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Restaurant Roving: Last minute Christmas ideas because just about everyone likes to eat out


Counting today, five days remain for last-minute Christmas shopping. If you are running out of time and ideas, don’t forget restaurant gift cards.

Just about everyone likes to eat out at least once in a while, and this is an opportunity to share your favorite restaurant(s) with someone you care about. Most local restaurants, even the smallest ones, sell gift cards or certificates.

Bucks County and nearby New Jersey have a vast array of restaurant choices from pizza and pasta to ethnic cuisines. If you want the gift recipient to try Vietnamese food there is Phi in Doylestown, while Peruvian and Mexican are on the menu at El Tule in Lambertville, N.J.

If your recipient loves sushi, there are restaurants in most local towns; Ooka Sushi has restaurants in Doylestown and Willow Grove. For those who will be dining with companions who like Asian food but not sushi, Asian fusion restaurants are a good choice; Wild Ginger has restaurants in Jamison and New Hope.

When you want to give a gift recipient a choice, Peddler’s Village in Lahaska sells a single gift card that can be used at Earl’s Restaurant, Cock ‘n Bull, Buttonwood Grill and Hart’s Pub. And if you like to consider a lot of options before choosing one, the Ferry Market in New Hope has a half-dozen restaurants at one location.

Many of our local historic inns have fireside dining, which is warm and inviting in winter. Local favorites include the Centre Bridge Inn at Centre Bridge, Riegelsville Inn in Riegelsville, the Golden Pheasant Inn in Erwinna, the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, Sergeantsville Inn in Sergeantsville, N.J., Washington House in Sellersville, Washington Crossing Inn and Springtown Inn in Springtown.

The new Cascade Restaurant at Durham Springs, which replaced Cascade Lodge in Kintnersville, is planning a big holiday bash with dinner and dancing on New Year’s Eve. Beautifully renovated with a fireplace in the dining room, it’s an upscale choice with food by an experienced chef.

Other local favorites include Caleb’s American Kitchen in Lahaska, which specializes in local ingredients; River Cat Café for breakfast, lunch and Monday jazz dinners in New Hope; Hamilton’s Grill Room and Brian’s in Lambertville, N.J. for upscale dining; Casale DiMaggio outside Perkasie for traditional Sicilian cuisine and Rocco’s at the Brick in Newtown for top-grade steak.

Theater with dinner makes an evening. Peddler’s Village’s murder mystery dinner theater this year is “Homicide & Holly,” which continues through Dec. 29. For New Year’s Eve there will be “Murder at the Moulin.”

If you give a gift card for one of New Hope’s many restaurants you can include a list of upcoming shows at the Bucks County Playhouse.

One of the benefits of giving a restaurant gift card is that the recipients get to choose when they want to use it, which means a dining adventure to brighten the gray days of January.

Have a wonderful holiday.