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Holiday Dining: How about a little Rudolph Stew (and we can use that red nose instead of candlelight)

Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm


North Star on white


By Peter Covino

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Tired of all those reindeer making noise on the roof and leaving a mess afterward (and not even getting any presents?)

Santa won’t notice one less reindeer so I give to you from the Nordic Nibbler website ( that yuletide favorite direct from Oslo, Reindeer Stew (Reinsdyrgryte) with Thyme Dumplings.

According to  Nordic Nibbler,  “It has a wonderful taste” with meat that is extraordinarily dark.

I am not going to reprint the recipe (you can find it at the website) but you will need bacon, garlic, red wine, mushrooms, juniper berries, flour and a carrot (presumably to catch the reindeer).

It’s a lot easier just to go out to dinner and my office email has a few suggestions for the Christmas holiday.

Many restaurants are closed for the holiday, but the Rosen hotels are open with an assortment of buffets at the Rosen Plaza, Rosen Centre and Rosen Shingle Creek, all in Orlando. Diners will also receive a special gift — a Rosen Hotels & Resorts Dining Card.
The Rosen Hotels & Resorts Dining Card, available only to guests who dine at the Christmas Day Buffets at one of the three hotels, is valid for Buy One/Get One Free dining at five Rosen Hotels & Resorts signature restaurants including Everglades, Jack’s Place, Cala Bella, A Land Remembered and Shogun. Then, once guests dine at each of the five restaurants by August 31, 2014, they will receive their choice of one of three complimentary gifts: a Rosen Plaza overnight stay in a deluxe guest room, a luxurious treatment at The Spa at Rosen Centre or a round of golf at Shingle Creek Golf Club.\
One ) Rosen Hotels & Resorts Dining Card will be issued to each paid adult couple who dine at one of the following special Christmas Day Buffets (on Dec. 25 only) at the three participating Rosen Hotels & Resorts:

Rosen Plaza
The Christmas Day Buffet in the Grand Ballroom at Rosen Plaza, available from 12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. includes   an extensive array of favorite dishes and specialty items – from carving stations to fresh pastas, soups and salads, an abundance of hot entrees and delectable desserts.  Adult guests will also enjoy complimentary wine with their meal. Prices are $36.95 for adults (ages 11+); $15.95 for children (ages 4-10); children three and under are free. Tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are recommended by calling 407-996-0256. Visit to see the full menu and to receive an online coupon for $3 off.

Rosen Centre
Rosen Centre’s Christmas Day Buffet at Café Gauguin, available from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,  features unlimited mimosas and champagne, as well as favorite seasonal dishes such as roasted pork loin with apricots and figs, roasted prime rib of beef, turkey and pan-seared salmon; and an assortment of stations offering omelets, waffles, pasta, soup, salad, cheese and seasonal fruits.  There are lots of desserts too. Children can enjoy their favorites at a special station created just for them. Prices are $39.95 for adults (ages 13+); $16.95 for children (ages 4-12); children under four are free. Tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are recommended by calling 407-996-8551. Visit to see the full menu.

Rosen Shingle Creek
The Christmas Day Buffet at Cafe Osceola at Rosen Shingle Creek, available from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.,will leave guests features  a  presentation of more than 44 dishes, all of the holiday favorites can be found here – including chef-manned carving stations, decadent desserts, unlimited champagne mimosas and more! Prices are $65.95 for adults (ages 13+); $29.95 for children (ages 4-12); children three and under are free. Prices do not include tax or gratuity. Florida residents can enjoy a special discount of 25 percent off. Reservations are recommended by calling 407-996-3663. Visit to see the full menu.

Macaroni Grill

Santa won’t get left out on Christmas Eve if you go to Macaroni Grill Dec. 23 or Dec. 24.  Each family gets to take home chocolate chip cookies that they can leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

“Putting out cookies on Christmas Eve is a fun, family holiday tradition, and the Cookies for Santa giveaway is a simple way to provide our guests with some extra holiday cheer,” said Macaroni Grill Vice President of Marketing Kristen Temple. “We want our guests to enjoy a relaxing meal with us while marking one more thing off the last minute holiday to-do list.”

Cookies for Santa will be available for families with children during lunch and dinner at all Macaroni Grill locations. Macaroni Grill is also giving $10 worth of gift cards back to customers with a $25 or more gift card purchase. Guests who order more than $300 at Macaroni Grill for catering and holiday parties will receive $25 off their next visit.

For more information, visit

I’ve run out of restaurants (it’s too late for Christmas but if you’ve got something good going on for the New Year’s dining column you can send an email to but I have a couple of nice-sounding  good-cheer- for-the-holidays recipes from the folks at Hennessy V.S  These have not been tested personally by yours truly, but they certainly look good.


The Mint (can be served cold or hot)

1.5 oz Hennessy V.S

.5 oz Carpano antica formula

Splash of lemon juice

Splash of simple syrup

2 dashes fee brothers old fashioned bitters

1 oz cranberry juice

2 oz peppermint tea

Garnish: orange twist

Glass: Collins or mug

Cold Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin and shake with ice until well chilled.  Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice, garnish with an orange twist.

Hot Method: Add all non-alcoholic ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour into heatproof glass, add all alcohol, garnish with an orange twist.

The North Star

2.5 oz Hennessy V.S

.25 oz maple syrup

1 dash fee brothers black walnut bitters

1 dash angostura bitters

Garnish: 1 star anise

Glass: rocks

Method: add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice until chilled.  Strain into an old fashioned glass without ice and garnish with a star anise.

It seems like it should be Christmas already. We just had our in-office holiday party and the Santa NORAD Tracking (to check where Santa is on Christmas Eve) is up an running on our website.

Hey, Santa, if you are reading this, I was only joking about the reindeer.