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Best of Christmas Day Dining Out

One if By Land_restaurant.jpgChristmas is just over a week away, and if the idea of whipping up a holiday feast in a New York kitchen has you feeling overwhelmed, you may want to keep reading. We’ve checked out what’s for dinner (and brunch, too) at the some of the city’s finest restaurants and compiled a list of our favorites. From braised Christmas goose at Wallse to a Chinese feast Fatty Crab-style, it’s just a reservation away.

Address: 118 Greenwich Ave., btwn Horatio & Jane Sts.
Phone: (212) 242-5966

This year, this charming, West Village spot is hosting brunch and dinner.  Take your pick. After you’ve worked up an appetite opening presents, consider brunch at Lyon for the “Double Pink: Salmon & Champagne,” a salmon en croute stuffed with spinach and aromatic rice, served with a beurre blanc sauce, and paired with a glass of pink champagne for $29. If it’s dinner you’re after, Lyon is offering any appetizer, entrée and dessert for $39 in the evening. At this cozy bouchon in the West Village, you can tuck into traditional Lyonnaise dishes that you won’t find in every bistro, like quenelles de brochet, light pike dumplings in a lobster bisque sauce, or tripes gratinees, beef tripe with cannellini beans and merguez sausage underneath a crisp garlic bread crust (pictured). Got a great bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Lyon won’t be charging any corkage fees, so Christmas is the day to bring it along.

Address: 344 West 11th St., near Washington St.
Phone: (212) 352-2300

Practically a New York institution by now, Wallse is serving a five-course holiday menu with optional wine pairings. Named for the chef, Kurt Gutenbrunner’s native village in Austria, Wallse pays homage to Viennese cuisine right from the gate with an amuse of pumpkin soup, crowned with orange and shrimp.  You’re off to a good start and it only gets better, like a foie gras terrine, scallops with caramelized radicchio and a port wine marinade, or traditional weiner schnitzel with fingerling potato salad and lingonberries. But the dish we’re most excited about is Wallse’s braised Christmas goose, accompanied by homespun semolina dumplings and cabbage (pictured).  And really, it doesn’t get much more festive than that. The menu’s available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day for $95, or $160 with the wine pairing.

Wallse_goose.jpgFatty Crab
Address: 643 Hudson St., btwn. Horatio & Gansevoort Sts. (West Village)
or 2170 Broadway, btwn. 76th & 77th Sts. (Upper West Side)
Phone: (212) 352-3592 (WV)
or (212) 496-2722 (UWS)

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s another tradition you likely take part in on December 25th, involving Chinese food.  The team at both Fatty Crab outposts are getting in the spirit with a “No. 1 Fatty Menu,” packed with take-out favorites, like egg rolls, pork spare ribs, General Tso’s chicken, lo mein and fried rice. Best of all, the “No. 1 Fatty Menu” is available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so get your fix of Chinese classics by way of Malaysia this holiday season.

Mile End
Address: 97A Hoyt St., btwn. Atlantic Ave. & Pacific St., Brooklyn
Phone: (718) 852-7510

If you’re Jewish, you could celebrate your own heritage on Christmas at Mile End, a Canadian Jewish deli that recently popped up in Brooklyn   This year, Mile End is putting their own spin on a Chinese feast. For $50 a person, guests can take part in a beef noodle hot pot, pupu platter with lamb spring rolls, in-house smoked trout rangoon, and steamed chicken dumplings.  Our favorite part of the meal or any proper Chinese dinner is their version of Peking duck.  Named for Montreal’s predominantly Jewish neighborhood known as Mile End, they smoke and cure all their meats and fish in-house, so expect a pretty great and unique, not-so-Christmas dinner.

Ai Fiori
Address: 400 5th Ave., near West 36th St., (inside the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel)
Phone: (212) 613-8660

If you’re in the mood for Italian Christmas Day?  Few do Italian or pasta, for that matter, better than Michael White.  Tucked inside the Setai Hotel, this elegant eatery is offering a four-course menu on Christmas Day for $92. While most of his restaurants focus their attention on the Italian peninsula, his newest endeavor is inspired by the Italian and French Riviera. Come Christmas, you’ll feast on trofie nero, a squid ink pasta topped with seppia, scallops and spiced breadcrumbs (pictured here), or one of our favorites, the butter-poached lobster over a root vegetable fondant. With a stellar wine selection focused on the same region,  you’ll be able to find a perfect match for your meal.

One if By Land_Beef Wellington.jpgOne if By Land, Two if By Sea
Address: 17 Barrow St., btwn. 7th Ave. & West 4th St.
Phone: (212) 255-8649

If you’re spending Christmas with a special someone or looking for a little romance, this is your guy.  One if by Land, Two if By Sea boasts a cozy fireplace, piano, and plenty of candlelight.  Their holiday menu, available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, is a $98 three-course prix fixe, filled with some wonderfully wintry options, like chestnut tagliatelle with wild boar bolognese and seared Maine scallops with brown butter cauliflower puree and pumpkin seed souffle.  After you’ve settled in, you can get a little more serious with the signature beef wellington or seared Atlantic salmon with caramelized brussels sprouts, bacon, and kimchi vinaigrette.

Le Comptoir
Address: 251 Grand St., btwn. Driggs Ave. & Roebling St., Brooklyn
Phone: (718) 486-3300

This elegant Williamsburg bistro serves up seasonally inspired French dishes with a touch of creativity, like potato gnocchi with duck confit and roasted butternut squash as well as braised short ribs and parmesan risotto.  On Christmas Day, Le Comptoir’s kitchen will be open starting at noon with its regular menu, but if it’s indulgence you’re after, we suggest you celebrate with the Foie Gras Extravaganza tasting menu for $85 – need we say more?

BLT Market
Address: 1430 Sixth Ave., btwn. 58th & 59th Sts., (inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel)
Phone: (212) 521-6125

For something slightly more bucolic and American, you can celebrate at BLT Market with a view of Central Park, then go for a horse and buggy ride after dinner.  BLT Market is serving a $98 four-course meal, which includes a wild mushroom risotto with black truffles, pan-seared halibut with a cauliflower puree and hazelnut sauce, and a pepper-crusted prime rib with sunchoke puree. For dessert, the
re’s several sweet options, including a milk chocolate and chestnut “bouche de noel” with hazelnut sauce. Given the focus on showcasing local, seasonal ingredients, it’s no surprise to see things like sunchokes, brussels sprouts, and chestnuts popping up on the holiday menu.

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