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Stratford Proper Opens 

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Stratford Proper Opens
The team behind Avenues Proper, Proper Brewing Co. and Proper Burger (Andrew Tendick, Liam Connelly and Rio Connelly) recently celebrated the grand opening of Stratford Proper (1588 E. Stratford Ave.). Like its predecessors, Stratford Proper blends contemporary cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients in a comfortable, European-style bistro. The menu is overseen by executive chef Jeffrey Springer—a long-lost cousin of mine perhaps?—and Shelby McDonald is in charge of the restaurant's line of pastries and baked goods. You can't carry the Proper name and not have a decent selection of draft beers, but diners can expect a solid menu of wine, cocktails and nonalcoholic beverages as well. Stratford Proper has got quite a reputation to live up to, but we're excited to see what new culinary treasures will grace their tables in the upcoming year.

Give the Gift of Pie
I know—gift baskets are the last hurrah of a desperate shopper. But let's look critically at the baskets that Penny Anne's Café (multiple locations, pennyannescafe.com) is putting together. They're priced at $30 a pop and come with a $25 gift card that will secure some of the best pancakes and pie in Utah for the lucky recipient. Each basket also includes a souvenir mug, a bottle of the café's real maple syrup and an extra $5 in café cash. I'm betting you've got someone who loves breakfast, pie and coffee in your life, and this is the gift that tells that person, "You know what? I love that you love breakfast, pie and coffee."

Uncle Bob's Chinese Buffet
As a Christmas present to those of you who might be looking for an unconventional way to spend the upcoming holiday, may I present Uncle Bob's Chinese Christmas Buffet at Garage on Beck (1199 N. Beck St.). It's a bit of a tradition at the North Salt Lake gem, boasting a whole-hearted welcome to shut-ins and waywards especially, and it's just as extravagant as it sounds. For a mere $13, diners can treat themselves to a full-scale buffet on Tuesday, Dec. 25, from noon to 6 p.m. While I'm sure this won't be everyone's cup of tea, it's the kind of holiday event that celebrates togetherness among strangers on a day that has a tendency to leave such shut-ins and waywards out in the cold.

Quote of the Week: "Christmas, children, is not a date. It's a state of mind."

—Mary Ellen Chase

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