seat by calling St. Jack 503-360-1281.

Crafty Happy Hour

What: Connect with your community, craft with kids and sip on hot toddies at the Crafty Happy Hour hosted by Besaw’s, benefiting the Children’s Healing Art Program. Craft holiday decorations with your kids, grab some tape and wrap your present pile, or mingle with neighbors over the snack table in an evening that proves you can have a good time and still tackle your holiday to do list.
When: Monday, December 9 from 5–7 pm.
Where: Besaw’s, 2301 NW Savier St.
How Much: Free to attend, full bar available for purchase.

Bavarian-Style Holiday Dinner at Tabor Tavern

What:  Dig into delicious Bavarian-style bread dishes at this holiday dinner. This installment in Tabor Tavern’s guest dinner series features a comfort food-filled four-course meal featuring Fressen Artisan Bakery. Courses will be paired with a series of adult beverages. Featured dishes include pretzel dumplings, hazelnut bread pudding, braised venison, and fried Christmas bread.
When: Tuesday, December 10 at 7 pm.
Where: Tabor Tavern, 5325 E. Burnside St.
How Much: $50 per person. Call 503-208-3544 to reserve a spot.

Adelsheim Wine Maker Dinner

What: Taste the beverage behind the buzz at this winemaker dinner feature Adelsheim Winery. The meal will feature four wines and six dishes, including squash veloute, roasted duck and Anderson Valley lamb. Adelsheim’s wine maker, David Paige, will be on hand to share tales from the vine.
When: Wednesday, December 11 at 6:30 pm.
Where: Allium Bistro, 1914 Willamette Falls Drive, West Linn, OR
How Much: $75 per person. Reservations are required. Call 503-387-5604 to reserve a spot.

Artisan Build-A-Gift-Basket Event

What: Sample artisan goods and local products like NW Elixers hot sauces, Bee Local honey, Fat Dog Mustard, Pinkleton’s Caramel Corn, and Jacobsen Salt Co., before building your own gift basket for friends and family. The CruMarket team will be available to answer questions and help you select the perfect wine to make your gift extra special.
When: Saturday, December 14 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Where: CruMarket, 310 NW Broadway St.
How Much: Baskets range from small ($50 plus shipping) to large ($120 plus shipping). Wine is $25 for red and $35 for sparkling.

Cookie Bake With the Kids

What: Bring the kids to Fleur De Lis Bakery for a free cookie bake. This event is free for the first twenty children with reservations. Registration is required.
When: Saturday, December 14 from 1 to 2 pm.
Where: Fleur De Lis Bakery & Café, 3930 NE Hancock
How Much: Free. Limited to 20 children. Call 503-459-4887 to reserve a spot. 

4th Annual Season’s Eatings

What:  Eat, drink, and shop for a cause at this holiday bazaar benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.  Local artisans will showcase the region’s finest chocolates, cheeses, spirits, and other treats. Participating vendors include PokPok, Tails and Trotters, Water Avenue Coffee, Portland Juice Press, Masala Pop, and Alma Chocolate. Guests will also be treated to specialty New Deal craft cocktails.
When: Saturday, December 14 from 12 to 6 pm.
Where: New Deal Distillery tasting room, 900 SE Salmon St.
How Much: Admission is one non-perishable food item per guest—additional donations are welcome. Proceeds will benefit the Oregon Food Bank. More information available here. 

Olio Nuovo Cooking Class with Chef Cathy Whims

What: Impress your family this Christmas and educate yourself on the nuances of olio nuovo—that’s Italian for olive oil that will knock your socks off. Nostrana chef Cathy Whims partners with Jeffery Bergman in a class that explains the history of this delicious oil and demonstrates how to use it in your own cooking. The afternoon ends with a guided tasting of four olive oils alongside Nostrana’s Italian fare, paired with wine and house made ciabatta.
When: Sunday, December 15 from 12:30 to 3 pm.
Where: Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison St.
How Much: $85 per person, plus 18% service charge. Call 503-234-2427 or check out their website to reserve a spot. 

Know about a great event coming up that should be on our radar? Shoot me an email at ajones@portlandmonthlymag.com or give me a shout over on Twitter at @allisonejones. Now get out there and start eating!

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