Ring in the new year at Twain's in Decatur

There's a charming, friendly place I know, and ever since a friend introduced me to this cozy spot on the Decatur square, it's all I can think about. Just the name, Twain's, gets me riled up. And when someone mentions the too-good-to-be-true Savannah Bee Porter beer, I hit a Pavlovian-like state. My mouth waters, my knees go weak. This can only mean one thing: true love.

Thus, in the spirit of the season, I bring Twain's to you. And to you, Twain's promises a menu of both healthy and indulgent fare - from vegetarian chili and turkey meatloaf to monstrous burgers and fries. To wash it down, they offer in-house brewed beers, like the aforementioned honey porter and the seasonal Gingerbread Ale.

To help you ring in the New Year, Twain's will offer a three-course beer menu dinner instead of the regular menu. The New Year's Eve tasting, paired with appetizers, will be held at 7 and 11 p.m.

Twain's is located at 211 E. Trinity Place, Decatur. Call 404-373-0063 or visit www.twains.net.

Atlanta chefs offer recipes in cookbook

If you were Kevin Rathburn, what would you serve at your holiday party? According to a regional cookbook, you'd probably dish out a hardy rack of oregano roasted lamb. Acclaimed Atlanta chef Rathburn, along with some 30 of the city's other favorite chefs, are offering their advice and party recipes in the new "Atlanta Cooks at Home" cookbook.

Offering an at-home glimpse of Atlanta's most renowned chefs, the lively cookbook features the cooks' favorites dishes and guides to wine and beer pairings, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at their personal lives, with photos of the chefs with their families and a question and answer section. Think "Inside the Actors Studio," but with chefs and (mostly) usable information.

Retailing for $34.95, "Atlanta Cooks at Home" is available in area book and gift stores, and online at www.atlantacooksathome.com.

Vinings Inn to feature Christmas feast

If watching "A Christmas Carol" isn't enough to satisfy your craving for a truly traditional holiday, head over to The Vinings Inn. Come Saturday, when the restaurant will feature a Christmas feast grand enough to make Tiny Tim proud. No lima bean split eight ways here.

The inn will pull out all the stops for a four-course, 1850s-style Christmas dinner, complete with carolers. The historic menu will conjure the ghosts of Christmas dinners past, and feature time-honored treats such as tomato and fig salad with a sweet bourbon vinaigrette, honey and thyme seared duck and white chocolate bread pudding with mixed berries and cinnamon whipped cream.

While scarfing down the table of delights, diners will be serenaded by Like the Dickens, an a cappella quartet. The dinner is $55 per person, and reservations are required.

Vinings Inn restaurant is located at 3011 Paces Mill Road, Atlanta. Call 770-438-2282 or visit www.viningsinn.com.

- Compiled by staff writer Anna Ferguson. If you've got news about restaurant openings, closings or special offerings, e-mail anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.