Christmas Dining Guide 2015
It's just about that time of year when a jolly bearded man soars around the world to deliver presents and eat an embarrassment of cookies. It's also the time of year for filling up on hearty, soulful meals at home and at restaurants. We can't tell you what you should eat in your homes, but we can help guide you to deliciousness for Christmas dining in Chicago restaurants.
Intro: One of the coolest ways to dine this Christmas is with the Chinese Christmas Eve menu at Intro. Available from 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., the special menu is the handiwork of chef-in-residence Stephen Gillanders, who will be cooking up contemporary Chinese cuisine with items like truffled egg drop soup, roasted Pekin duck, and foie gras fried rice with sunny-side duck egg and ginger crumbs. The cost is $95 per person and reservations can be made online or by calling Intro.
Michael Jordan's Steak House: On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this Magnificent Mile steakhouse will be offering a particularly regal special, courtesy of chef Craig Couper. The full dish is smoked dry-aged prime rib with Raclette cheese-stuffed marrow bone and black truffle. The cost is $51, and worth every penny.
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 $90 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 cod fritters, Sicilian tuna carpaccio, monkfish osso bucco, and ciocolatissimo, a cake similar to chocolate souffle. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.
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 memories, chef David DiGregorio, has whipped up a decadent meal chock full of Italian seafood, along with sides and dessert. It costs $56.95 per person and a la carte menus are also available. Call the restaurant to make a reservation.
Sixteen: If you're looking to go high-end this holiday season, you can't do better than Sixteen. This year, the fine dining restaurant within Trump International Hotel & Tower is open for Christmas Eve dinner, a Christmas Day holiday buffet and Christmas Day dinner. The dinner menus provide opportunities to sample the current tasting menu, "Food in Progress: Assessing an American Food Revolution." Dishes explore the development and progress in both agriculture and technology that enable affordable and accessible produce year round in the U.S. Christmas Eve dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and will feature a chef's tasting for $215 or a prix fixe for $155. Christmas dinner will be served from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and cost $190 for the multi-course tasting menu or $130 for the abbreviated prix fixe. 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. Mulled wine and hot chocolate will be available, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will also be stopping by, although I'd imagine they'll be exhausted. Brunch costs $158 per person and $50 for children 12 and younger. Call Sixteen to place reservations.
Brasserie by LM: On the other hand, you could keep it casual with a leisurely French-accented meal at Brasserie by LM on Christmas Eve or Day. The restaurant is offering a special $35 three-course prix fixe menu on both days, which entails an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Straightforward enough. Dishes include blinis with house-cured salmon and chive creme fraiche; short ribs with spice roasted apples, turnips, and collard greens; and pumpkin pie with sage creme Chantilly.
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 for dinner. Expect items like king crab arancini, frutti di mare with artisanal pasta and roasted Maine lobster, all for $75 per person. Call 312-222-1888 to make it happen.
Bistronomic: Another venerable French option is the modern stylings happening over at Bistronomic. Here, chef/owner Martial Noguier is once again offering a three-course Christmas Day prix fixe menu for dinner between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. For food, diners get to select one dish per course. 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 dinner menu that costs $60 per adult and $20 per child.
Ramen-san: Special shoutout to this River North gem, because along with hot noodle dishes completely apropos for Christmas Eve, the restaurant will be playing Home Alone all day long.
- Matt Kirouac