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David Lissner
for restaurants

12 Christmas dinners in Chicagoland, 2011



Whatever your budget, there’s a Christmas Day dinner for you in the Chicago area. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available this Dec. 25. (Watch this space for a longer listing of restaurants open on Christmas Day.)

Most places require reservations, and it’s always a good idea to call ahead.

  1. Allgauer’s Restaurant, Alsip, American.

    Buffet dinner, noon to 3 p.m., offers two kinds of turkey, ham, sage dressing, mashed potatoes, house-made gravy, sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, smoked salmon, oyster bar, cranberry sauce, assorted salads, house-made pies, champagne, soda, juice, coffee and tea, $31.95, $27.95 seniors, $19.95 kids.

  2. Ann Sather, Andersonville and Lakeview, Swedish/American.

    Holiday dinners, served 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Lakeview, until 6 p.m. in Andersonville, include roast turkey with celery-sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce; baked bone-in ham with fruit glaze and sweet potatoes; prime rib au jus with mashed potatoes; broiled salmon with mustard dill sauce and mashed potatoes; and The Swedish Sampler (roasted duck breast with lingonberry glaze, meatball, potato sausage, spatzle, sauerkraut and brown beans); plus house-made breads, vegetable soup, seasonal vegetable and apple, walnut-chocolate chip or pumpkin pie, $19.95, $10.95 for children. Breakfast items will also be available. Reservations will be accepted for parties of six or more.

  3. Aria, Loop, Asian.

    “Chinese Dinner and a Movie” offers a three-course menu plus tickets to a flick at the nearby AMC River East Theater. Starter choices include wild mushroom wontons, crispy lobster mango roll and Mongolian lamb rib, while entrees range from Cape Breton scallops with red wine XO sauce to prawn Singapore noodles or fiery shortribs of beef, $55.

  4. C-House, Streeterville, American.

    Chefs Nicole Pederson and Melissa Trimmer’s three-course dinner, 4 to 8:30 p.m., offers such choices as blue cheese and bacon crusted beef filet with roasted mushrooms and potatoes; pan-seared sea scallops with celeriac, toasted farro, Klug Farm grapes and braised celery; toasted-pecan and ricotta ravioli with red curry squash, pecan butter and toasted brioche; gingerbread torte with spiced pear sorbet and sweet potato anglaise and chocolate beignets with creme fraiche gelato, hazelnut and espresso, $49, $19 children.

  5. Chicago Prime Steakhouse, Schaumburg, American.

    A la carte menu, served 3 to 9 p.m., includes roast boneless leg of lamb with rosemary red wine sauce, cranberry and pecan wild rice pilaf with a squash medley ($25); honey glazed ham with citrus pan sauce, maple whipped sweet potatoes, asparagus and baby carrots ($25); 18-ounce U.S.D.A prime rib served au jus with horseradish cream sauce ($38).

  6. Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, American.

    Popular annual buffet brunch offers starters including chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, smoked gravlax with cream cheese, deviled eggs, meatballs with marinara sauce, cheese manicotti, Italian sausage with sweet bell peppers, baked norwegian salmon, crab cakes, candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, honey glazed acorn squash, and country-style rigatoni and fresh egg fettuccini. Chefs will also be carving slow-roasted turkey, baked Virginia ham with honey mustard and roast leg of lamb. The kids’ station features pizza, chicken fingers, corn dogs and tater tots. Desserts include pumpkin, apple and pecan pies; chocolate mousse; pumpkin cheesecake; creme brulee; rice pudding; a variety of tortes; ice cream sundaes; and fresh fruit, $30.95 per adult, $11.50 for children.

  7. Glen Prairie, Glen Ellyn, American.

    Christmas dinner, noon to 9 p.m., includes a glass of Champagne; appetizers such as roasted garlic and potato soup or poached quail egg and wild mushroom benedict; entrees including herb-roasted Meyer Ranch prime rib of beef or pan-seared black cod; and dessert, $45.

  8. ItaliAsia, Loop, Italian-Asian.

    Christmas Day buffet, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., $25.95, $15.95 for children 12 and under, features such items as roasted free-range chicken breast, stuffed with apples, cornbread and pecans with a chardonnay sauce; pasta bolognese; Oriental crab and shrimp salad; roasted asparagus and wild mushroom tortellini; assorted holiday pastries.

  9. Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club, Northalsted, American.

    “Jingle Bell Brunch,” 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers an a la carte menu plus $10 endless mimosas, sangria and bloody martinis as well as entertainment from Madam X. At dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., a cocktail such as the “Harmoni Merry-tini,” “Hpnotiq Snowflake,” “Pumpkin Pie,” “Banana Nut Bread,” “Santa Baby” or “Fruity Xmas” is included in the prix-fixe dinner of beef bourguignon with grilled baguette and roasted poussin with cauliflower puree, brussels sprouts and truffle gaufrette, $15 with a canned-good donation for charity. Kit Kat’s “Super Sexy Santa” will be on hand for photographs.

  10. O’Donovan’s Pub and Restaurant, North Center, American.

    From 5 to 11 p.m., Chef Victor DeLeon offers Christmas specials including a 14-ounce cut of prime rib with house-made horseradish sauce and choice of fries, mashed, or baked potatoes for $9.95. The bar, open until 2 a.m., will be pouring Christmas-themed eggnog drinks, Christmas beers and hot drinks, and the Bears vs. Packers game will be on the HDTV screens. No advance reservations are needed.

  11. Rio’s D’Sudamerica, Bucktown, Latin.

    Peruvian buffet, noon to 8 p.m. $13.

  12. Sixteen, River North, American.

    Brunch, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., begins with welcome from Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus a trip outside to The Terrace for views of downtown Chicago’s holiday displays, with hot cider and gluhwein. Indoors, chefs Joseph Rose and Sarah Kosikowski offer a buffet of breakfast foods, raw bar and sushi stations, charcuterie, salads, cheeses and hearty items like carved sweet-and-sour orange-glazed ham; garlic and herb slow-roasted prime rib; braised pork belly and shoulder with bourbon-ale maple glaze and bulgar wheat; seared trout with roasted fennel and golden raisin compote; and wild mushroom ravioli with porcini cream and fresh chives; plus lavish desserts, $125, $35 for children up to age 8. A special buffet for kids features as well. Dinner, 6 to 8:30 p.m., features three- and five-course prix fixe menus, $105 and $135 ($145 and $205 with wine pairings).