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Mega-Sized Do This: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Holiday Restaurant Roundups

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 21, 2009 5:40PM

Large buffets and family dinners are a major part of the holiday season. But let's say you aren't going home for Christmas. Maybe you don't celebrate the holidays. Or you're part of a family that doesn't want to cook. Maybe you had your painstaking Christmas dinner ruined by the Bumpus' dogs and wind up with the rest of the family in a Chinese restaurant ordering a Peking duck where the head's removed at the table with a cleaver.

Today we've compiled a big ass list of restaurants that will be offering Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners or brunches. At the very least, these would be a good excuse to not watch "It's A Wonderful Life" again. Tomorrow we'll list New Year's Eve dinners.

  • Between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, Christmas will be celebrated at Kiki’s Bistro under candlelight. Entertainment for the evening will be supplied by Karen Skubish, the beautiful and talented harpist, with her repertoire of French songs and carols -- the very music that she has played for guests at Le Jogging Rose on the French Riviera on two previous holiday engagements. Reservations are recommended and valet parking is complimentary. (900 N. Franklin Street 312-335-5454)
  • Branch 27 will celebrate w/John Manion’s Christmas cassoulet. (1371 W. Chicago Ave. 312-850-2700)
  • BIN 36 will be open for business all day on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving its full dining menu. The BIN 36 Market will also be open throughout business hours. Christmas Eve Hours: Breakfast 6:30-10a.m. Lunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dinner 5-10 p.m. Tavern & Cheese Bar 2 p.m.- 12 a.m. Christmas Day Hours: Breakfast 6:30-10 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Dinner 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Tavern & Cheese Bar 2 p.m. - 1 a.m. (339 N. Dearborn St. 312-755-9463)
  • Custom House will be open for dinner service on Christmas Eve serving their regular dinner menu and we would be happy to host you for the evening. (500 S. Dearborn, 312-523-0200)
  • A MANO Executive Chef John Caputo invites guests to experience the third annual Feast of the Seven Fishes Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests will be transported to Italia for an authentic Italian Christmas Eve celebration, featuring a five-course seafood feast with optional wine pairings selected by award-winning Wine Director Brian Duncan. Cost is $65 per person (exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages). Three ounce wine pairings with each course are available for $30 per person. A MANO’s regular dinner will also be offered, and reservations are strongly recommended
  • Chef Joshua Linton of aja (660 N. State St., 312-202-6050) is pleased to offer a unique Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feast, offered each day from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., in addition to aja’s regular lunch and dinner menus.
  • Celebrate Christmas Eve at The Berghoff (17 W. Adams, 312-427-3170), Chicago’s oldest restaurant, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Whether stopping in for lunch with the family after peering at Macy’s holiday window display, or enjoying an early dinner after visiting the nearby Christkindlmarkt, The Berghoff will be serving its regular menu in addition to holiday favorites like Herman Berghoff’s Old Fashion Pot Roast and a Yule Log dessert. Additionally, The Berghoff continues the long-standing tradition of inviting children to take part in the Bavaria-American practice of Die Weihnachtsgurke! If a child finds the pickle ornament on The Berghoff’s Christmas tree, they will receive a complimentary root beer float (and, according to tradition, a year of good luck).
  • Lockwood (Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe, 312-917-3404) will treat guests to an extravagant Christmas buffet featuring upscale, contemporary American cuisine with sumptuous favorites for every member of the family to enjoy. Cost is $55 per person, $45 for seniors (age 65 and older), and $25 for children under the age of 12 (price is exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages other than Champagne, sparkling cider and coffee and tea). Reservations are strongly recommended, and complimentary self-parking is available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Executive Chef Scott Walton of Markethouse (611 N. Fairbanks Ct., 312-224-2200) offers guests a four-course menu to enjoy on Christmas Eve. Offered from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, December 24, Chef Walton’s fresh, American Heartland menu offers guests a number of selections for each course. Cost is $65 per person, and $30 for children age 12 and under.
  • ZED451’s (739 N. Clark, 312-266-6691) cozy atmosphere (complete with a gingerbread houses on display), and seasonally-driven menu is ideal for a leisurely buffet-style Christmas Eve dinner, offered from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. When guests are ready for the main course, ZED451’s team of chef-servers visit the table, sharing their distinctive specialties from fresh fish, chicken, beef, pork, lamb and game, all cooked to perfection over an open charcoal fire. Cost for Christmas Eve dinner is $44 person, exclusive of beverages, tax and gratuity. Children ages six to ten are $24 each, and age five and under are complimentary.
  • Zest (Intercontinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan, 312-321-8844) offers a special five-course dinner menu on December 24, 2009 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost is $67 per person and $92 per person with three wine pairings, each hand selected by ENO, the hotel’s lively wine, cheese and chocolate lounge. For Christmas Day, Zest offers an extravagant brunch on Friday, December 25 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $55 per person (includes complimentary mimosas), and $20 per child (includes complimentary orange juice)
  • Christmas Eve Dinner at Sixteen (Trump International Hotel and Tower, 401 North Wabash, 312-588-8030) will feature a delectable, six-course tasting menu. This special tasting menu is $105 per person, exclusive of alcohol, tax and gratuity or $145 with wine pairings by Sommelier Steven Lee, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Chef frank Brunacci will also offer his signature blind, 10-course tasting menu for $145 per person, or $205 per person with wine pairings, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Christmas Eve dinner will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Christmas Day from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Christmas Day Brunch is a buffet laden with breakfast items, raw bar and sushi stations, charcuterie and salad selections and much more. Traditions will be celebrated with hearty items like the carved Slow Roasted Ham with Fig-Bourbon Reduction and Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish, Dijon and Au Jus. Chef Brunacci will showcase some of his favorite seasonal specialties with additional items such as Roasted Monkfish with Gingerbread Cous-Cous and Curry Apple Foam; Seared Venison with Maple Glazed Turnips, Chestnuts and Apple Chutney; and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Spiced Pecans.Christmas Day brunch at Sixteen is $115 per person and $25 for children eight years and under, exclusive of tax, alcohol and gratuity. Seating times are 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sixteen will also be open for dinner on Christmas Day from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Chef Brunacci will present a three-course prix-fixe offering (that guests can create from a limited a la carte menu) for $95, or a six-course tasting menu for $135 per person with wine pairings. All prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity.
  • Piccolo Sogno (464 N. Halsted, 312-421-0077) will celebrate Christmas Eve with a traditional Italian all-seafood dinner menu. Chef Tony Priolo’s special menu will be served from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. The meal kicks off with raw oysters on the half shell, followed by specials including linguine with clams, lobster risotto and branzino al forno (wild sea bass wood-roasted on a bed of thyme). Per the Italian Christmas tradition, Priolo will also be serving baccalĂ , salt cod stewed with tomatoes and olives.
  • Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-4433) takes holiday traditions seriously, roasting chestnuts on an open fire and serving specials for Christmas Eve dinner. Diners will be greeted by Mixologist Daniel Sviland at the entryway as he roasts chestnuts and hands out hot apple cider. He’s also the man responsible for the night’s special Christmas cocktail of eggnog with rum. The kitchen staff will prepare tender, savory duck cake with warm housemade quince jam, Colorado lamb chops and Tallgrass filet of beef with double-baked potato, crisp bacon and Hook’s cheddar. Mom’s special pie for the evening will be banana cream. The restaurant will be open from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
  • Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron, 312-664-2727) offers their annual four course Cuban Holiday Menu, paired with wines by Adam Seger, for $45 per guest, from 5:00pm-11:00pm Christmas Eve.
  • Italiasia (350 W. Mart Center Dr., 312-529-1157) will offer an Italian-Asian inspired Christmas Day Buffet from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.. Lunch and dinner service from the regular menu will also be available in addition to the buffet. Cost is $17.95 for adults and $10.95 for children 12 and under.