Where to eat, drink, dance and be merry this Christmas.
It’s that time of year again; time to make Christmas dining plans so you don’t burn dinner and/or have a stress-induced meltdown at home. Fortunately, restaurants all over Chicago are offering unique, delicious Christmas (and Christmas Eve!) specials and menus to keep you well-fed on the holiday — and all month long.
Petterino’s: Santa’s coming to town a little early this year, and he’s hungry for brunch. Pay a visit to Mr. Claus at Petterino’s, where he’ll be stationed December 16 and 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. both days. The perfect stopover before an afternoon spent shopping or at the theatre, the restaurant will have a special brunch buffet, while Santa doles out candy canes to visitors. He’ll also be available for pictures with the kids. Brunch costs $39.95 per person, or $19.95 for kids 12 and younger.
Everest: For one of the most magical and transportive holiday repasts this season, head to Everest for chef/owner Jean Joho’s Alsatian-inspired wonderland. All month long for dinner, the Alsace-born chef harkens to his childhood, particularly his beloved holiday memories, by cooking up dishes he enjoyed at home with family. For the season, Joho is offering a special multi-course tasting menu that includes foie gras, pike, roasted goose and more. The menu costs $165 per person, and wine pairings are an additional $98. Reservations can be made online or by calling Everest.
The Whistler: In case you prefer Christmas on the dance floor, The Whistler keeps things casual (and boozy) with its annual holiday party on December 23. Dubbed “X-mas A Go Go,” the shindig features dancing all night long to a variety of tunes by local DJ Joe Bryl. Expect everything from reggae and R&B to funk. It all starts at 10:00 p.m., and the bar will also be slinging holiday-inspired cocktail specials. No cover to attend.
Commonwealth Tavern: In Roscoe Village, Commonwealth Tavern is a family-friendly, cozy place to hole up for festive specials on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While the kitchen will be closed on the actual day, guests can still imbibe drinks like hot toddies and boozy hot chocolate infuses with Fireball cinnamon whiskey and garnished with a candy cane. On Christmas Eve, the bar will be broadcasting the Cowboys vs. Seahawks game at 3:25 p.m., with brunch specials beforehand like gingerbread French toast. There will also be a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and mimosa bar.
Lottie’s Pub: Another great casual option is Lottie’s Pub, which will be open at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas for its 14th annual Rock ’n’ Roll Christmas party. A fun and low-key way to celebrate and drink with friends, the party offers prizes and giveaways, including a Riot Fest guitar. Guests are encouraged to bring gently worn winter coats for the Salvation Army coat drive, and there will be drink specials like $3.50 Heinekens and $5 Rumplemintz hot chocolate.
Saint Lou’s Assembly: The best place to get a Christmas tree is a place where you can also get a drink at the same time. All month long, through Christmas Eve, Saint Lou’s Assembly has stocked its back patio with Christmas trees for city-dwellers looking to pick one up and bring one home. A variety of trees are available, including Frasier firs and Balsams, and employees are on-hand to help you tie it to your car. Trees vary in price.