Try a new cocktail. Visit Santa at the Hilton. Have brunch with the Grinch: Bon Vivant

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Food adds a lot to the equation of living well. They can be all things – luxurious, cheap, common, intimate, simple and complex. In Baton Rouge, the culinary scene encompasses the full range of senses.

This weekly space brings you insider food news, tips and food/wine events for all your well-wishers.

New on the block (food and drinks)

Add some extra romance to the holidays Tap in the middleS “Under the Mistletoe” cocktail, made with Sugarfields gin, cranberry splash and a hint of rosemary. Mid Tap is located at 660 Arlington Creek Center Drive in Baton Rouge.

Ebi bao buns and curry fried food are now on the menu. Boru ramen1509 Government St., Baton Rouge.

Roca Pizzeria3897 Government St., Baton Rouge, has unveiled a new fall menu with a variety of cocktails to celebrate the holidays.

  • Rosa Roca: with apple brandy, lime, homemade grenadine and cranberry foam;
  • Apple-Roll Spritz: with aperol, cider, apple butter, rosemary and prosecco;
  • Chilled Espresso Martini: Made with vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Bayou influence, 670 O’Neal Lane, Baton Rouge, has introduced seafood gumbo to the menu. Call (225) 250-5254 to order.

There’s a new cocktail. Mestizo, 2323 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge. The Louisiana Margarita is made with Noel Family Distillery’s Blanco Tequila, Sugarfields Strawberry Liqueur and Rosé Sparkling.

In knowledge

As of Thursday, each Thanksgiving po-boy is sold at Jade local672 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, Capital Area uses United Way.

Jingle Bell BrushSunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge.

Santa is returning to the Hilton to dine in the Heidelberg Ballroom. The family meal features hot chocolate bars, sugar cookie decorating, photos with Santa and more. Tickets are $40, available for purchase For information, call (225) 906-5784. Participants must provide ID and e-tickets to enter the event.

Holiday drag brunch: Noon to 3 p.m. Sundays at The Women’s Club, 259 TJ Jamison Blvd., Baton Rouge

The Secret Krewe of Apollo is hosting a drag brunch to celebrate the holidays. There is limited seating available. Tickets are $50, available for purchase

Grinchmas brunchSaturday, December 9th from 9am to 2pm at Leola Cafe, 1857 Government St., Baton Rouge

Leola’s is hosting its first Grinchmas brunch with holiday cocktails, crafts for kids, Grinch pancakes and photos with the Grinch. Reservation by Any time from 9 am to 2 pm

Small holiday workshop: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Louisiana Culinary Institute, 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge.

Children are invited to create multiple cupcakes from start to finish. Participants will mix and bake cakes to take home and decorate, as well as pre-baked and frozen cakes. Suggested ages are 7-12. Tickets are $70 per person, available for purchase at

Markets and more.

Mistletoe Market and Farmers Market: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 and noon to noon Dec. 9, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 4727 McHugh Drive, Zachary.

Come and shop at the two-day event – St. John’s Annual Mistletoe Market and Zachary Farmers Market.

Santa visited the villageFriday, December 15 from 6 to 9 pm at Village Plaza Courthouse, 8201 Willow Grove, Baton Rouge

Shop with local vendors and enjoy village shops, Christmas drinks and refreshments, live music, children’s activities and offers from Santa.

Wine and spirits

Holiday wine tastingsWednesday, December 6, 5 to 7 pm at Solera, 4205 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge.

Solera workers pour a lot of wine from red to sparkling. Attendees can taste, learn and purchase the wines available. Tickets are $30 per person. email to take place.

A festive wine pairingFriday, December 8th from 6:30pm to 8pm at Martin’s Wine & Spirits, 6463 Moss Side Lane, Baton Rouge.

Explore combinations of the perfect wine and food pairings to enhance your holiday celebration with 16 different wines. The menu includes dishes like cornbread dressing, Brussels sprouts, pulled pork and praline sweet potatoes. Tickets start at $45, available for purchase at

Mark your calendar

Teddy bear teaSunday, December 17 from 2 to 4 pm at 121 Place, 121 Convention St., Baton Rouge

Enjoy the tradition of a Teddy Bear Tea with sweets and treats, a selection of teas, a Christmas show and more. Tickets start at $50 and are available for purchase at Participants are invited to bring an unwrapped gift to donate to Ochsner Children’s Hospital.

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