December Recommended Restaurants

Tips for good eating, at home and beyond

The month of December tends to divide us into two camps: the homebodies and the social butterflies. The former often use the holidays as an excuse for extended kitchen projects, while the latter make merry by hitting the top restaurants and bars with loved ones.

Luckily, the best food and drink from the past month suit both needs. Whether you're going out or staying in, look to these stories for guidance:

Thirst Quencher Our Best Cocktails of 2011 culls the top spirited libations from across the country. Try them at the bars that created them, or follow the recipes to make them at home.

Nut House The inimitable desserts of Ghaya Oliveira are worth a visit to New York's Boulud Sud. Until then, click here to get the trick to her family's baklava recipe, which is sure to steal the show at your next dinner party.

Pink Lady We're not the only ones excited about the unusual and beautiful Mountain Rose apple: Restaurants, including Thomas Keller's French Laundry, have placed orders for the sweet-sour fruit. Order yours for a centerpiece apple pie.

En Mass Boston has seen a swath of new restaurants, from barbecue joints to wood-fired pizza stations. Go armed with our guide or make this potato recipe from Trade.