This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
If all you're asking for this Christmas is a 240-day dry-aged rib eye or an epic brunch that you don't have to actually cook (or clean up), consider your wish fulfilled. Some of America's best restaurants--from New York City to Los Angeles to Chicago--are ready to make your dream come true with Christmas Day brunch buffets, luxe prix-fixe menus, and more relaxed meals served a la carte.
There's really nothing quite like a decadent Christmas Day brunch and, fortunately, there are several excellent iterations across the country. For starters, there's the complimentary bubbly and omelet bar at the Michelin-starred Luce in San Francisco or the upscale buffet at the Capitol Grille inside Nashville's legendary Hermitage Hotel. For Virginians, José Andrés is featuring an insane brunch with stations dedicated to jambalaya, ham biscuits, and more at America Eats Tavern.
Speaking of award-winning celebrity chefs, several of the country's finest are serving dreamy multi-course menus perfect for this #treatyoself kind of day. In Boston, Daniel Boulud's three-course menu includes Maine lobster bisque and venison paté en croute, while Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air will be serving a four-course menu with dishes like house-smoked salmon blinis and Wolf Ranch quail with Brussels sprouts, parsnip puree, Medjool dates, and French black truffles.
But if your main Christmas wish is just to have a relaxed meal without any fuss, there are still more excellent restaurants that will be offering their regular menus--with perhaps a special or two thrown in there. New York hotspot Marta will be satisfying your pizza cravings during breakfast and lunch hours, while Domenica in New Orleans will be serving James Beard Award-winning Alon Shaya's rustic Italian food. And about that 240-day dry-aged rib eye? That's one of the specials chef John Tesar will be serving at his Dallas restaurant Knife.
So whatever your holiday feasting wish may be, go forth, make reservations and fulfill it.
--By Amy McKeever
Nico Osteria in Chicago
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Kahan’s Gold Coast Italian osteria will be open on Christmas Day with a luxe four-course tasting menu. Feast on butter poached king crab, pasta with duck ragu, truffle, and duck skin piccata, and prime rib with beef brodo and horseradish crema, plus a traditional bûche de noël for dessert. The menu runs at $85 per person, but just $35 for kids aged 6 to 12 and free for kids 5 and under. The restaurant will also be offering its regular menu on Christmas Day. Photo: Philip Vile
Marta in New York City
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas Who needs a fancy Christmas brunch when there are thin Roman-style pizzas to be eaten? Marta, the beloved pizzeria from New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and chef Nick Anderer, will be open on Christmas Day for limited hours. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11 a.m., while lunch will run from 11:30 to 3 p.m., at which point the restaurant will close for the day. If you’re looking for more of a trattoria-style dining option, Marta’s sister restaurant Maialino will also be open on Christmas Day, with its last seating at 9 p.m. Photo: Alice Goo
Cypress in Charleston
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas One beloved Charleston-based restaurant group has got you totally covered for Christmas Day dining. Cypress chef Craig Diehl is offering not only the restaurant’s regular menu, but also a slew of specials like oysters and caviar, seared foie gras, smoked heritage turkey, sorghum-glazed ham, and gingerbread cheesecake between 4 and 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Cypress’s sister restaurants Magnolia and Blossom will both be open from noon to 8 p.m. serving their regular menus and specials as well. Photo: Courtesy of Cypress
Domenica in New Orleans
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas If you’re looking for an amazing meal in New Orleans on Christmas Day, you can’t do better than Domenica. Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya—and part of John Besh’s powerhouse restaurant group—Domenica is nationally regarded for its rustic Italian menu. On Christmas Day, Domenica will be offering a set four-course menu of dishes like blue crab arancini, bucatini al mare, and a rib eye braciole with parmigiano reggiano stuffing. A limited à la carte menu will include a classic margherita pizza, lasagna bolognese, and tagliatelle with slow-cooked rabbit and porcini mushroom ragu. Photo: Courtesy of Domenica
Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on ChristmasVernick Food & Drink has been one of Philadelphia’s top restaurants since it opened in May of 2012, nabbing accolades left and right. Chef/owner Greg Vernick has created an American menu for all kinds of appetites: a raw bar is filled with oysters, tuna poke, and sea urchin; small plates include veal sweetbreads and grilled heart of romaine with figs and cheddar; and larger plates include grilled black sea bass and roasted pork chop. There’s also a selection of mains roasted in the restaurant’s wood-fire oven like an organic Amish chicken or a 28-ounce dry-aged bone-in strip loin. On Christmas Day, Vernick will be open from 4-9 p.m. for dinner and 4-10 p.m. at the bar. Photo: Courtesy of Vernick Food & Drink
Bourbon Steak in Washington, DC
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas If you’re out seeing the lights of Georgetown on Christmas Day, you’d be well-served to stop in for dinner at Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel. The restaurant will be offering its full menu as well as a number of specials such as lobster bisque, heirloom rye gnocchi with braised lamb leg, seared dorade, and a 22-ounce Porterhouse with whipped Gruyere potatoes. Bourbon Steak won’t be open for lunch on Christmas Day, but if you want to stop in a little earlier they will be serving cocktails and snacks in the lounge beginning at 2:30 p.m. Photo: Courtesy of Bourbon Steak
Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas
See More of theBest Restaurants Open on Christmas Sure, you’re in Vegas so there are plenty of casino buffet options available on Christmas Day—many of them excellent choices, too—but if you’re looking to go all out there’s always Restaurant Guy Savoy. The renowned French chef will be offering a “prestige” holiday menu at his Caesars Palace restaurant both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That menu includes hamachi tartare with golden Osetra caviar, artichoke and black truffle soup, roasted guinea hen with stuffed endive, and a selection of Christmas logs, all for $375 per person. There’s also a vegetarian menu option. Photo: Matt Mullenweg