Gear up for big-band sounds with an encoreworthy dinner at this Irvine go-to. Its seasonal menu delights with hearty favorites like grilled New Zealand venison medallions paired with cheddar cheese polenta. Then take in the razzle-dazzle tunes of The Holidays With Canadian Brass presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County at the Barclay Theatre (Dec. 18, 8pm, tickets $44 to $64).
2. Silver Trumpet
Stir up the holiday spirit with the shareable Great Gatsby cocktail featuring Absolut Elyx, Solerno blood orange liqueur, pineapple and grapefruit juices, orange bitters and more. Then, skip across the street to South Coast Repertory to watch Tiny Tim melt the icy heart of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 24, tickets $29 to $75).
3. Water Grill
A night at the ballet necessitates an en-pointe dinner first. So, before you sashay over to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to see The Nutcracker (Dec. 12 to 17, VIP “Sweet Seats” $299), imbibe the seasonal Cider Lowball topped with a cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg. If you need some eats to go with that poison, the swordfish served with marinated zucchini and caper brown butter is sure to satisfy.