Sprouts & Shutters: Holidays in the Tri-Valley

Our holiday Sprouts & Shutters focuses on food-related festivities in the Tri-Valley, from restaurants serving Christmas Eve dinner to New Years Eve-themed wine-tasting events.


In this special holiday edition of our biweekly Sprouts & Shutters column, we're featuring Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday meals and other festive deals.

Whether you're looking for a restaurant for the family meal on Christmas Eve or need to brush up on your holiday cooking skills, we have you covered.

Several local restaurants have special Christmas-eve menus:

and in Danville and in Pleasanton, for example, offer prix-fixe three-course Christmas Eve dinners. Prices typically range from $30 to $60 per person. (Some restaurants also offer a specially priced kids' menu.)

Your options aren't limited to traditional holiday fare: Bridges offers a diverse menu that includes Maple Leaf Duck Breast with Cranberry Chutney and Mexican Prawns with Worchestershire Barbecue Sauce. In addition to its regular menu, Nonni's Bistro will serve a three-course Scandinavian Christmas Feast for $34 that includes assortment of herring salads, Nordic-inspired main courses like "Juleskinka" (Christmas ham with red cabbage), fruit cobbler with cream and "Jule Glogg" (spiced warm red wine).

Many Tri-Valley restaurants, including in San Ramon, in Dublin, and the new El Sacromonte in Livermore are also open Christmas Eve, offering holiday specials in addition to their regular menu. For more holiday dining options, browse Patch’s online dining directory.

Looking for a place to dine on Christmas? Most restaurants are closed on Christmas but in Pleasanton and Danville are open and offer holiday buffet from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and from 4 – 8 p.m.

Tip: Restaurants fill up quickly during the holidays. Call now for reservations at your favorite spot.

Prefer to dine at home but don't want to cook? In addition to holiday catering by gourmet grocery stores like San Ramon's , Pleasanton's and Danville's , several local restaurants and small catering companies offer customized take-home Christmas dinners.

is closed on Christmas but its catering service offers "Wente Take Home Holiday" family-style meal for six priced at $239 for the salmon dinner and $289 for the prime rib dinner. San Ramon-based Thyme to Eat has a holiday package for $22.95 per person that focuses on traditional holiday fare. in Pleasanton offers an expansive holiday menu that includes not only holiday dinner options but also brunch selections (Gooey Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Strata, for example). For your main course, sells spiral sliced hams, free-range turkeys, prime rib roasts and lobster. The Tri Valley’s provides a prime rib dinner for $25.95 per person or “the grand banquet” for $36.95 per person. Looking for a huge selection? Download and browse the 11-page holiday menu off website.

If you'd like some tips for baking Christmas cookies or cooking New Year's Eve appetizers, attend a local holiday cooking class. Pleasanton's offers a “Holiday Cookies” class on Dec. 20, for adults. Do you kids like to help in the kitchen? Sign them up for a “Kids in the Kitchen” holiday cookie class on Dec. 20. You can prepare for your New Year's celebrations by attending the cooking school’s “New Year’s Appetizer Party” class that teaches you to create scrumptious appetizers for your celebrations and treats you to gingered champagne cocktails.

No time for holiday baking? The Tri-Valley's many bakeries and confectioneries can set you up with holiday desserts ranging from traditional holiday pies to elaborately decorated Christmas candies. Click on these links to view holiday dessert options at Chocolatier Blue, Danville Chocolates, Old Towne Danville Bakery, La Boulange, Sweet Affair and Miglet's in Danville, Café Attila and Max’s Diner in San Ramon, Nothing Bunt Cakes, Coco’s Bakery and Denica's in Dublin, Primrose Bakery, Filigree and Sweet & Savory in Pleasanton and Shari’s, Tiffane's and Let 'em Eat Cake in Livermore.

What wine should you serve for your holiday dinner? What's the best wine and bubbly to toast the new year? Find out at local holiday wine-tasting events. Livermore's new Winemaker's Pour House will host "Evening with the Wine Maker" on Dec. 21 that features "flavors of holiday dinner" with Longevity wines. in Pleasanton will serve flights of popular holiday port, cabernet and “bubblies” in its upstairs tasting room on Dec. 22 and 23 and offers a New Year’s themed event featuring sparkling wines on Dec. 29 and 30. Danville's features sparkling wine during a special New Year's Eve tasting event.

Several Tri-Valley restaurants celebrate New Year's Eve with special dinners, music and Champagne toasts. For $68 per person, you can enjoy a four-course dinner and midnight Champagne toast at in Danville. Stixx & Steaks at the San Ramon Marriott offers a $50 (and up) three-course dinner with Champagne to ring in the new year. restaurants in Pleasanton and Danville offer an a la carte New Year's Eve dinner plus live entertainment. Simply Fondue in Livermore has a $80 four-course dinner package that includes dinner, $20 gift card for future visit, framed photo and Champagne toast.

If you're looking for more of a party, consider New Year's Eve dinner at Dublin's new Unir restaurant, which is located inside . After Unir closes a 10 p.m., you can celebrate at the night club's "Frost" New Year's Eve party that features music, ice sculptures, snow cannons, ice bar and balloon drop. ("Frost" is a ticketed event.)

in Pleasanton also offers a festive New Year's Eve event featuring a three-course dinner, DJ, dancing and champagne at midnight for $50 for dinner or $15 for party-only package.

Looking for a New Year's Eve dining event for the whole family? in Pleasanton transforms into a family-friendly roaring 20s party beginning at 5 p.m., featuring 20s costumes, tables laden with party favors and a special 20s themed menu.

And for the ever-popular New Year's Day brunch? You have a lot of choices in the Tri-Valley. Porter’s Restaurant and in Livermore, and in Pleasanton, and in San Ramon, Unir Restaurant ("bottomless Mimosa" brunch) and Mimi's Café in Dublin, and in Danville are just a few of the many restaurants open for brunch on New Year's Day. We don't have space to list all the New Year's Day breakfast spots, but you can browse the our restaurant directories for more options.

To find more local holiday festivities, head to one of the Tri-Valley's many holiday events listed in your city’s Patch event calendar.

Get the latest retail and restaurant news in our next Sprouts & Shutters column in mid January.


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