Don’t get caught without holiday plans next week. Now is the time to book yourself a merry (and delicious) little Christmas. Here are some of our favorite holiday-centric dining experiences from around the country.
NYC: Christmas Eve Snow Globe at Ophelia
The swanky rooftop lounge, located on the 26th floor of Midtown’s Beekman Tower, has been transformed into a veritable winter wonderland. Set with garlands, thousands of crystals and suspended sparkling snowflakes, white sheepskin throws, and golden candelabras, the space resembles a life size snow globe - but with great cocktails.
Stop by between 5 pm and midnight on Christmas Eve to try the Rising Star, a mix of cognac, rum, cinnamon, and simple syrup, or the Fireside, which combines whiskey kina lair d’or, lillet blanc, sure, and orange bitters. To nibble, sweets like decadent tiramisu and sugar-dusted churros served with pots of melted chocolate for dipping complete the whimsically wintry scene. 3 Mitchell Place; 212-980-4796.
St Helena, CA: Twelve Days of Christmas at Meadowood
Through December 22, The Restaurant at Meadowood (the three Michelin starred restaurant in the heart of Napa Valley) is hosting its 10th annual, epic culinary event themed around the 12 days of Christmas. Guest chefs from around the world will curate unique menus along with chef Christopher Kostow that celebrate Napa Valley’s produce and the holiday season.
Upcoming chefs in the series include Michael Tusk (Quince) from San Francisco, Slovenia’s Ana Ros (Hisa Franko), Paris’ Sota Atsumi (Maison), Trevor Moran (The Catbird Seat) from Nashville, and Justin Cogley (Aubergine) in Carmel. Part of the events’ proceeds will benefit a local charity, and guests are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys that will be distributed in need. 900 Meadowood Lane; 707-531-4788.
NYC: Chef Luca Fedele’s Christmas Dinner at Chefs Club
Since early December, Italy’s famed seaside eatery, La Conca Del Sogno, has been transporting diners to the Amalfi Coast with its month-long takeover of Chefs Club in Nolita. Head chef Luca Fedele will serve up signature dishes like spaghetti alla Nerano, fiori di zucca, and salt-baked branzino through January 1, with special dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Expect dishes like sea bass carpaccio with pomegranate and chives, seared scallops with saffron, grilled pumpkin and cream, and lemony risotto topped with shrimp. For dessert, glasses of fiery amaro and smooth espresso can be paired with lemon sorbet, panna cotta, and pistachio profiteroles. 275 Mulberry Street; 212-941-1100.
Los Angeles: Christmas Eve at Redbird
Fans of chef Neal Fraser’s modern American restaurant in downtown LA can enjoy a special 3-course dinner on Christmas Eve. The first course includes beautifully composed dishes like persimmon salad with burrata, pepitas, and kabocha squash and Nantucket Bay scallops with caper leaves and Buddha hand lemon. The second course, meanwhile, offers king salmon with savoy cabbage and confit bacon or prime short rib with nettle puree, cipollini, burgundy snails, and bordelaise.
And because no Christmas Eve dinner would be complete without something both festive and sweet, diners can choose between chocolate and peppermint bouche de noel, warm gingerbread cake with apple cider sabayon and kefir whip or poached pear with mascarpone pannacotta, hazelnut, and red wine gastrique. The meal also includes an optional wine pairing. 114 E 2nd Street; 213-788-1191.
Chicago and DC: Feast of the Seven Fishes at RPM Italian
Both the Chicago and DC locations of modern Italian restaurant will honor Christmas Eve with innovative takes on the classic, peace-centric Italian meal. The menus will be similar, featuringbluefinn tuna crudo with blood orange and watercress, uni spaghetti with black truffle, and a whole roasted Denver sole that generously serves two. RPM’s regular menu of fresh pastas, slow-roasted meats, and wild seafood will also be available. But for the holiday, they offer many reasons to embrace the holiday tradition.