Free Christmas Dinner - Boise Dining Out - Alehouse Fashion Show 

The Gumbo Line

The staff at Chef Roland's and a crowd of volunteers spent Thanksgiving Day dishing up free food for 150 to 200 people, and they'll do a repeat performance on Christmas Eve. Wednesday, Dec. 24, Chef Roland will put together a Christmas dinner with a Cajun twist for anyone who's interested in having a free meal, needy or not. Lonnie Caldwell will play a little dinner music, and local members of the Boy Scouts of America will be the night's servers.

Chef and owner Roland Joseph is no stranger to putting out massive amounts of food over the holidays. Joseph, better known as "Chef Roland," spent several years as the chef at Boise Rescue Mission before opening his Boise Avenue Cajun restaurant. Between now and Christmas, Chef Roland is accepting food and monetary donations for the evening's charity event.

Free Christmas Eve dinner is Wednesday, Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Chef Roland's Cajun Cuisine, 1221 W. Boise Ave., 208-344-4387.

Meet-Up for Meat and Wine

A group of locals is doing its part to inject a little life into the Boise restaurant scene. Boise Dining Out was convened by recent Boise transplant Gregory Ethredge in August and in four months has grown to more than 120 members. The idea is that singles and "taken types" get together once a month to meet new people and hobnob over food and wine. After an inaugural meet-up at the Cazba in September, which garnered 30 people, the group has grown so significantly that more than 70 gathered at last month's Barbacoa event.

Ethredge is putting together events for the first part of 2009 for people who want to get off the couch and have dinner with a new crowd.

Want to get involved and help support the local restaurant scene? Visit diningout.meetup.com/846.

This Week's Wine and Dine

Here's an unlikely place to find a wine and dine suggestion: River Rock Alehouse in Eagle. Better known for its pub food and patio music, River Rock Alehouse will be going haute cuisine Thursday, Dec. 18, for a night of food and fashion. The alehouse will serve a four-course meal with a choice of salmon or short ribs, and the $75 price per couple includes dinner for two, a cocktail, a glass of wine and a fashion show from Mimi Marie's Boutique.

Thursday, Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m., $75 per couple, River Rock Alehouse, 228 E. Plaza Dr., 208-938-4788. Reservations recommended.

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