The holidays bring out the best—and
worst—in people. Soccer moms battle through toy-store aisles and
agonize over dinner menus. The kids are home from school—and overdosing
on sugar cookies. Spouses brace themselves for visiting in-laws. But don’t
start hitting the eggnog just yet. Get your holiday to-do list under
control by logging on to http://www.dirona.com/ , the Web site of the
Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA). At dirona.com, you can relieve some stress by locating restaurants for
your holiday feasts online. With the click of a mouse, you’ll find more
than 800 fine-dining restaurants throughout the US, Mexico and Canada—
all have passed a rigorous 75-point anonymous inspection to earn the
DiRoNA Award of Excellence. Search by city, state, type of cuisine or name
to find a DiRoNA restaurant in your area offering special holiday meals
and events. Online reservations can be made at many of the restaurants, by
clicking on the links to their individual Web sites. Some, like Galileo in
Washington, D.C., even have festive “to-go” menus. The restaurant offers
four-course Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve take-out dinners (starting at
$75 and $95 per person, respectively).
If it’s a unique gift you need, consider the DiRoNA’s annual Guide to
Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Packed with thorough
restaurant descriptions, including menus and wine lists, contact
information and color photography, the 2005 edition makes a great business
or personal gift (available on the Web site for $24.95).
Last-minute shoppers can also purchase fine-dining gift certificates to
DiRoNA restaurants by contacting the restaurants directly. And for the
wine connoisseur in your life, many DiRoNA restaurants, including Rialto
in Cambridge, MA, and the Ringside Steakhouse Glendoveer in Portland, OR,
offer educational wine classes.
Those planning their own festive menus can impress guests with entrees
from some of North America’s top chefs. Simply click on “Signature Dishes”
on dirona.com for tasty holiday meal ideas such as the appetizer below
from the Sardine Factory in Monterey, CA.