Christmas Eve Dinners
When you have an entire family of finicky eaters to feed this holiday, you need a solid buffet to save your sanity. Trust the Nautilus Cabana Club to keep your entire tribe satiated with a sprawling feast that includes a selection of appetizers and salads (kale, tomato and mozzarella, and roasted beet, among others), a carving station with a whole roasted pig and prime rib and sweets galore—tarts, cakes, pies. Dec 24 6–11pm; $65.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, you head to Los Fuegos’ weekly Sunday Asado and call it a day. The posh steakhouse from prestigious Argentine chef Francis Mallmann serves a serious South American spread each week, complete with empanadas, grilled meats, traditional sides and desserts. And, as any good Sunday brunch should, unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys, are just an extra $25. Dec 24 noon–4pm; $75, children $35.
The Upper Eastside hot spot, coincidentally one of our top picks for brunch in Miami, welcomes guests for a festive Christmas Eve brunch. In addition to its regular offerings (egg in a basket, guava-and-cream-cheese-stuffed French toast and others), Pinch will also feature a number of seasonally inspired holiday specials. Dec 24 10:30am–4:30pm, Dec 25 11am–4pm; á la carte.
More mesmerizing than your dad’s Caja China is Three’s Chef’s Counter, an interactive seating area that lets diners watch their fancy, four-course meal as its prepared. Dinner is a wholly gourmet experience that begins with a composed winter citrus salad or chilled Key West shrimp and progresses from there with dishes like black-garlic-molasses-glazed pork belly and pan-cooked Florida pompano. Dessert, fittingly, is a pineapple tres leches cake dubbed the Night Before Christmas. Dec 24 5–9pm; $95.
Is your Christmas lacking whimsy and splendor? Treat yourself to a showy dinner at Barton G, known for its pageantry and over-the-top presentations. One sip of your sparkling Diamonds Are Forever nitro martini and it will instantly feel like the holidays. Dec 24, 25 5–10pm; á la carte.
Christmas Eve dinner at Macchialina is a win-win: order your favorite pasta dishes from the regular menu or opt for a special holiday tasting. The five-course meal is a mix of chef’s favorites, like the creamy polenta with sausage ragu and the popular beet mezzaluna, and some surprises—diners won’t know what’s for dessert until it’s served. Dec 24 6–11:30pm; $59.
Executive chef Vijay Veena takes diners on a culinary journey through Asia this Christmas. Your five-course meal begins with a selection of dumplings and Thai pumpkin soup, and includes the choice of wagyu filet mignon or traditional Christmas turkey as a main. Dessert is a festive bouche de Noel with white chocolate mousse, pistachio biscuit and toasted almond ice cream. Dec 24, 25 6–10pm; $110.
Christmas Day Dinners
When regular Chinese takeout won’t do, you head to Faena’s upscale Asian restaurant. Put your fresh Christmas cash toward the prix-fixe tasting menu at Pao—a decadent dining experience wherein you’ll feast on rabbit adobo, milk-crusted fluke, lechón and aged Peking duck, among other dishes. Dec 25 7–11pm. $125.
Some years, you want nothing more than to be surrounded by family on Christmas, other years, you’d give anything to sit at a bar with strangers. Feeling like the latter? Head to the Shaker for its second-annual pop-up restaurant. Grab a cocktail (or punch bowl, we’re not juding) and order from a menu of takeout classics, like Chinese crispy broccoli, duck dumplings and smoked fish fried rice, and enjoy both outdoors in the courtyard. Dec 25 6pm–2am; á la carte.
Design your ultimate Christmas dinner at Mr. Chow, which is offering a semi-prix-fixe meal for guests during the holidays. Choose from signature dishes such as glazed prawns with walnuts, chicken satay and little dragon soup dumplings, all of which are served family style. Dec 25. $54 and up.
Unwrapping presents is exhausting. Recover with a proper steak dinner at BLT. On Christmas Day, the Miami Beach restaurant welcomes guests for meats, lobster and an assortment of other delectable seafood dishes. Diners have the choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert, which run the gamut from calamari and octopus escabeche to lamb chops to barbecue corn. Dec 25 3–9pm; $80.
Inspired by the traditional Italian holiday dinner Feast of the Seven Fishes, Scarpetta’s prix-fixe Christmas meal includes three delectable seafood courses—zuppa di mare, tagliatelle with lobster and crab and seared branzino—and concludes with a not-so-classic bread pudding with panettone. Though if all you want for Christmas is a heaping bowl of Scott Conant’s spaghetti pomodoro (we don’t blame you), that’s available, too. Dec 24, 25 6–11pm; $75.
The South Beach restaurant puts out a full Italian spread for diners this holiday. Via Emilia has crafted a six-course menu that starts off with a selection of prosciutto (yes, there is more than one kind) and includes fresh pasta, rabbit in wine sauce and traditional Italian panettone with Lambrusco zabaione. Dec 25 noon–11pm; $70.
Move your annual Christmas breakfast to the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and its ocean-facing restaurant Lightkeepers. Whether you celebrate Noche Buena, love a traditional American spread or just want to turn up at brunch with the family, the wide selection available is sure to cover every taste and mood. Assorted cheeses, Peking duck, langoustines, halibut, chicken tenders, pumpkin tres leches—the possibilities are endless. Dec 25 noon–4pm; $145, children $49.