This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, December 15
Tuesday Chef's Menu, which runs $30 for the meal and $15 for an accompanying French wine flight. The first course is Boeuf Bourguignon paired with Parallèle 45 Ctes du Rhne, the second is a Pté de canard en croûte with Hangtime Pinot Noir from Burgundy, and the meal concludes with an le flottante paired with Sauvignon Vouvray from the Loire Valley. (Each course can also be ordered separately.) Liliana's, 2951 Triverton Pike, Fitchburg. Reservations can be made online or by calling 442-4444.
in response to an invitation by the MATC Downtown Education Center, 211 N. Carroll St., Rm. D240, 7 p.m. Call Community Groundworks at Troy Gardens at 240-0409 for more info.
Wednesday, December 16
Kids can enjoy snacks and perhaps get a sneak peek at some upcoming meals at a book signing for Bean Appetit: Hip & Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food, a cookbook assembled by Bean Sprouts Café. The Middleton restaurant will be operating an onsite café at the new museum location on Capitol Square between Pinckney and North Hamilton streets, and is due to open in August 2010. Madison Children's Museum, 100 State St., 11 a.m.-noon. Call 256-6445 for more info.
The Wisconsin Union and several UW student groups are launching a new culinary series titled Come to the Table, a regular gathering "focused on food, sustainability, local and organic sourcing, biogenetics in food, food policy, social justice issues and world trends in food consumption." The opening community dinner and lecture will feature a lecture by Family Farm Defenders president John Kinsman on "Agriculture: Crises & Opportunity." The menu of local eats includes butternut squash soup, oven-roasted beef brisket, wild mushroom marinara, and more. Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., 6 p.m., $7.50 for UW students and $12.50 for everybody else. Call 263-2458 for more info.
The marriage of beer and toffee is the focus of a happy hour tasting at will be served with an introduction from Leanne Cordisco, a co-founder of the Madison-based Popular Snacks candy company. Ale Asylum, 3698 Kinsman Blvd., 7-8:30 p.m. Call 663-3926 for more info.
Friday, December 18
The Winter Solstice Celebration this evening to mark the changing of the seasons and approach of lengthening days. After a nighttime hike between snow and sky, participants will gather around a campirefire and enjoy cocoa and a seasonal solstice snack Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 300 Femrite Dr., 6:30 p.m., $6 person and $20/family for members and $7/person and $25/family for non-members. Call 221-4038 to register and for more info.
Saturday, December 19
The first half of the winter indoor Dane County Farmers' Market concludes today. The market will be closed for the holidays over the following two weekends before returning to the Madison Senior Center on January 9. Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., 7:30 a.m.-noon. Call 261-4000 for more info.
Join Whad'Ya Know? Holiday Party, a combined live broadcast of his popular radio show and a potluck celebration of the season. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish to pass and be ready to polka to the tunes of Mitchell Theatre, UW Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave., 9:30 a.m., $10 adults and $5 students/seniors with children free. Call 800-747-7444 for more info.
Kids are invited to whet the holiday sweet tooth and decorate cookies at the Gingerbread Cookie Factory, which will be located next to Photos Express/Express Portraits at Hilldale. All proceeds will go benefit Hilldale Shopping Center, 702 N. Midvale Blvd., 10 a.m.-3 p.m., cookies are $3 or two for $5. Call 261-9910 for more info.
Sunday, December 20Today is the third and final edition of the Scandinavian Holiday Brunch at Restaurant Magnus, 120 E. Wilson St., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call 258-8787 for reservations.
Warm up before the longest night of the year with hot cider and cocoa at the Starkweather Solstice Bonfire. This annual east side tradition marks the astronomical opening of the winter season with a massive blaze and the release of paper luminaries; see here for photos of the 2007 gathering. Olbrich Park, 3402 Atwood Ave., 4:30 p.m., free. Call 251-1893 for more info.
The Winter Solstice Bonfire in the heart of an urban forest nearly surrounded by Lake Mendota. Participants are encouraged to dress in warm clothes, and bring holiday songs and stories along with warm drinks and a snack for sharing. Picnic Point, 6:30 p.m., free. Call 274-7870 for more info.