{Localista Picks} Double-Size Holiday Edition

Well, we’re near the middle of December already, just a couple of weeks away from Christmas and then the New Year will be here. Time does fly when you’re having fun!

Speaking of fun, it’s time for the Localista Picks to Eat~Play~Shop local in the Triangle. This week, it’s a double-size edition and the last of this year (as I take next week off from blogging). So without further ado, here are a few area activities and local businesses you might want to consider fitting into your very busy holiday agenda.

Eat Local

Lantern in Chapel Hill announced the opening of Lantern Table this week, a community kitchen and private party space right next door to the restaurant. Sounds like it’s going to be a great addition to Chapel Hill. You know what else will be great? New Year’s Eve at Lantern! They’re celebrating the new year with a 4-course supper featuring local and regional delicacies. The dinner is $68 per person (not including tax, gratuity or beverages) and reservations are being accepted now (call 919-969-8846 to make yours). 

Speaking of special dinners, Antonia’s Restaurant in Hillsborough will host their second annual special dinner with David Hirsch, one of the authors of the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks on Dec 18 at 6:30 pm. The family-style menu features six vegetarian courses from his cookbooks (and wine will be served with each course). The price per person is $65.00, plus taxes and gratuities. Reservations are required (call 919 643 7722 as soon as possible). Purple Crow Books will have Hirsch’s cookbooks for sale, including the latest Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (which the author will be happy to autograph).

North Raleigh’s Neomonde Cafe & Market celebrates its two-year anniversary this Saturday, Dec 14 (open 10 am – 9 pm) with food and wine sampling, live music performances and a free piece of walnut baklava with each purchase. Find full details about the day long event via the Facebook event page.

Planning to make it a special evening in downtown Raleigh this New Year Eve and wondering where to make dinner reservations? Plates would love to have you dine with them and they’ve posted their Prix Fixe Five Course menu here (includes a complementary glass of Champagne). Call 919.828.0018 or reserve via OpenTable.

Guglhupf Bakery & Café hosts its 5th Annual German Christmas Market Saturday, Dec 14 (10 am – 4 pm). You’ll find market vendors selling a wide range of artwork, collectibles and holiday gifts on the patio, be entertained by live music, and enjoy the delicious German street food with a warming glass of Glühwein this special day. What a great way to spend an afternoon in Durham.

Social media was buzzing earlier this week with the announcement of a new Asian restaurant coming to downtown Durham in Summer 2014. If you can’t wait until next year for Asian eats downtown, stop in Ninth Street Bakery on Saturday, Dec 14 (starting at 5 pm) for Cantonese Night. The special evening menu includes items like Crispy Fried Bitter Melon Chips w/ Sweet and Sour Sauce & Carrot Radish Slaw and Sesame Garlic Coriander Tofu w/ Brown Rice & Sesame Cucumber Salad. Plus, the entire menu is gluten free.

Play Local

I’m sure National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of your favorite Christmas movies. In case you haven’t had a chance to enjoy the misadventures of the Griswolds this season, make your way to Lonerider Brewery‘s Hideout in Raleigh for a special screening on Dec 18 (7:30 pm). Bring a chair and snacks to enhance the fun. Local brews will be available for purchase (as well as Lonerider gear for beer fans).

It’s become a bit of a tradition at The Colony Theater in N. Raleigh, a Christmas screening of cult favorite Serenity. This year, for the first time the movie will be shown in DCP Digital format on the big screen. Doors open at 7 pm (plenty of time to enjoy a beverage before the show), movie begins at 8 on Thursday, Dec 12, for the very budget friendly price of $5 (cash only) at the door.

The 4th Annual Holiday Open House at Pittsboro’s Starrlight Mead is this Saturday, Dec 14 (open noon – 6 pm). Stop in to enjoy hot Spiced Apple Mead, live music by Thunder and Spice (1:30 – 4:30) and take advantage of some special mead discounts and lots of ho-ho-honey wine fun as only Starrlight Mead can serve.

Just a few minutes beyond the Orange County line in lovely downtown Saxapahaw, local bluegrass/folk musicians Chatham County Line brings their “Electric Holiday Tour” to the beautiful Haw River Ballroom, Dec. 21 (door 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm). Take a break from the holiday craze and book some “you” time to enjoy this special show.

New Year’s at Casbah in Durham this year will feel a bit bittersweet as the music venue hosts its last show on Dec 31st. But what a way to go out! Get your tickets to New Year’s Eve with Peter Lamb and the Wolves and make this last night at Casbah one to remember.

Have you had a chance to strap on some ice skates and twirl around the rink at The Ice Factory in American Tobacco Campus yet? They’ve just announced a series of Themed Thursdays events, where you can save $2 on admission and wear your tackiest sweater (Thurday, Dec. 19) or maybe skate in your coziest flannel PJs if you prefer. It’s all good fun in the Bull City this holiday season. 

Shop Local

Durham’s Regulator Bookshop hosts local author Allan Gurganus to reprise a very special Christmas tradition at the indie bookshop on Dec 20 at 7 pm as he reads his holiday story “A Fool for Christmas”. I won’t spoil the story for those that aren’t already familiar with it (but make sure you have a tissue handy as the story reaches it end). The Regulator will supply hot mulled wine, hot apple cider, and cookies. Oh, and I suggest arriving early to get in a little shopping for the book fans on your list too.

SPECTRE Arts (near Golden Belt) in Durham hosts a one night only “20 Buck Chuck” sale event this Friday, Dec 13. All of the art in the gallery will be on sale for the bargain price of $20. This is an incredible opportunity to find a truly unique gift (and IMHO it’s totally OK to get yourself a nice gift once in a while too) – don’t miss out!

Townsend Bertram & Co (the adventure outfitters in Carrboro’s CarrMill Mall) have something special planned for Tuesday, Dec. 17. Stop in for a live music performance with local musicians Ella Bertram and Jennifer Curtis, and enjoy wine, snacks and extended shopping hours. Plus register for free in special raffle.

There’s a new home store opening soon in CarrMill Mall (near Elmo’s), La Boutique Lane, and feedback from special previews have my interest piqued. If you want to get a peek at what’s in the new shop, come celebrate with the shop owners this Saturday Dec 14, 5 – 9 pm.

Raleigh’s King’s Barcade hosts their annual Local Bazaar (presented by Cirque de Vol Studios) on Thursday, Dec 12 (6 pm). Admission is free to this event where you can enjoy some eclectic holiday tunes and your favorite cocktail while getting all of that last minute holiday shopping out of the way. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Keep your eyes peeled for openings of two new wine shops in downtown Raleigh in the very near future (dates will be updated here once confirmed). The Wine Feed‘s new space at 18 Glenwood is shaping up nicely and Wine Authorities keeps stashing Enomatic cards around downtown while we eagerly await the official hanging of the “OPEN” sign.

One extra special “pick” this week goes out to the Sadlack’s Stories project in Raleigh. As you’ve probably heard, the popular Hillsborough Street haunt, Sadlack’s Heroes, will soon be moving to a new location (the old location to be replaced by a new construction project). The project wants to hear your great stories and nostalgic memories of this downtown Raleigh institution. Your stories will be recorded in a story booth from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, Dec 13 and later archived on a website for posterity. Cheers to Sadlack’s and best wishes for a prosperous 2014 in their new location!


Christmas 2013I have one last wish for you all, a wish for the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest New Year ever. Thank you for keeping it local all year round!


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