By no means an exhaustive list, here's an early-planner's guide to delicious happenings this holiday season.



Thanksgiving Out—For the culinary challenged or anyone who just doesn't feel like dealing with a whole bird this year, there are many restaurants open and touting appropriate specials for this Turkey Day. Here are some promising options (reservations recommended, if not required):

Andina, 1314 NW Glisan, 228-9535, $55 per adult, $27.50 per child

Bluehour, 250 NW 13th, 226-3394, $50+ per person

The Country Cat, 7937 SE Stark, 408-1414, $45 per person

Higgins, 1239 SW Broadway, 222-9070, $65 per person

Imperial, 410 SW Broadway, 228-7222, à la carte

Paley's Place, 1204 NW 21st, 243-2403, à la carte

Urban Farmer, 525 SW Morrison, 222-4900, $49 per adult, $29 per child

Wildwood, 1221 NW 21st, 248-9663, à la carte



A Happy Hour with a View—This year, watch the classic tree lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square from Departure's sexy rooftop patio on top of the Nines hotel. Fewer crowds, heat lamps, ample drinks, and some pretty sweet food specials offer much better perspective than ground level could ever hope to match. Departure, 525 SW Morrison, lighting at 5:30 pm



Hoppy Holidays—The 17th Annual Holiday Ale Festival will once again flood the center of town with pumpkin ales and spiced stouts for five festive days. This can only make shopping in downtown Portland more bearable. Admission includes a tasting mug and 10 tasting tokens. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th, Wed noon-10 pm, Thurs-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm, $30, 21+



Fishy Business—Riffle NW will be hosting a Sicilian-style Feast of the Seven Fishes, a Christmas Eve tradition that features seven courses of seafood preparations (the restaurant's own specialty). The price tag is hefty, but wine pairings are included. Riffle NW, 333 NW 13th, 894-8978, 6 pm, $150 per person, reservations required



Christmas Cocktailing—Over 100 members of the Oregon Bartenders Guild will be throwing a holiday party to raise money for themselves, as a nonprofit collective dedicated to improving the skills, careers, and lives of bartenders throughout the state. Shell out $5 at the door, another $5 a cocktail, and remember to tip well. Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine, 6-9 pm