It’s a most wonderful time of the year. Of course, it’s not so wonderful if you’re the one stuck in the kitchen prepping days ahead, cooking, serving, and cleaning the day after. Skip the unnecessary unpleasantries and make your holiday truly jolly by making reservations at one of these great New York Restaurants. They all have very special offerings for you this Christmas Eve 2012.
Ben and Jack’s - 219 East 44th Street & 255 Fifth Avenue - This classic New York steakhouse which was founded by former Peter Luger waiters, is offering a Christmas dinner for those with a heartier appetite. Their 4-course menu ($79.95 plus tax & tip) comes with a salad, your choice of sides, a decadent dessert (think apple strudel), and a huge portion of meat. Carnivorous options include lamb chops, veal chops, prime rib and their “Santa Steak”: dry-aged ribeye on a bed of creamed spinach and topped with blue cheese.
Firebird: 365 West 46th Street – Theater District – Executive Chef Paul Joseph will offer a 4-course prix fixe menu priced at $70 per person ($30 for children under the age of 12). It will be served from 12pm – 8pm on Christmas Eve and include dishes such as a Sachet Noel (Basmati ginger rice, pistachio, Prosciutto di Parma, Herbs de Provence, and aged port emulsion), butter poached Nova Scotia lobster, and a dessert of Baba Romovaya with cocoa Chantilly and chocolate vodka sauce.
Hill Cafe: 17 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn – Sometimes it’s good to get off the island. Especially for such a great deal. Hill Cafe’s Christmas Eve 3-course Prix Fixe is only $35 per person and includes a glass of wine (plus tax and tip). Dishes offered by chef-owner Samuel Beket include a roast corn and crab bisque, lobster and crabmeat crepe, and the traditional Buche de Noel.
Hospoda: 321 East 73rd Street – Upper East Side – This Christmas day, Hospoda will offer two wintry specials to warm you up. The first, an appetizer of Czech-style Wine Sausage ($16) with potato salad. The second, an East-meets-West dessert: Valrhona Dark Chocolate Cake ($9) with smoked cinnamon, spiced apples and chestnut caramel. Doesn’t that sound delectable?
Jeanne & Gaston: 212 West 14th Street – Meatpacking/Chelsea – Maitre Cuisinier Claude Godard’s casual French bistro will be celebrating with a 3-course prix fixe menu priced at $38 (plus tax and tip). Imagine starting your meal with 5 oysters, a stuffed duck leg “Ballotine”, and ending the night with a Buche Noel for a traditional French touch.
Marco Polo Ristorante: 345 Court Street – Carroll Gardens - Chef and owner Marco Chirico has crafted a special a la carte menu including dishes such as Tres Pesci con Ginger, a homey potato carrot stew with shaved ginger and lemon grass, brimming with rock shrimp, sole and monk fish, and Agnolotti Di Porcini—ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms in a butter & sage sauce. For dessert, there will be chocolate truffles offered in dark, milk, and white with raspberry filling. The restaurant will operate on regular hours on Christmas Eve.
Piquant: 259 Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn/Prospect Heighs/Park Slope - This Latin American-inspired French restaurant (a few blocks from the Barclays Center) will serve an extravagant poached lobster with braised leeks, kafir lime leaves and sauce made from reduced caviar, and a butternut squash and red curry soup with foie gras croutons. These dishes are available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Smoke Jazz and Supper-Club: 2751 Broadway – Upper West Side/Morningside Heights – How about a little Christmas music? Head to South Harlem and countdown to Christmas with Coltrane. Their John Coltrane Winter Festival, begins on Wednesday, December 19th and runs through Saturday, January 5th. It features some of today’s most acclaimed jazz musicians playing tribute sets to the legendary saxophonist and composer. Guests can enjoy Executive Chef Patricia Williams’ holiday two-course prix fixe menu ($29.95), including dishes like Dark & Stormy Short Ribs – Slow-braised ribs of beef marinated in Gosling’s Ginger Beer and chipotle peppers, served with creamy cheddar cheese mashed potatoes and coffee roasted baby carrots. Pricing Show prices vary, two-course prix fixe $29.95
The Russian Tea Room: 150 West 57th Street – Midtown/Central Park – If spending Christmas Day in a New York City classic is your thing, look no further. The Russian Tea Room is offering a 3-course Christmas Day menu ($105, $50 for children) including boeuf à la Stroganoff and honey basted ham with candied yams and green beans. If you want to splurge on dessert I suggest the Czar’s Gold and Caviar Parfait ($10 supplement), made with nougat cream, toasted almonds, chocolate sauce and 24-karat edible gold.
Tocqueville: 1 East 15th Street – Flatiron District – Tocqueville’s three-course prix fixe is on ($95, $55 for Children 10 and under) Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The menu includes lavender skewed Arctic char with gingered spaghetti squash, Tokyo turnips, Thumbelina carrots and champagne tarragon emulsion, seared diver sea scallops and foie gras and lightly smoked duck breast with baby bok choy. To be honest, I could not do better than this at home.
***Please contact all the restaurants to get full details and to make reservations.