• Congratulations to ROOSTER! The crepes cafe recently received a Cityscape Award from Downtown Partnership. The tiny Locust Avenue crepe and sandwich spot is also expanding into the space next door. Owner DAVID BAILEY, who also debuted Bailey’s Chocolate Bar, wants us to know that both restaurants do off-site catering, gift boxes and offer delivery.

• ’Tis the season for Nutcracker Ice Cream specially created for the holidays by BECKIE JACOBS, owner of Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream. The rich coffee ice cream with dark chocolate swirl is loaded with toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts and is available only at her shop in Webster Groves. Jacobs also has expansion news: A double-capacity ice cream churning machine is now cranking out gallons in her brand-new production kitchen. Could this mean more special flavors at great restaurants and frozen drumstick treats at catered and corporate events? Mmmm!

• Seamless and subtle—that describes the shift from Zoe Pan Asian Cafe to Sapphire Pan Asian Cafe. New owner/chef SCOTT CLARK has tweaked some sauces and put a few different dishes on the menu, like his Asian-spiced braised short ribs served with udon noodles. He’s also added decibel-reducing panels to the ceiling to baffle the sound waves that used to distract Central West End diners. Red and white 3-ounce wine flights are one new option that have already gotten rave reviews, understandable at the price: $10.

• Know a crazy Cajun cook who is competitive as all heck and loves a good party? Send him or her to www.mardigrasinc.com to download an application for the 2008 Crystal Cajun Cook-Off. Ten amateurs and 10 pros are chosen for this annual pre-Mardi Gras warm-up event. The prize for the pros is $500, as long as the recipe includes Crystal Brand Hot Sauce; the best amateur gets $350. So whip up those étouffee and gumbo recipes before Dec. 19 and laissez les bon temps rouler!

• Two nationwide charity efforts have come to St. Louis eateries. To benefit St. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITaL’s ‘2007 Thanks and Giving’ Campaign, the Town & Country Melting Pot is giving a portion of the December proceeds from its Big Night Out, four-course feast to the pediatric cancer research center, which pays for treatments not covered by insurance. And for ST. LOUIS AREA FOODBANK, 10 percent of all orders of gourmet chocolate chip cookies from the 11 bi-state area Ruby Tuesday restaurants will go to the food bank as part of its ongoing campaign, ‘Cookies for a Cause—A Dozen Ways to Help Fight Hunger.’

Know of other menu-item-ordering-for-charity opportunities? Write to Amy Peck Abraham at spicybits@laduenews.com.

More Diversions articles.