by Paula M. Riley

Christmas is past but the holiday season continues. As preparations begin for celebrating New Year’s Eve, the Chestnut Hill shopping corridor offers delicious options for meals and entertaining.

Since resolutions don’t officially start until the first day of January, begin the New Year’s Eve celebration with dessert. The Night Kitchen sells its signature fruitcakes as well as a huge selection of pies, tarts and holiday cookies. Popular this year is the ‘Chocolate Bomb’, a dome shaped cake filled with chocolate mousse and decorated with greens.

Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Parlor has specialties for New Year’s that are as tasty as their Christmas treats.

“We have lots of stollen bread (yeast bread with nuts)” said owner Karen Boyd Rohde. “Tradition says that if you have a piece of stollen bread on New Year’s you will have good luck all year.”

On New Year’s Day, Rohde suggested Bredenbeck’s selection of fancy torts, cakes and Hazelnut tort, a New Year’s favorite.

Baker Street’s quick breads, which are similar to pound cakes, are great dessert options as well. Special quick breads made just for the holidays include pumpkin, gingerbread and double chocolate peppermint.

Any passerby in the late hours knows that Baker Street bakers are always busy. Steamy windows and fragrant smells are signs that there’s always something cooking there. In addition to these sweet offerings, customers can enjoy dinner breads in interesting flavors such as apricot-pistachio or pumpkin-cranberry. Beginning Wednesday, Baker Street will be preparing a brand new creation – stollen bread pudding!

The French Bakery, tucked behind Cosimo’s Pizza, sells great chocolate croissants, rolls, breads, pies and cakes. Their macaroons are especially yummy!

Moving onto the main course, many caterers’ ordering deadlines have passed for full meals but that doesn’t mean Hillers can’t find great entrees – ones they create or ones they simply warm!

The Top of the Hill Market has a great fish, fresh seafood and prime meat market. Owner Andy Peszka and his staff will help customers plan just the right blend of seafood and meat options on the menu.

“Our crab cakes are great, but so is our prime rib roasts, fillet roast, ham, shrimp, calamari, mussels and smoked salmon,” Peszka said.

He promised that they will do what they can to help you, and that customers can be assured their market sells only the freshest.

“Our meat and fish are fresh – never frozen,” he said. “Much of our fresh seafood comes from day-boats – you can’t get fresher than that.”

To spice up the holiday table, consider ordering a sushi platter from Osaka. With an a la carte option, customers can pick and choose the fish and vegetable they enjoy most. Osaka artists create a wonderful and colorful presentation for you and your guests.

“We can create a Technicolor array,” said server Ben Schafer. “It’s all about mixing and matching (sushi, sashimi and nigiri) so customers can get the best experience possible.”

Osaka has great appetizer options as well. Schafer suggests the lobster ravioli, homemade lobster mousse served with lobster crème sauce. Appetizers from Cin Cin are another great choice including pan-fried or steamed dumplings and satay lamp sticks.

Appetizers abound at the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, where it seems that every type of cheese known to man can be purchased. It also sells gourmet items such as fresh caviar, chocolates, and coffee.

“Don’t forget the after-holidays take-out,” said Ann McNally, of McNally’s Tavern. “There are so many great places in Chestnut Hill where you can get a good meal at a good price. After all the entertaining, it’s nice to be able to give mom a break and enjoy a good meal together at home.”