It is hard to report any restaurant closing, but when it is one of your favorites the sting of the words is amplified to near ear-shattering level. This past week we lost The Bull. This Dauphin Street gem had seven great years next to downtown’s iconic Wintzell’s Oyster House and will be missed by many.

I have had some great dinners there and service has been excellent in recent years. One of the most memorable was the Moët Hennessy wine dinner with an amazing mock tuna that had me gushing for weeks. The gumbo was always great and may have been some of the best in the city.

This past Friday night the final dishes were served as the restaurant prepared to lock the doors. A spokesperson for The Bull said the business couldn’t financially support itself anymore. But despite the closing there will be at least one more night of magic with an encore performance from Chef Mike Devaney.

“Holiday Cheer at The Bull” presented by Hancock Bank, a fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center, is still on the books for Sunday, Dec. 6, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. It will be an early evening of wine tasting, beer, food and a live auction. Holiday music will be provided by Jerry Squires. Join the fun for a mere $35 per person; tickets are available at the Child Advocacy Center and The Bull. For a list of the amazing auction items, visit their Facebook page. There is literally something for everyone.

For more information or to grab some tickets by phone, call 251-432-1101.

Sunday’s Christmas on the Hill
Celebrate the season amidst the festive ambiance of the Village of Spring Hill. This Sunday, Dec. 6, the Spring Hill Merchants Association holds its annual family event, Christmas on the Hill. All of the merchants in the area will be having special events, but it’s the food I’m most interested in.

This event starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Free to the public, the Village of Spring Hill’s finest boutiques will open their doors with special hours, sleigh rides, photos with Santa, holiday music, children’s activities, sales and special merchandise promotions, an art walk and a handful of food trucks. You will find Geaux Boy at Holiday, Ransome Café’s food truck at Compass Bank and Bacon My Day at Trustmark.

Most of the shops will have their own refreshments but be sure to stop by heavy hitters such as Bake My Day to sample their sweet and savory dishes. They are one of my favorites. Just around the corner, Rouses will have some holiday treats prepared by their very own Chef Nino. Step inside what I consider one of the best grocery stores in our area for locally prepared grub.  

Even the clothing store Holiday is getting into the food biz with wine, punch and cheese readying you for a horse-drawn carriage ride, and Ace Hardware will be demonstrating holiday cooking with the Masterbuilt indoor turkey fryer and the Kamado Joe ceramic grills.  

There is plenty to do, see, shop, and eat, and you can still be done in time to make it to The Bull!

Dickie’s Barbecue holiday food drive
In this season of giving, Dickie’s Barbecue Pit at Jubilee Square Shopping Center in Daphne is holding a can drive through Dec. 20. Stop by this location with five canned goods to donate to Prodisee Pantry and you’ll receive a free dessert. Not much is sweeter than becoming an important part of replenishing the shelves that serve Baldwin County, but contributing to this worthy cause and going home with something sweet in your belly is all the better.  

Prodisee Pantry is a nonprofit community ministry that provides emergency food and disaster relief as well as assistance to families who have trouble making ends meet. It has helped more than 12,000 families in 2015.

Ollie’s Mediterranean Grill remains open on Hillcrest
A couple of weeks ago, while reporting on the closing of Ollie’s Midtown location, I erroneously reported Ollie’s Mediterranean Grill at 1248 Hillcrest Road had also closed. Correction: Ollie’s on Hillcrest remains very much open. I certainly regret my mistake and any confusion it may have caused.

I have spent more than my fair share of time in the Midtown location so it pleases me to know that should my cravings for their shawarma combo or kafta kabob hit me any time soon, I’m just a short drive away from satisfaction. I am oddly not into pizza in general, but I do love their California pesto pizza. If you haven’t had the pleasure I strongly urge you to head their way.

Once again, I apologize for the mistake. Check them out at www.olliesmediterranean.com.

Recycle those leftovers!