Give yourself a break this holiday season. Forget the long lines at the grocery story, slaving over a hot apartment stove and endless hours of prep and cleanup in favor of dining out this Christmas Eve. Book your holiday dinner at one of these New York City restaurants offering special menus to celebrate – stress-free – with your loved ones. By Sarah Shaker.
Chef Jim Botsacos and Chef David Arias will be serving up an Italian inspired feast at Abboccato, steps from Manhattan’s Theatre District. The Feast of The Seven Fishes will include Crudo di Capesante (Nantucket bay scallops, preserved lemon, pink peppercorn, Sorrento extra virgin olive oil), Bruschetta di Tonno (house cured yellow fin tuna, baby arugula, grilled Tuscan bread), Branzino al Cartoccio (Mediterranean sea bass cooked in parchment, roasted artichokes, salsa verde) and Panettone (warm panettone bread pudding, vanilla-gianduja “milkshake”).
Fresco by Scotto is offering a Christmas Eve prix fixe menu featuring one appetizer, one entree, one dessert per guest and shared appetizers for the table at $80 per adult and $40 per child. Your table will start with a Grilled Pizza Margherita and Antipasto, then choose from a variety of appetizers such as Fritto Misto or Eggplant and Zucchini Pie. For the main course, feast on Braised Short Ribs of Beef, served with pan roasted vegetables and wild mushrooms, creamy Parmesan polenta and Barolo wine sauce or Spiced, Seared & Sliced Yellowfin Tuna with pan roasted porcini mushrooms, sugar snap peas, baby turnips, crisp gnocchi and porcini mushroom broth. Desserts range from Traditional Italian Cannoli to a decadent Brownie Fudge Sundae.
Enjoy a true Nordic Christmas at Aquavit with its beloved traditional Christmas smörgåsbord, the Julbord. This bountiful spread features signature Christmas dishes alongside smörgåsbord classics. Items range from julskinka (Christmas ham) and pepparkakor (ginger snaps) to Swedish meatballs and matjes herring. To start or finish the meal, guests will receive a complimentary cup of the aromatic, mulled wine glögg. The Julbord will be offered Saturdays in December and on Christmas Eve for $88 per person. Aquavit will be closed on Christmas Day.
Chef Ben Pollinger at Oceana will be serving The Feast Of The Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve with dishes including, Bay Scallop Crudo persimmon, East Coast Oyster and Chanterelle Mushroom Pan Roast and Seared Turbot and Poached Lobster. Located just west of Rockefeller Center, the fine seasonal and globally inspired cuisine has earned Oceana many accolades, including a Michelin star every year since 2006.
Prefer a more nontraditional holiday meal? Head to OBAO for a Thai dinner to celebrate with loved ones. Available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this go-to Modern Thai restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen will serve a $35 prix fixe menu with your choice of items including Crispy Pork Belly, Red Curry Crispy Duck Confit, Clay Pot Catfish, Spiced Apple Cake and more.
Festivita Dei Sette Pesci – or a Feast of the Seven Fishes – will be available for $65 per person through Christmas Eve at La Bottega as a nod to traditional Italian heritage. This offering features courses of sardine croccanti, pizza alla vongole, calamari e fregula sarda, vongole al forno, and for dessert, a penettone e gelati or a cannoli al ciocolatta.
On December 24, Chef Jason Weiner and his team will roast three whole suckling pigs in the restaurant’s hearth and serve them alongside a selection of seasonal sides, like herbed sourdough spaetzle, cabbage and caramelized apples, for $31 per person. A tradition of the restaurant for 6 years running, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Pajama Program, a not-for-profit that provides new, warm pajamas and books to children in need in the United States, and around the world, many who are waiting to be adopted.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.