Boston restaurants open on Christmas Eve
Why not make your first present an all-out steak and lobster smorgasbord? The Oceanaire is as celebrated for its meat as it is for its seafood, which means all cravings will be satisfied. Start with a couple of dozen oysters sourced from Massachusetts shores before splurging on chicken fried lobster, New Bedford sea scallops and any number of a la carte prime steakhouse cuts. 617-742-2277, 4-9pm.
Price: A la carte
What do you want the night before family insanity? Comfort food, and lots of it. Tremont 647 has you covered with a Southern comfort menu that demands you shelve the calorie counting for an evening. The menu leaves no Southern stone unturned: think pimento cheese fritters and deviled eggs to start, followed by buttermilk fried chicken, Creole barbecue shrimp and house-made ham steak with sides like cornbread stuffing and bacon-y collard greens. By the time you get to the chocolate pecan pie, you’ll be lamenting that extra order of smoked chicken wings. 617-266-4600, 5:30-10:30pm.
Price: A la carte.
A traditional family meal deserves a traditional—and stress-free—family-style spread. The Brookline Village Italian restaurant keeps it warm, communal and boisterous with a four-course Piedmontese meal of spit-roasted sirloin and turkey, braised duck legs, chestnut and sausage stuffing, and lobster risotto. Buon Natale indeed. 617-739-0007. 5–9pm.
Price: $65, $45 for children 12 and under; $30 wine flight
Sometimes you need to cleanse the palate of all that roast meat and potatoes. Haru keeps the doors open throughout Christmas Eve, meaning you can move straight from last-minute shopping to a sushi refresher. And what better excuse to sample the more extravagant rolls on the menu, from the king crab dumplings to the Back Bay roll topped with edible 24k gold leaf to the filet mignon with wasabi fritters? 617-536-0770. 11:30am–8:30pm.Price: à la carte
Your best chance at spotting a reindeer-drawn sleigh? Sitting 52 stories above the city skyline—so request a window seat when you make your reservation. The view is just the cherry on top of a special four-course menu that might include pork belly, lamb chops and a dark chocolate pot de crème. Topping off the festive mood, jazz trio Marty Ballou Trio plays throughout the evening. 617-536-1775. 4–8pm.
Price: $85, $35 for children under 12
Il Casale (Lexington), four-course prix fixe; 4–9pm. 1727 Massachusetts Ave (617-209-4942).
Legal Oysteria (Charlestown), à la carte; 11:30am–11pm. 10 City Square (617-712-1988).
Meritage (Waterfront), four-course prix fixe $125, $195 with wine pairing, $55 for children 12 and under; 5–9pm. Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf (617-439-3995).
The Bristol (Back Bay), three-course prix fixe, $90, 5-10:30pm. 200 Boylston St, between Charles St and Arlington St (617-338-4400).
BOND at the Langham (FInancial District), four-course prix fixe, $90 adults, $55 children; 5-9:30pm. 250 Franklin St between Pearl St and Oliver St (617-956-8765).
Boston restaurants open on Christmas Day
Once the last present has been torn open, gather the family and head to the Langham Hotel for a thematic spread: New England Fish at one table, Winter Pantry at another, Holiday Pastry Shop at a third. The nieces and nephews will be too distracted by the face-painting to eat at the table—all the better for you to enjoy your mimosa in tranquility. 617-956-8751, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
Price: $110 adults, $45 children.
It’s a holiday feast that’s both easy and affordable. The buffet kicks off in the late morning and covers all the classics: eggnog, salads, a carving station (think ham and turkey), lots of veggie sides and a separate dessert station that should keep the kiddies occupied. 617-234-1365, 11:30am-4pm.
Price: $45, $22 for children
The space is decked out in decorations, the fireplace is roaring, the table is groaning with New England comfort fare… it’s everything you want your Christmas at-home to be but don’t have the energy to recreate. So, indulge in a homey outing instead. The holiday menu is a study in wintertime classics: lobster bisque, oysters Rockefeller, rack of lamb and crispy duck two ways. Throw in an eggnog burnt cream and some house-churned ice cream, and you’ll be reluctant to head back to the homestead. 617-975-1900,11am-9pm.
Price: a la carte.
Because some of us need to hit the bar after a full day of family. Five Horses opens up again at 6pm on Christmas Day, with a full menu of decidedly un-Christmasy fare like pork belly tacos, fried chicken-toppedpizza and a duck burrito. Chase all that with a couple of whiskey cocktails, and you might end up forgetting that Santa didn’t bring you that Mini NES you secretly wanted. 617-764-1655, 6pm-1am.
Price: a la carte
Christmas classics with a French flair? Très merry indeed. Lobster bisque and smoked trout rillette kick off the proceedings, followed by chestnut ricotta risotto, roasted Rohan duck, or boeuf Rossini. For dessert you can keep it simple (gala apple pie) or extravagant (Bûche du Noël, a dessert only the most experienced bakers should attempt to make at home). 617-535-8800. Noon–8pm.
Price: $85; $59 for wine pairings
Ristorante Fiore (North End), à la carte; noon–11pm. 250 Hanover St at Parmenter St (617-371-1176).
Palm Restaurant (Financial District), prix fixe; 5–9pm. 1 International Pl at Purchase St (617-867-9292).
Legal Crossing (Downtown Crossing), three-course prix fixe $55; noon-8pm. 558 Washington St at Ave de Lafayette (617-477-2900).
Rowe Wharf Sea Grille (Waterfront), a la carte, 7-11am, 11:30am-4pm. Boston Harbor Hotel (617-856-7744).
Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Downtown Crossing), a la carte, 4-10:30pm. 45 School St (617-742-8401).
Golden Temple (Washington Square), a la carte, 11am-2am. 1651 Beacon St (617-277-9722).