This is the time of year for a special meal with Santa, dinner with friends, or just a night out on the town.
Here are some places that are ready to entertain you this holiday season.
■ Buddy's Bar & Grill, 854 East High Street, is having Santa over for dinner on Tuesday. Bring the kids and join Santa from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Kids eat free with a purchase of a $12 entree. Call (859) 335-1283 or go to www.buddysbarandgrill.com.
■ The Dish, 438 South Ashland Avenue, is offering a deal for early diners.
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"We have some great specials running through the month of December," chef/owner Trish Tungate said. "First, anyone who comes for dinner by 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday will receive 20 percent off their entire bill. Also, anyone who comes in for dinner by 6:30 on Friday and Saturday can get half off select glasses and bottles of wine."
Go to www. thedishlexington.com or call (859) 317-8438.
■ Franky and Annette's at The Signature Club of Lansdowne, 3256 Lansdowne Drive, is hosting brunch with Santa on Saturday. There will be cookie decorating and crafts for children. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $30 for adults and $15 for ages 5 to 12. Proceeds go to Growing Together Preschool. Call (859) 277-6600, Ext. 1.
■ Hanna's on Lime, 214 South Limestone, will have a pre-holiday special on Wednesday. The menu includes turkey and dressing. Call (859) 252-6264.
■ Oliva Bella is throwing a customer-appreciation party from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the tasting room, 406 South Broadway. In addition to product tastings, there will be mulled wine and cider, and traditional Italian foods and sweets. Call (859) 983-3567.
■ Vardens, 509 Main Street in Paris, is having a night of champagne and cupcakes on Tuesday. Steve Walton is serving his favorite cupcakes, made by Naticakes in Franklin, Tenn. The party is 6 to 8 p.m. Call (859) 987-4700.
■ Vito and Mary Ciepiel, owners of Vito's Café in Fort Thomas, are planning a White Christmas Eve candlelight buffet. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. The cost is $35. Vito's annual New Year's Eve Gala will feature a five-course Italian dinner prepared by chef Gina Puopolo. Seatings are at 6 and 9 p.m. The cost is $65. Vito's is at 654 Highland Avenue. Call (859) 442-9444.
Julep Cup plans New Year's menu
The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, has put the final touches on its New Year's Eve menu. Dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. and entertainment, with Phil Copeland, will be 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The cost is $75. Call (859) 226-0300.
The menu will feature Pacific oysters on the half-shell with celery Mignonette, potato dumplings in beef consommé with confit mushroom and shaved Oregon truffles, butter-poached Maine lobster tail with tomato-tarragon broth and cheesy grits, house-made smoked salmon "cheesecake" with mixed herb salad and ravigote sauce, Maine diver sea scallops, steak Diane, bourbon-glazed half duck with caramelized quinoa wild rice, and chocolate lava cake baked to order.
More value at Max & Erma's
Max & Erma's has added some items to its value menu. It will include a 6-ounce sirloin with garlic mushroom sauce for $9.99, and funnel cake fries with strawberry dipping sauce for $3.99. The restaurant will give a free $5 gift card with the purchase of every $25 gift card through Dec. 31. Max & Erma's is at 1848 Alysheba Way in Hamburg Pavillion. Call (859) 543-8111.