Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner at NYC restaurants
Making plans for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in New York City? Use our restaurant guide for where to eat a holiday dinner.
Fri Dec 7 2012
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
This Christmas leave the cooking to the professionals and dine out in New York City for the yuletide holiday. For Christmas Eve dinner, you can opt for an Italian feast at A Voce Columbus or have A Christmas Story–style meal at the Chinese stalwart Peking Duck House. If you’re throwing down for a Christmas Day dinner instead, go all out with a feast of seven fishes at the John Dory Oyster Bar or head out to the überhip Reynard for a farm-to-table repast in Williamsburg.
Austrian chef Kurt Gutenbrunner offers an old-world Christmas at his elegant West Village flagship. Settle into the dining room, which is decorated with Julian Schnabel artwork, and order a house cocktail, like an alpine-inflected caipirinha ($14) flavored with lingonberry or elderberry. Gutenbrunner will serve a Viennese-style, five-course Christmas goose dinner with a creamy chestnut-and-black-truffle soup to start, and followed by a choice of Wiener schnitzel or lobster with cipollini onions. But diners can also select a parsley-crusted venison with spaetzle as their entrée. Dessert options include the sweet, fluffy soufflé Salzburger nockerl, which pays homage to the country’s mountain peaks. 212-352-2300, kg-ny.com. 5–10pm; $115 (wine pairing $75).
- 344 W 11th St, (at Washington St), 10014
Holiday kitchen disaster? Take after Ralphie and the Parker clan in A Christmas Story and sit down to a “Chinese turkey” at this Far East institution. Both midtown and Chinatown locations will serve its signature Peking duck dinner, an epic banquet feast of glistening, succulent roasted duck, accompanied by massive dishes, like chili-slicked fried prawns and crispy string beans with minced pork. 236 E 53rd St between Second and Third Aves (212-759-8260). 11:45am–10:30pm. • 28 Mott St between Mosco and Pell Sts (212-227-1810). 11:30am–10:30pm. • pekingduckhousenyc.com. $29 per person. Minimum party size: 4.
Unwind after a crazed day of last-minute holiday shopping with a refined Italian dinner, located in retail haven the Time Warner Center. Chef Missy Robbins serves à la carte dishes, including pasta with duck bolognese ($27) or grilled hanger steak with charred red onion and beets doused in a black-olive vinaigrette ($29). Wine director Olivier Flosse can steer you through the award-winning vino list, boasting more than 2,700 selections. Cap your meal with the bomboloni alla toscana (Tuscan doughnuts), drizzled with bittersweet chocolate ($11). 212-823-2523, avocerestaurant.com. 5–10pm.
- 10 Columbus Circle , third floor, (at Broadway)
Slip into your holiday best for a luxe three-course prix fixe in Tocqueville’s cosmopolitan dining room, framed by 17-foot-high ceilings and gold-tinged curtains. Drinkers can toast to good cheer with the house toddy (hot mulled apple cider and spiced calvados, $14) or the refreshing pear Bellini (Poire Williams and sparkling wine with pear puree, $13). To eat, find sophisticated French-American fare, including a spice-crusted venison loin and house-made sausage, served alongside red-wine-braised cabbage, glazed chestnuts and a creamy celery-root puree. 212-647-1515, tocquevillerestaurant.com. $95 per person, children under 11 $55.
- 1 E 15th St, (between Fifth Ave and Union Sq West), 10003
Wine geeks can book a table at master sommelier Laura Maniec’s Union Square vino sanctuary. Maniec will pair pours with the traditional Italian feast of the seven fishes, prepared by chef Hayan Yi (Daniel, Le Bernardin). Expect match-ups like a baccalà mantecato with garlic-herb crostini appetizer, accompanied by a Szigeti sparkling gruner veltliner brut from Austria, or rigatoni with peekytoe crab served with a Domaine de la Tournelle L’uva Arbosiana from France. Make your reservation online. 646-873-6071, corkbuzz.com. 7–10pm. $125 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity included).
- 13 E 13th St, (between Fifth Ave and University Pl), 10003
Make merry at this beercentric Upper East Side spin-off of a Prague gastropub. The Christmas Day bill of fare features signature Central European dishes like duck-leg confit with roasted apple, sour-cream spaetzle and red cabbage ($29); bone-warming holiday specials such as a Czech-style wine sausage with potato salad ($16); and decadent desserts, including a Valrhona chocolate cake topped with spiced apples and a chestnut-caramel sauce ($19). Wash it all down with Pilsner Urquell—the sole draft beer is poured from a custom-built glass bar that keeps the kegs chilled at a steady 44°F. 212-861-1038, hospodanyc.com. 4pm–midnight.
- 321 E 73rd St, (between First and Second Aves), 10021
Locavores can swing by the überhip Wythe Hotel dining hall—outfitted with high ceilings, wooden beams and a brasserie checkered floor—for a hyperseasonal Christmas meal. Defrost from the blustery weather with a warming cocktail, like the the Chet Baker (rum, vermouth and bitters; $13), or a frothy beer, such as Guineu Riner Es ($10). The prix-fixe Christmas menu includes freshly shucked oysters, pâté, foie gras, roasted goose and vegetables with savory bread pudding, a cheese course and a bûche de Noël. Almost the entire meal is cooked over firewood in the kitchen’s brick oven, and its campfire perfume wafts through the dining room. • 718-460-8004, reynardsnyc.com. Noon–8pm; $85 per person.
- Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, (at North 11th St)
Indulge in a French-Italian repast at superstar chef Michael White’s swank midtown beacon. The four-course meal includes lusty dishes like Ligurian crustacean ragù with seppia, scallops and spiced mollica, and house-made tagliatelle with freshly shaved white Alba truffles (for $75 extra). The sweet finale: Christmas panna cotta with rosemary crema, Honeycrisp apple granita, candied pumpkinseeds and quince. 212-613-8660, aifiorinyc.com. 5:30–10:30pm; $96 per person.
- 400 Fifth Ave , (between 36th and 37th Sts), 10018
At Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield’s cool-kid seafood sanctuary in the Ace Hotel, chef de cuisine Josh Even will put a British spin on the Italian feast of seven fishes. Expect delicacies like a rich and creamy salt cod brandade and a seafood stew. Diners can forgo the prix fixe and order à la carte items—such as chorizo-stuffed squid with smoked tomato ($16)—from the restaurant’s regular menu instead. E-mail email@example.com to reserve a table. 212-792-9000, thejohndory.com. 5pm–midnight; $85 per person.
- 1196 Broadway, (at 29th St)
For a Jewish-style Christmas or just a respite from too much eggnog and goose, hit up Chinatown’s oldest dim sum parlor: Nom Wah, a Doyers Street institution since 1920. Decorated with mustard-yellow walls, the spot offers some of the city’s best Chinese fare. Choose from standout signature items, like steamed pork buns ($1.50 each), salt-and-pepper shrimp ($7.95) and the transcendent egg rolls (two for $3.95). • 212-962-6047, nomwah.com. 10:30am–9pm.
- 13 Doyers St, (between Bowery and Pell St), 10013