DECEMBER: SEASONS EATINGS (AND DRINKING)
To get the snacking and sipping in full swing, on Friday at 7 p.m. you can toast to Repeal Day, an opportunity to drink and be merry as you join the United States Bartenders Guild to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition with a head-to-head bartender competition to determine the "Official Cocktail of Repeal Day." There will also be a vermouth tasting, food, celebrity judges and entertainment by the Nate Najar Trio. The event benefits Because of Ezra and tickets are $35 in advance, $50 at the door. Chester H. Ferguson Law Center, 1610 N Tampa St., Tampa. (727) 433-8396.
Tiny Bubbles and Big Reds
That same night, Bella Vino holds its Tiny Bubbles and Big Reds annual holiday grand tasting from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with a Taittinger champagne bar, more than 100 wines, from light and sparkling to lush reds, along with food stations, artisan cheeses, Mike's Pies and live music. Tickets are $85. Belleair Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane, Belleair. (727) 584-5552.
Beers on the Pier
If cocktails and bubbly aren't your bag, you can sip something else entirely at Beers on the Pier, a craft beer festival overlooking the downtown waterfront that features brews from more than 25 beer crafters, from Colorado to California, along with local favorites, plus Beer Talk with the brewers, food trucks and live music. The ticket price of $35 in advance and $45 day of includes unlimited beer sampling, museum admission and a commemorative sampling cup. Must be 21 or older. St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-1052. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.
Food + Art
The next evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Studio@620, it's eating combined with art (two great things that go great together, just use a napkin). A celebration of the new Food + Art cookbook, this event features culinary treats from local chefs married with artwork from the Museum of Fine Arts collection. This tasting event featuring turkey, feta and spinach meatballs by Bob Devin Jones; cabbage and kale slaw by Gail Eggeman; chocolate ganache pie by Carol Dameron; and Swedish cardamom nut buns by Astrid Ellis. Tickets are $20 and registration is required. 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
St. Pete Restaurant Weekend
And then on Wednesday you can meet some of the heavy hitters of the upcoming St. Pete Restaurant Weekend. It's a chance to sample culinary treats, from appetizer to entree and dessert, at the kickoff celebration. You'll enjoy small plates from local chefs including Ted Dorsey (The Mill), Jeremy Duclut (Cassis American Brasserie) and Jason Esposito (Engine No 9); each plate is paired with brews from Green Bench Brewing. For a complete list of participating restaurants in St. Pete Restaurant Weekend, where guests can enjoy a three-course prix fix dinner for $30 at 25 St. Petersburg restaurants, see StPeteRestaurantWeekend.com. The kickoff event, Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Morean Arts Center for Clay, is $40 advance, $45 at door. 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7162.