Fish, firsts and freebies (or Horsing around with food)

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Ahead of tomorrow's gift guide that you'll find in the Indy, let's look at some upcoming food and drink events that just might make a nice early present for someone, including yourself — or at least make for a nice night out disconnected from December mania.

And fear not, I won't make any mention of horse meat.

• Start early, like really early, Thursday by celebrating José Muldoon's first anniversary at its 5710 S. Carefree Circle location. Specials include $1 Coronitas, $2 house margaritas, a free salsa and queso bar from 4 to 7 p.m., giveaways and free tequila samplings. (Happy Friday hangover, amigos.)

• Wednesday, Dec. 14 brings a Christmas Down Under dinner at Jake & Telly's Greek Taverna for $50. Co-owner Jake Topakas claims he's getting "high end wines for half price and want[s] to pass the deal onto you all."

I promised not to mention horse meat, (damn, just did), but I didn't say anything about kangaroo or emu, which you'll find on the menu:

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• Not far down the road the following night, Thursday, Dec. 15, Paravicini's Italian Bistro will raid the sea with its The Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner (also known as "The Vigil" in Southern Italy according to co-owner Franco Pisani, whose family traditionally ate the meal on Christmas Eve). Seats for the wine-paired meal are also $50.

And look, there's not even sea horse on the menu (damn, did it again):

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• Lastly, I will offer a couple of gift suggestions good for later in the month, because they're among the better deals I've seen offered by local restaurants this year.

One is at the Stagecoach Inn (and we all know what animals were used to pull stagecoaches, right?) and the other is at the Craftwood Inn.

The deal at the latter (Groupon would be proud) is that for $25 you can get a $50 gift certificate.

At Stagecoach, you can buy a punchcard for five entrées (to be used one per month) for only $25; the advertisement claims that each entrée has a $15 value. There's some fine print on both, so make sure to read that.

• Oh — and one final apology about all those entirely accidental and in no-way premeditated horse jokes. If you were offended, I offer you this video clip in hopes of making amends:

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