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The best Christmas Eve dinners of 2011

Where (and what) to eat on Christmas Eve

BalsanThe more-casual eatery in the Elysian Hotel offers a three-course family-style menu as well as à la carte options. 11 E Walton St (312-880-4400). 5–10pm; $75.

Big JonesOn this Creole Reveillon (“reawakening”) tasting menu, chef Paul Fehribach offers items such as Speckled Belly goose gumbo and other dishes that roll off the tongue. 5347 N Clark St (773-275-5725). 5–10pm; $45.

BistronomicLeave the stocking stuffing to the elves and the stomach stuffing to Bistonomic’s four-course Christmas Eve dinner, featuring glazed venison osso bucco. 840 N Wabash Ave (312-944-8400). 5–10pm; $55 (kids $20, kids 5 and under $10).

David Burke’s PrimehouseIt’s business as usual at Primehouse, with the exception of a few holiday specials: baccalà meatballs, slow-roasted prime rib and individual chocolate yule logs. 616 N Rush St (312-660-6000). 5:30–9:30pm.

MercaditoWhere do Jews go on Christmas Eve? Besides Chinatown? If they’re single, they head here, host of the 25th annual Matzo Ball. 108 W Kinzie St (312-329-9555). 8pm; $30, VIP ticket (includes a five-course meal and a beverage) $65.

Park GrillThe figure-eighting skaters and merrily twinkling lights of Millennium Plaza aren’t doing it for you? Really? Maybe a Kobe burger or lamb shank will do the trick. 11 N Michigan Ave (312-521-7275). 11am–9:30pm.

PensieroThink heavy, poached and pappardelle (with rabbit, of course): Pensiero has it all on its holiday menu. 1566 Oak Ave, Evanston (847-475-7779). 5–8pm; $60.

Sixteen at TrumpThis five-course tasting menu features a decadent bûche de noël with roasted pear gelée and speculoos ice cream. 401 N Wabash Ave (312-588-8030). 5:30–9:30pm; $145 ($205 with wine pairings).

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