Dining out: Festive sippers at Tuscany; 99-cent cupcakes at Molly's Cupcakes Sunday

Ho ho ho

With the holidays come festive drinks, and Tuscany Wheeling is serving up some fun cocktails now through Dec. 31. For $9 each, revelers can sip on the Jack Frost (Jack Daniel's Whiskey, simple syrup and cranberry juice with a splash of orange juice and mint that comes garnished with an orange slice) or the Holiday Mule (Tito's Vodka, pomegranate juice, lime juice, ginger beer, a dash of honey and a lime wedge).

Tuscany is at 550 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, (847) 465-9988 or

Arctic Winter Bar

Slip on your fuzzy socks and mittens and head out to Broken Oar's new enclosed outdoor lounge dubbed Arctic Winter Bar. Sip on seasonal martinis, iced shots, winter warmers and craft cocktails and dine from the bar's full menu from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays now through January. The $5 entry includes a specialty drink with preregistration. Secure tickets at

To thank its patrons, Broken Oar is hosting a Customer Appreciation Holiday Party from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. Everyone is welcome to indulge in the free appetizer buffet and take home some free giveaways.

Broken Oar is at 614 Rawson Bridge Road, Port Barrington, (847) 639-9468 or

Cupcakes are 99 cents on Sunday, Dec. 15, at Molly's Cupcakes in honor of National Cupcake Day. Courtesy of Molly's Cupcakes

National Cupcake Day

If you're a cupcake fan, then you're in for a treat on National Cupcake Day Sunday. At Molly's Cupcakes in Naperville and Chicago, cupcakes are only 99 cents from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Choose from flavors such as cake batter, cookie monster, Flore's Molten Cake, Oreo, peach cobbler, butterscotch, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter, peppermint, s'mores and Molly's Build Your Own Cupcake featuring vanilla, chocolate, carrot cake, red velvet, banana, and vegan chocolate and vanilla. Limit one per person.

Molly's Cupcakes is at 30 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, (331) 204-6940, and locations in Chicago.

Osteria Trulli in Arlington Heights hosts a five-course wine dinner on Thursday, Dec. 19. Courtesy of Osteria Trulli

Italian wine dinner

Osteria Trulli in Arlington Heights is turning four, and chef Giovanni DeNigris is honoring the occasion with a special five-course, family-style wine dinner at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. Featuring seafood, roasted meats, pasta and more inspired by DeNigris' native region of Puglia, each course will be paired with wines from the Italian region, which the chef will discuss during the dinner. The event costs $98; reservations are required.

Osteria Trulli is at 1510 E. Hintz Road, Arlington Heights, (224) 347-1010 or


It's never too cold for ice cream, right? Especially now that Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams has added holiday flavors to its menu. Try the Boozy Eggnog (egg custard spiked with Middle West Spirits bourbon whiskey and real nutmeg), Cognac with Gingerbread (cognac ice cream with butterscotch and brown sugar and dotted with dark caramel sauce and pieces of spiced gingerbread cake), and White Chocolate peppermint (pink and white peppermint ice creams swirled together with white chocolate specks).

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is at 521 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 822-7996, and locations in Chicago.

Stan's Donuts brings back holiday treats through the end of January. Courtesy of Stan's Donuts & Coffee

Holiday flavors

If you're in the mood for something sweet, holiday doughnuts have returned to the menu at Stan's Donuts & Coffee. Now through the end of January, treat yourself to Stan's Peppermint Old Fashioned, Eggnog Le Stan and new Gingerbread Old Fashioned doughnuts. Wash them down with a peppermint hot chocolate or an eggnog or gingerbread latte.

Stan's Donuts & Coffee is at 17W615 Butterfield Road, Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 317-7044; 529 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 590-1060; and 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, (224) 353-6092, or

Time to indulge

Maggiano's recently introduced new chef features for the holiday season. Available through Jan. 8, try the lobster and shrimp fondue starter, creamy chicken and potato or minestrone soups, and shrimp oreganata or roasted beef tenderloin entrees. Indulge in the chocolate bourbon bread pudding for dessert.

Maggiano's is at 1847 Freedom Drive, Naperville, (630) 536-2270; 240 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 368-0300; 1901 E. Woodfield Road, Schaumburg, (847) 240-5600; and 307 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, (847) 918-0380,

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