Romantic dinner setup or Holiday table setting, red decoration with candle light.

Ask Ann: Where Can I Get my Favorite Holiday Dishes & Drinks This Season?

Got a dining question? Our critic answers it.

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What are some holiday dishes, drinks or food events not to miss this month? 

A:When I was growing up, my Irish mother would bake a stollen, a sweet frosted yeast bread with candied fruit, for my German-Swedish father. The kids wouldn’t eat it except for my oldest brother, who now buys his stollen at Sendik’s or Glorioso’s Italian Market.

Many traditional European holiday foods are harder to find these days, but not necessarily impossible. Take fruitcake. The love-it-or-hate-it loaf is where National Bakery & Deli (four locations) saves the day, offering both fruitcake and stollen. For assorted French holiday pastries, check out Tosa’s Le Rêve Patisserie & Cafe and Shorewood’s North Shore Boulangerie.

People often think of the holidays as prime time for prime rib. If you want a Britishy touch, Bartolotta’s Dickens dinners (Dec. 19-22) at the Grain Exchange offer prime rib with chive crème fraîche whipped potatoes and warm bread pudding.

Several places are doing special themed holiday cocktails. For instance, the Pfister’s Lobby Lounge has a maple bourbon old fashioned. And from Nov. 23-Dec. 24, Tin Widow (703 S. Second St.) hosts “Miracle on Second Street,” a menu of themed drinks.

No plans on Xmas Eve? CLEAR bar at the Intercontinental Hotel is running a glühwein and sweets special, 4 p.m.-close.

Have a dining question? Ask Ann!

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“Ask Ann” appears in the December 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.