Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner at NYC restaurants
Give yourself a present this holiday—let the pros do the yuletide cooking for you with a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner at NYC restaurants.
Tue Dec 10 2013
Making plans for the holidays? Use TONY’s handy restaurant guide to plan out your big yuletide gathering. From an Italian blowout at Ai Fiori to movies and Chinese food at Sons of Essex, there’s a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner for every type of celebration.
Chef Marcus Jernmark’s midtown Nordic den spares nothing for its night-before-Christmas celebration, the “Grand Julbord” (a traditional Swedish smorgasbord). The spread will include Scandinavian classics such as julskinka (oven-roasted ham), kipper salad, salmon gravlax, Swedish meatballs, prinskorv (fried sausages) and sweet treats like pepparkakor (gingersnaps). 11:45am–9pm; $88.
- 65 E 55th St , (between Madison and Park Aves), 10019
The Astoria outpost of Michael Psilakis’s namesake restaurant will keep its doors open Christmas Eve for a three-course Mediterranean prix fixe. Options include butternut-squash soup with pine nuts and yogurt; chestnut manti (dumplings) with brown butter and sage; braised pork shank with orzo and feta; and roasted chicken dressed with lemon, garlic and dill. End the holiday meal with a chocolate-halvah brownie or—a healthier option—yogurt with nuts and fruit. Noon–10pm; $29.95.
- 31-29 Ditmars Blvd, (at 33rd St), 11105
David Santos’s Christmas Eve extravaganza will offer two upscale options for holiday dining. His Feast of the Seven Fishes tasting menu includes family-style dishes like piri-piri shrimp, uni crudo with truffle and grapefruit, and cuttlefish with piquillo peppers and cipollini onions. Diners in search of more varied offerings can opt for a three-course holiday prix fixe, featuring selections such as pumpkin salad with huckleberries and mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), and venison with smoked-and-pickled witch-finger grapes. A $45 white-truffle supplement is available. 5:30–11pm; three-course prix fixe $55, tasting menu $85.
- 142 W 10th St, (between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Pl), 10014
Culture vultures can book a table at the Brooklyn Museum reincarnation of Saul Bolton’s locavore institution. Admire artwork through the floor-to-ceiling windows as you dive into a Feast of the Seven Fishes, featuring fried anchovies with a black-garlic aioli, citrus-marinated sardines and Alaskan spot prawns with a carrot-coconut curry. The meal ends with a chocolate-chestnut budino. 5:30–11pm; $125.
- 200 Eastern Pkwy, (at Prospect Park), 11238
Round up the wine geeks for this boozy fete, showcasing vinos selected by master sommelier Laura Maniec. Chef Phil Conlon will prepare an Italian family-style spread, with plates like a chilled octopus salad, bacalao crostini, and spaghetti with sardines and tomato sauce. The sweet ending: amaretto biscotti. 7–10pm; $125.
- 13 E 13th St, (between Fifth Ave and University Pl), 10003
In a tribute to its past as a movie theater and, later, a kosher restaurant, this Lower East Side hot spot will host a screening of A Christmas Story alongside a Chinese dinner. The à la carte menu will feature shared plates ($18) like chilled egg noodles and pork belly steamed buns, as well as entrées ($28) such as five-spiced roasted duck breast and grilled red snapper. End the night with toasted-almond pudding or crispy banana wontons. 5pm.
- 133 Essex St, (between Rivington and Stanton Sts)
At Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s luxe Meatpacking den—decorated with antique wall carvings and an Indian pagoda—dine on Southeast Asian plates, like a Thai basil-and-butternut-squash soup, soy-cured salmon and roasted cod with Malaysian chili sauce. Dessert skews more traditional: a white-chocolate-and-coconut Yule log with peppermint ice cream. 11:30am–midnight; $55.
- 403 W 13th St, (at Ninth Ave), 10014-12
Chef Sean Rembold’s Wythe Hotel setup will offer locavore takes on Christmas Day traditions for this prix-fixe meal. The feast features oysters with sherry butter and chives; button mushrooms with walnuts and Valtellina Casera cheese; a cacciucco fish stew served with garlic-rubbed sourdough; and goose with red cabbage and chestnuts. A bûche de Noël will be served for dessert. Noon–8pm; $85.
- Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, (at North 11th St)
For his brasserie’s first Christmas, Michelin-starred chef Dani Garcia will prep a holiday feast full of Spanish flavors. Starters include carpaccio de pulpo templado (octopus with pipirrana vinaigrette) or a wild mushroom tart with truffles and slow-poached egg. Slice into hearty entrées like suckling-pig terrine with orange puree, or duck in muscatel sauce served with potato-carrot-parsnip terrine. Desserts include leche frita (fried milk with Pedro Ximénez and raisin ice cream) and traditional turrones navidenos (almond-honey candy). 6–10:30pm; $95.
- 345 Park Ave South, (between 25th and 26th Sts, entrance on 26th St between Park Ave S and Lexington Ave), 10010
Michael White and chef PJ Calapa say “buon natale” via four courses of Riviera-inspired cuisine. Appetizers include lobster with confited leeks and nebrodini mushrooms, and seasonal greens with Manchego and aged sherry. Ricotta-and-mascarpone-stuffed ravioli in red-wine glaze is on offer for a pasta course, followed by heftier entrées like line-caught Atlantic halibut and dry-aged strip loin. For dessert, find chocolate mousse with candied cocoa nib and olive-oil gelato, and panna cotta with balsamic crema and blood orange. 3–10pm; $110.
- 400 Fifth Ave , (between 36th and 37th Sts), 10018
The Soho branch of this beloved tapas spot will serve a host of small-plate specials for the festive occasion. Highlights include palpis de cordero (grilled leg of lamb, $24), brussels sprouts with labna yogurt and fingerling potatoes ($18); lubina a la bilbaína (black bass with potatoes, $26) with truffle bechamel and Manchego. Noon–9pm.
- 171 Spring St, (between Thompson St and West Broadway), 10012
Keith McNally’s Soho icon will keep the kitchen running on Christmas Day, offering its full menu of excellent bistro fare plus an additional holiday special: prime rib au jus alongside truffle mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and baby carrots ($57). 9am–4pm, 5:30–11pm; $57.
- 80 Spring St, (between Broadway and Crosby St), 10012
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
For an East-meets-West celebration, head to David Bouley’s wood-paneled kaiseki restaurant. Chef Isao Yamada’s seven-course spread showcases fresh sashimi, along with your choice of seafood (lobster tail with foie gras–and-uni sauce, sesame-and-lemon-marinated black cod) or meat (confit pork belly with Fuji apples, Colorado lamb with green seaweed). Four variations of donabe rice—with toppings like guinea hen or Scottish salmon—are also part of the prix fixe. 5:30–11pm; $175, vegetarian $120.
- 30 Hudson St, (at Duane St), 10013
Dig into Chinese-American fare at this red-walled eatery. From an à la carte menu, choose from specials like spareribs ($12), pork or veggie lo mein ($14) and chili crab (market price). Toast the holiday with one of bartender extraordinaire Phil Ward’s boozy concoctions, like the $12 Teacher’s Pet (apple brandy, chai-infused vermouth, apple butter, lemon) or a $14 Fatty Manhattan (bacon-infused bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters). Noon–10pm.
- 643 Hudson St, (between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts)
Prost! Swing by this cozy Lower East Side biergarten—outfitted with exposed brick walls and dangling pendant lamps—to celebrate in German fashion. The hearty three-course repast starts with a seasonal salad or soup (lentil, tomato or potato with smoked bacon) and moves to specialties like sauerbraten (a beef roast), goulash (a meat stew), or potato pancakes with smoked salmon and lingonberries. The meal closes with apple strudel and a glass of glühwein or beer. Dec 24, 25; noon–1am; $25.
- 7 Rivington St, (between Bowery and Chrystie St), 10002
Galen Zamarra will fix a blowout dinner at this West Village mainstay. The multicourse meals will include off-the-wall choices such as roasted skate with pecan foam and salsify-and-carrot puree; a wild mushroom tart on a Parmesan sable with kohlrabi slaw and pine-nut butter; and roasted turkey with a bordelaise tart and stuffed pearl onions. 6–10:30pm; $120.
- 39 Downing St, (between Bedford and Varick Sts), 10017
The Gansevoort Park Hotel’s clubby Italian eatery loads up on à la carte holiday specials. In addition to the regular menu, chef Marco Porceddu will prepare a sunny-side-up quail’s egg over baby Tuscan kale, pancetta and pecorino ($14); house-made tortelli stuffed with braised short rib, Parmigiano and roasted cipollini ($28); and local snapper roasted with olives, herbs and Pantelleria capers ($32). 7:30am–4:30pm, 5:30pm–midnight.
- 420 Park Ave South, (at 29th St), 10016
Indulge in elegant plates at Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky’s swank Union Square eatery. The Christmas bill of fare includes sunchoke soup with apples; pumpkin risotto with ricotta salata and chanterelle mushrooms; and applewood-smoked pork with glazed carrots and port-roasted apples. For dessert, choose from a chestnut napoleon or a festive sundae featuring eggnog, chocolate mousse and walnut ice cream. 5–9:30pm; $95, children $55.
- 1 E 15th St, (between Fifth Ave and Union Sq West), 10003
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