Evading being bated into heated political debate during Thanksgiving dinner was invariably tough enough—so why tiptoe around minefields for a solid week or so this holiday season? There’s really never been a more compelling reason to avoid an annual pilgrimage to your insular hometown, so here’s where to eat if you elect to stay put in your beloved sanctuary city.
No matter if your family’s generally the green bean casserole-serving type (or in our case, a latke-flipping one), when you attend a restaurant-sponsored Feast of the Seven Fishes event, you can eat—for one shining night at least—like an Italian. So go on and stage a culinary conversion at spots like Bushwick’s Michelin-starred Faro this Christmas Eve, honoring La Viglia with a $95 septet of uni crudo, poached shrimp, squid and mussels over gnocchi, lobster scarpinocc (a moon-shaped pasta) and cod and caviar lapped in potato cream.
436 Jefferson St, (718) 381-8201
Marlow & Sons
Williamsburg’s seminal New American restaurant is taking an unanticipated route on Christmas Eve, plotting an Indo-Malaysian a la carte lineup of lamb satay, shrimp sambal, roti canai, potatoes rending, and grilled chicken accented with a soy-stained egg.
81 Broadway, (718) 384-1441
Better known for “F$ck ya, it’s Friday” narragansett and shot combos, and cheeseburgers impaled with deviled eggs, Nancy’s actually getting kinda fancy for Christmas Eve — with a $45 progression of smoked pumpkin soup, marinated beat salad, roasted duck for two and eggnog ice cream furnished with Nutella and gingersnaps.
1038 Bedford Ave, (347) 350-7289
Andrew Tarlow’s Wythe Hotel restaurant is committed to keeping its guests fed between trips to Rockefeller Center with a four-course $108 prix fixe on Christmas Day. Not that locals can’t get in on the action too—it’s well worth braving hordes of German tourists for goose consommé, foie gras terrine with quince, roasted lamb with brandied prunes and honest to goodness figgy pudding for dessert.
80 Wythe Ave, (718) 460-8004
The torchbearers of the New Jewish cuisine movement are bringing back their annual Chinese feast for Chrismukkah (and Chrismukkah Eve). Priced at $65pp, the set meal includes spicy tofu soup, short rib smoked meat bao, duck served two ways and Szechuan hand pulled noodles, followed by plate of fortune cookies and oranges (read: plan to indulge elsewhere in some good, peppermint-inflected desserts afterwards).
97 Hoyt St, (718) 852-7510
In addition to offering expansive take-home holiday packages—$250 for five servings of plateaux de fruits de mar, prime rib with pommes puree, roasted carrots and Yorkshire pudding, and an extravagant buche de noel—Bed Stuy’s French boite is remaining open over the holidays, serving their entire menu as well as the aforementioned specials a la carte; expect to spend $75 for the shellfish, $39.50 for the beef dinner, and $12.50 for a slice of meringue mushroom-capped pastry log.
238 Malcolm X Blvd, (917) 966-5300
Another benefit of flying solo for the holidays is you can consume copious amounts of wine, sans sideways remarks about your “little drinking problem” from teetotaling Aunt Betsy. And the sustainable, organic and biodynamic vino will certainly be flowing at Bacchus, plucked from an expansive glass and bottle list designed to complement a $59.95 three-course menu of goat cheese tart, filet mignon au poivre, and fondant au chocolat with roasted cashew vanilla cream, flanked by a lobster bisque amuse bouche and glass of complimentary champagne.
409-411 Atlantic Ave, (718) 852-1572