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Reveillon Renewal
Before your holiday social calendar fills up, consider booking a Reveillon dinner in December. This old Creole Christmas tradition of an extravagant meal served in the home was revived, revamped and moved to restaurants about 20 years ago by French Quarter Festivals Inc. , the nonprofit that helps promote the Vieux Carré to tourists and locals during the holiday season. More than 30 restaurants have signed up to offer prix fixe, multi-course Reveillon dinners this year. Prices for the dinners average between $24 and $70, with most falling between $35 and $45. A list of restaurants and special menus is available at www.frenchquarterfestivals.com under the Christmas link.

 

Seats for Sale
Galatoire's Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com) normally doesn't accept reservations for its first-floor dining room, but since Katrina, management has taken to auctioning off seats for the lunch service on the Friday before Mardi Gras and the Friday before Christmas. Well-heeled bidders will vie for the right to reserve these coveted seats. This time, auction proceeds will benefit the Louisiana Children's Museum mental health outreach program and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in the Musicians' Village . In the past, diners have bid these seats up to more than $500 per person, which doesn't include the cost of food or drink at the lunch. The auction will be held at the restaurant Monday, Dec. 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m., with pre-registration required for attendance.

 

Festivus Time
Once again, the downtown site of the Crescent City Farmers Market will be transformed into Festivus (700 Magazine St.; www.festivusmarket.org). The concept of Festivus, popularized in a 1997 episode of the TV sitcom Seinfeld, takes different shapes around the world and has recently inspired a book (www.festivusbook.com), but in New Orleans it has emerged as a holiday market specializing in locally made, recycled or fair-trade products and somewhat zany activities. The market will be held on the next three Sundays, beginning Dec. 2, and lasts from noon to 4 p.m. There will be at least 35 vendors — including some farm vendors — as well as free massages, a "regifting station" for unwanted gifts and a "flattery booth." Hot food and cocktails will be served by Dante's Kitchen (736 Dante St., 861-3121; www.danteskitchen.com) and Crepes a la Cart (1039 Broadway St., 866-2362).

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