It's almost that time of year when a merry bearded man comes flying down people's chimneys to deliver presents and eat their cookies. It's also the time of year for filling up on familial meals at home and at restaurants. We can't dictate what you do in your home kitchens, but we can help guide you to deliciousness for Christmas dining in Chicago restaurants.
(Mussels and many more fishes at Filini Bar & Restaurant)
Filini Bar & Restaurant: Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian holiday repast, highlighting meatless food for Christmas. Instead of a meat-heavy degustation, there's several courses of fish to be found at Filini Bar & Restaurant, where seven fish dishes are punctuated by a thankfully fish-free dessert, all for $80 per person on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between noon and 10:00 p.m. The menu includes a complimentary glass of Prosecco and dishes like mussel soup, tuna carpaccio, braised octopus, codfish Vicenza, and triple chocolate mousse. Reservations can be made by calling 312-477-0234 or visiting here.
Osteria Via Stato: Another restaurant serving up several fish feasts this season is Osteria Via Stato, where the traditional spread takes shape on Christmas Eve between 4:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., right before Santa breaks into your house. Inspired by his own family memory templates, chef David DiGregorio, has whipped up a decadent meal chock full of Italian seafood, along with sides and dessert. It costs $50 per person and a la carte menus are also available. Call 312-642-8450 to make a reservation.
Sixteen: If you're looking to go high-end this holiday season, you can't do better than Sixteen. The fine dining restaurant within Trump International Hotel & Tower is open for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch and Christmas Day dinner this year. The dinner menus mark some of the last opportunities to sample the current "Faces of Sixteen" tasting menu before the restaurant swaps in their new menu next month. Dishes include New Zealand langoustine, wild sturgeon and Ossetra caviar, Brittany Coast turbot, and black walnut cake with Bordeaux soaked prunes. There's also Christmas brunch, for those who prefer an actual meal instead of stocking candy by the fistful. Sixteen promises a festive spread like no other, available from 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Santa's reindeers are also kind enough to pay a visit to The Terrace after traversing the globe. Brunch costs $155 per person and $45 for children 12 and younger. Call 312-588-8030 to place reservations.
Brasserie by LM: On the other hand, you could keep it pretty casual with a leisurely French-inflected meal at Brasserie by LM on Christmas Eve or Day. The restaurant is offering a special $35 prix fixe menu on both days, which entails an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Straightforward enough. Dishes include roasted squash soup, poached salmon with couscous, short ribs with spice-roasted apples, chestnut risotto, and chocolate mousse with caramel sauce.
RPM Italian: While the aforementioned Feasts of Seven Fishes skewed traditional, RPM Italian gives a nod towards modernity with their version, available on Christmas Eve. Expect chilled seafood salads, housemade pastas, whole-roasted fish, and classic Italian desserts, all for $75 per person. Call 312-222-1888 to make it happen.
Cafe des Architectes: For both Christmas Eve and Day, Cafe des Architectes will be serving up festive degustations via prix fixe menus with options for each course. Both dinner menus are $65 per adult and $19 for children under 12. Also on Christmas, the restaurant will be open early for brunch service, available a la carte from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Reservations for any of the above can and should be made by calling 312-324-4063.
Bistronomic: Another venerable French option is the modern stylings happening over at Bistronomic around the corner from Cafe des Architectes. Here, chef/owner Martial Noguier is once again offering a three-course Christmas Day prix fixe menu for dinner between 3:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. For food, diners get to select one dish per course, with plates running the gamut from prime beef short ribs and Maine diver sea scallops to lemon tarts and veal medallions. There's also ample vegetarian options on the separate vegetarian menu. The cost is $65 per adult and $20 per child. Bistronomic is also offering another Christmas Eve prix fixe menu that costs $58 per adult and $20 per child.
Falafill: If you're the type who likes to keep it uber casual on Christmas and casually roll out of bed into slippers, then make your way to Falafill to fill up on their Middle Eastern eats. The quick service restaurant is open serving their regular menu on Christmas, a nice option amidst all the prix fixe menus and what not.
- Matt Kirouac