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The 14 Best Restaurants for Christmas Dinner in NYC

<strong>Black Market:</strong> Longtime East Village party rockers Jesse Malin and Johnny T opened <a href="http://gothamist.com/2010/02/04/new_restaurants_4.php?gallery0Pic=3">Black Market</a> next to Niagara on Avenue A earlier this year, and they've been cranking out an acclaimed Pat LaFrieda burger in their tiny open kitchen ever since. (There's a hearty, decadent veggie burger on the menu, too.) If you're a downtown denizen with no place to go, this is an ideal place to get your Christmas eat and drink on. We highly recommend the Winter Nog (seen here): Drambuie, Irish cream and fresh mint, served up with a candy cane and nutmeg. It satisfies any egg nog craving you might be experiencing, but without the sickly-sweet aftertaste.<p></p><em>110 Avenue A, (212) 614-9798 </em>


<em><a href="http://colormekatie.com">Katie Sokoler</a>/Gothamist</em><p></p><strong>Bar Basque:</strong> <a href="http://gothamist.com/2010/11/17/midweek_special_nyc_restaurant_revi_125.php?gallery0Pic=4">Bar Basque</a> is offering up a five course Christmas meal in addition to its standard menu. The meal starts with Octopus Terrine served with pequillo puree and preserved lemon, followed by slow poached farm eggs served with spinach, black truffle, and red fife toast. The third course is a chicken and foie infused consomme served with baby root vegetables, crispy wings and seared fois grois. That's followed up with a roasted Berkshire porkchop served with pickled apple puree and braised red cabbage. <p></p>Dessert: a frozen gingerbread spice mousse with candied ginger and molasses. The prix fixe menu is $75 per person, or $125 per person with wine pairings. Finally, the restaurant is going to be screening Christmas movies on a large screen TV in the courtyard, there's no sound, but reciting the dialogue of <em>It's A Wonderful Life</em> never gets old. "Get to work, slave! Hee-Haw"<p></p><em>839 Sixth Avenue, (646) 600-7150 ext. 2</em> ‎ <a href="http://www.opentable.com/bar-basque?hpu=685752042&amp;shpu=1&amp;p=2&amp;rid=52489&amp;pt=100,100,100,100,100&amp;t=fr&amp;sd=12/25/2010%209:00%20PM&amp;i=0&amp;d=12/25/2010%208:45:00%20PM,12/25/2010%209:00:00%20PM,12/25/2010%209:15:00%20PM,12/25/2010%208:30:00%20PM,12/25/2010%209:30:00%20PM"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<strong>Wall &amp; Water:</strong> Back when <a href="http://www.bdhyatt.com/restaurants/wallwater/index.html">Wall &amp; Water</a> opened earlier this year <a href="http://gothamist.com/2010/02/04/new_restaurants_4.php">we were impressed </a>by how much attention was put on the preparation of the food, which is made from fresh local ingredients mostly sourced from the Hudson Valley. For Christmas, the restaurant is hosting a special buffet which reads like it will satiate any and all cravings you may be having. <p></p>To get started there is going to be "The Larder" which is a raw bar that will serve "Fisher Island oysters, smoked salmon, smoked trout, poached shrimp, confit swordfish, red and white anchovy salad, and hudson valley cheese &amp; charcuteries." The salad options will come in the form of the "Family Table," where you can create your own salad using "rustic breads, roasted vegetables, grilled peppers, marinated tomatoes, braised onions, fresh romaine leaves, arugula, radicchio, crisp vegetable mix, mixed sprouts, and mixed edible flowers." <p></p>Main courses will be at "The Kitchen," where you'll find "oven roasted prime beef, grilled swordfish, braised veal leg, vegetable soup, roasted root vegetables , creamy parmesan grits, mashed new potatoes, and steamed green vegetables." Not forgetting dessert, there is "The Chef's Table," which will have "home style apple pie, chocolate cake, berry crumble, pumpkin pie, or make your own Sunday with berry sauce, caramel sauce, vanilla sauce, mixed nuts, gummy bears, M&amp;M’s, pralines &amp; dried fruits mix." Entry to this holiday smorgasbord is $85 per person.<p></p><em>75 Wall Street, (212) 699-1700,</em> <a href="http://www.opentable.com/wall-and-water?hpu=685752039&amp;shpu=1&amp;p=2&amp;rid=39751&amp;pt=100,100,100,100,100&amp;t=fr&amp;sd=12/25/2010%207:00%20PM&amp;i=0&amp;d=,12/25/2010%207:00:00%20PM,12/25/2010%208:00:00%20PM,,12/25/2010%209:00:00%20PM"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>



<strong>Saul:</strong> Smith Street stalwart <a href="http://www.saulrestaurant.com/">Saul</a> is offering a fanciful sounding "Feast of the Seven Fishes" on Christmas Eve. Chef <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/07/23/saul_interview.php">Saul Bolton</a> put a lot of work into making Brooklyn a culinary destination, and this menu definitely illustrates his diligence. The feast begins with an Antipasti of marinated calamari, clams oregenato, marinated anchovies, baccala stuffed piquillo pepper and crudo of mackerel. It's joined by a Cannelloni Peekytoe Crab served with hamhock brodo, collard greens and Maine shrimp; a spaghetti served with sea urchin, lobster emulsion and basil; a Baccala alla Napoletana; a Swordfish Confit served with broccoli rabe, garlic, chili and pinenut; a Blood Orange and Pomegranate salad and finally a bitter chocolate budino.<p></p><em>140 Smith Street, (718) 935-9844,</em> <a href="http://www.opentable.com/saul-restaurant"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<em><a href="http://colormekatie.com">Katie Sokoler</a>/Gothamist</em><p></p><strong>Maialino:</strong> If you need some Danny Meyer in your life on Christmas (and who doesn't?), <a href="http://www.maialinonyc.com/">Maialino</a> is going to to be your sole option. Along with the <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/11/10/maialino_danny_meyers_italian_eater.php">Roman-inspired regular menu</a> will be some holiday specials chef Nick Anderer has come up with, such as capon with polenta and house-made panettone with zabaglione. Of course, we would probably just use this opportunity to gorge on the roasted suckling pig—if you were waiting for a special occasion to indulge, we suspect that Christmas might be it.<p></p><em>2 Lexington Avenue, (212) 777-2410 </em>


<strong>Balthazar:</strong> For the first time ever, <a href="http://www.balthazarny.com/">Balthazar</a> is going to be open for Christmas Day service. In addition to their excellent standard menu, there will be a $62 three-course, a prix fixe menu which includes soup, entree and dessert or the option of just the entree for $44. Try and make your reservations ASAP though; we're sure they're not going to be around forever.<p></p><em>80 Spring Street, (212) 965-1414</em>



<strong>The Sea Grill:</strong> If you're looking for the iconic Christmas ambiance that only Rockefeller Center can bring, and especially if you've got company from out of town, <a href="http://www.patinagroup.com/restaurant.php?restaurants_id=31">The Sea Grill</a> might be your best bet. They're offering an extensive <a href="http://www.patinagroup.com/restaurants/31/menus/The-Sea-Grill-Christmas-Day-2010.pdf">Christmas Day Prix Fix Menu</a> that's going to please everyone for sheer variety alone. First courses range from Wild mushroom soup to Bluefin tuna tartare served with Asian pear and miso-scallion vinaigrette. And for someone looking for more meat out of their first course, there's a Carpaccio of Beef served with Arugula and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. The main courses run an extensive gamut as well, with options including a 1 1/2 lb. butter poached Maine lobster served with celery root puree, Brussels sprouts and black Provence truffles; to Roasted rack of pork served with rosemary, juniper, caramelized onions, bok choy, truffle and glazed turnips. <p></p>The chef's wine selection includes Piper-Heidsieck recommended for their shellfish options, Sancerre for their beet salad, and Rodney Strong which goes with their Nantucket Bay Scallops like "warm toast with butter". Christmas at the Rock will cost $120 per person.<p></p><em>19 West 49th Street, (212) 332-7610,</em> <a href="http://www.opentable.com/sea-grill?hpu=685751982&amp;shpu=1&amp;p=2&amp;rid=5335&amp;pt=100,100,100,100,100&amp;t=fr&amp;sd=12/25/2010%206:00%20PM&amp;i=0&amp;d=,,12/25/2010%208:15:00%20PM,,12/25/2010%208:30:00%20PM"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<strong>Spice Market:</strong> Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that Jean-Georges's <a href="http://www.spicemarketnewyork.com/">Spice Market</a> is a downtown powerhouse. If you're on the love (or at least not the hate) side of this spectrum, you'll be pleased to know that it's open for Christmas. They'll be serving their a la carte menu from noon to midnight on both Christmas eve and Christmas day. We paid it <a href="http://gothamist.com/2010/10/19/lopate_locavores.php?gallery0Pic=4#gallery">a recent visit</a> and were pleasantly surprised to find that just because she's pretty and trendy, doesn't mean she isn't delicious. Get the Wok Charred Eggplant with Sweet Chili Glaze and Peanuts! <em>403 West 13th Street, (212) 675-2322 </em><a href="http://www.opentable.com/spice-market-new-york"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<strong>Riverview:</strong> If you don't want to break the bank, <a href="http://www.riverviewny.com/">Riverview</a> in Long Island City is offering a $50 prix fixe menu (and kids eat free from the kids menu!) that includes three courses. For an appetizer you can choose from the soup de jour, arugula salad, fig &amp; prosciutto salad, Caprese salad, Thai chicken spring roll, or roasted beet salad. The main courses are a vegetarian risotto, seafood spaghetti, lemon sole "Meuniere", grilled baby cornishen, Long Island duck, Filet Mignon or roasted rack of Lamb. For dessert you have the choice of tiramisu, cheesecake or chocolate souffle. Again, nothing avant-garde here, but a solid value, which means more money to spend on <em>cane</em>.<p></p><em>2-01 50th Avenue, Queens, (718) 392-5000</em> <a href="http://www.opentable.com/riverview"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<strong>Virgil's:</strong> There's really no wrong time to your 'cue fix, and for those of you seeking smokiness to weather Christmas's cold bite, head over to <a href="http://www.virgilsbbq.com/index.php">Virgil's</a>, who will be doling out their excellent BBQ throughout J.C's birthday bash. If you want to gather your family and friends together for a nice informal and uncomplicated meal that won't be outrageously costly, Virgil's might do the trick.<p></p><em>152 West 44th Street, (212) 921-9494,</em> <a href="http://www.opentable.com/virgils"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<strong>Gallagher’s Steak House:</strong> If you're craving a steak over ham or any other nonsense, make a reservation at <a href="http://www.gallaghersnysteakhouse.com/">Gallagher's Steak House</a> for the holiday. Gallagher's famous <a href="http://www.gallaghersnysteakhouse.com/files/Meat-Room-with-copy.jpg">meat aging room</a> houses their USDA Prime steaks for 21 days to ensure their legendary steaks taste the same way they've been tasting since 1927. There are also plenty of seafood options for those of you who are not as enthusiastic about steak as your dining neighbors may be. Plus live <a href="http://www.zvents.com/new-york-ny/events/show/155181585-live-holiday-jazz-at-gallaghers-steak-house">Jazz</a> starting at 9:00 p.m.<p></p><em>228 West 52nd Street, (212) 245-5336</em>, <a href="http://www.opentable.com/gallaghers-steak-house-new-york?hpu=685752036&amp;shpu=1&amp;p=2&amp;rid=30199&amp;pt=100,100,100,100,100&amp;t=fr&amp;sd=12/25/2010%207:00%20PM&amp;i=0&amp;d=12/25/2010%206:45:00%20PM,12/25/2010%207:00:00%20PM,12/25/2010%207:15:00%20PM,12/25/2010%206:15:00%20PM,12/25/2010%207:30:00%20PM"><em>Opentable Online Reservations</em></a>


<em><a href="http://colormekatie.com">Katie Sokoler</a>/Gothamist</em><p></p><strong>Macao Trading Co.:</strong> <a href="http://www.macaonyc.com/">Macao Trading Co</a> is going to be serving up its <a href="http://gothamist.com/2008/11/30/macao_trading_co.php">Southeast Asian and Portuguese</a> inspired fare on Christmas, so if you want some exceptional cocktails to go with your Chinese food Christmas, you're in luck. They're going to be serving the regular menu all night, so it's a safe bet for anyone looking for Asian-inspired dishes in a stylish setting.<p></p>311 Church Street, (212) 431-8642 <a href="http://www.opentable.com/macao-trading-company">Opentable Online Reservations</a>



<strong>Sushi Samba:</strong> Both <a href="http://www.sushisamba.com/">Sushi Samba</a> locations are going to be open on Christmas and have some special items they'll be serving in addition to the regular menu. For appetizer there are Kabocha Squash Croquettes served with guava marmalade and roasted shallot aioli for $13. A Hudson Valley Duck Breast entree comes with fennel confit, root celery puree and arima sansho pepper sauce for $24. The dessert special is a spiced pionoco served with Asian pear jam, coquito ice cream and kaffir lime for $10. <p></p><em>87 Seventh Avenue South, (212) 691-7885245 Park Avenue South (212) 475-9377</em>