Where to Eat on Christmas

By Andrea Swalec on December 24, 2012 10:15am 

MANHATTAN — People who don't celebrate Christmas, or just don't cook, can always dine on Chinese takeout, but restaurants all over the city say they'll be open and serving up delicious dishes.

To help make your days merry and bright, DNAinfo.com New York has checked out other top options for holiday meals in Manhattan.

Christmas Borscht

The Ukrainian restaurant Veselka will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas, offering huge Eastern European feasts at both their East Village locations. Manager Anthony Rotella said handmade vareneky dumpings and "earthy" Christmas borscht provide a Yuletide alternative.

"For people who don't celebrate Christmas in a traditional sense, they'll go for Chinese food and to the movies," Rotella said. "Veselka has a way for people to change it up a little bit and celebrate Eastern Europe-style."

The eatery with locations at 144 Second Ave., at East 9th Street, and 9 E. 1st St. at the Bowery will serve an all-vegetarian, traditional Ukrainian dinner with 12 dishes on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The $35-per-person meal includes smoked and pickled fish, stuffed cabbage with sauteed mushrooms and Ukrainian honey cake. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 387-7000.

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Upper East Siders looking for Italian luxury can enjoy Christmas dinner at Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto Il Ristorante. The 903 Madison Ave. restaurant, located near 72nd Street, will serve a Christmas prix fixe Feast of the Seven Fishes.

The meal, which costs $100 per person, is a Roman rendition of the classic Italian holiday meal.

“Originally an Italian religious tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes has evolved – all types of fish and preparations are fair game," a spokeswoman said.

The Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto Il Ristorante menu "has traditional elements such as baccala, or salted cod fish, as well as non-traditional ingredients like oysters," she continued.

The meal will be topped with torta di formaggio, a tart with mascarpone, huckleberries and gingerbread gelato.

Reservations can be made by calling (212) 517-7700.

American Christmas Comfort Food

In Chelsea, the chefs at Highpoint Bistro & Bar have stocked the holiday menu with festive renditions of American favorites. Hungry holiday eaters can begin with a selection from the holiday cocktail list, which includes gingerbread eggnog with Goldschlager, a candy cane martini and spiked apple cider.

Highpoint's prix fixe Christmas menu begins with either butternut squash soup with elderflower marshmallow and candied pistachio or a goat cheese salad with brioche, pickled shallots and blood orange.

Diners choose between prime rib, Cornish game hen or Arctic char with their entree. And dessert is either eggnog panna cotta with spiced rum and peppermint cream or an apple tart with espresso caramel and vanilla ice cream.

The restaurant at 216 Seventh Ave. at West 23rd Street will be open Christmas Eve 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will begin serving the three-course meal at 4 p.m. On Christmas, Highpoint will serve the Christmas menu 12 to 9 p.m. The prix fixe costs $44 per person and $19 for children under 12 years old.

Reservations can be made online or by calling (646) 410-0120.

Wood-Fired Mediterranean Cuisine

The West Village spot Barrio 47 has a three-course feast in the works for Christmas Eve. Peruvian-born and Spanish-trained chef Franco Barrio is preparing a first course of butternut squash soup with walnut syrup, pan-seared scallops with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, or wood-fired Hudson Valley foie gras with golden beets and pickled onions.

For dinner, the tasty options are truffle lasagna with ricotta salata, grilled "seven fishes" with lobster, baby squid and more, or duck leg confit with flageolet beans. Dessert will be lava cake with pumpkin cream and churros.

The meal at 47 Eighth Ave. at Horatio Street costs $45 per person, or $75 per person for a meal that includes wine pairings.

Reservations can be made online or by calling (212) 255-3900. Barrio 47 will be open Christmas Eve from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Traditional Austrian Fare

Downtown Austrian restaurant Blaue Gans, at 139 Duane St. at West Broadway, will serve traditional Christmas goose with braised red cabbage and potato dumplings, pan-roasted New York strip steak with cognac sauce and Black Sea bass with black truffle sauce.

The four-course meal at Austrian chef Kurt Gutenbrunner's restaurant will begin with smoked trout palatschinken (a kind of crepe), foie gras terrine, pan-seared scallops and potato rosti, a Swiss variation on latkes.

Dessert options at the European-style  bistro are pecan pie tarts with spicy ginger ice cream, the eggy Austrian treat Kaiserschmarrn and Salzburger Nockerl, or sweet Austrian dumplings.

The meal for $80 per person or $130 per person with wine pairings will be served Christmas Eve from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. and Christmas from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 571-8880.

'Super-Charged' Dim Sum

If you're stuck on the idea of Chinese food for Christmas, the popular West Village restaurant RedFarm will be open and serving "Pac-Man Dumplings." The whimsical shrimp dumplings ($12.50) are formed to look like the arcade game character going after his multi-colored enemies.

The 529 Hudson St. restaurant by dim sum master chef Joe Ng will be serving its regular menu, which includes Katz's pastrami egg rolls ($7.50), plus a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve and truffle soup dumplings with truffles foraged in France exclusively for the restaurant ($19 for two).

RedFarm will be open Christmas Eve from 5 to 11:45 p.m. and Christmas from 12 to 10:30 p.m. As usual, they will not be taking reservations.

Can't Make Up Your Mind?

Those who still can't decide where to dine over the holidays can browse the restaurant reservation website OpenTable. The site lists 144 restaurant with Christmas Day specials in Manhattan alone. 

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