Oh ye procrastinators, it’s not too late to book a holiday dinner at these six wonderful Manhattan restaurants, even at this ungodly hour. Unwrap your Christmas-Day presents, pre-game with a glass of eggnog or Champagne, and enjoy a delicious dinner with no clean-up at these varied choices that exemplify holiday coziness, tradition, and the New York City holiday spirit.
At The Flying Fisherman, an updated take on Christmas Eve’s traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes is served on Christmas Day as well, highlighting international seafood dishes while also offering traditional Christmas meal options like lamb and yams for non-seafood eaters. The appropriately named Feast of the Seven Fishes special is served in two dishes. The first includes baked clams, head-on shrimp and New Zealand mussels; the second dish is a cioppino-style fish stew with cod, scallops, salmon, red snapper, saffron Yukon potatoes and garlic croutons. A special holiday dessert is the pretty vanilla Napoleon with red berries. 269 Columbus Avenue.
One of my new favorites, the TAO Group’s Legasea Seafood Brasserie in the Moxy Hotel Times Square, will be especially buzzy on Christmas with their own take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Served along with the restaurant’s varied menu of seafood mains and appetizers, Legasea’s Seven Fish Cioppino offers Chef Jason Hall’s bespoke combination of seven fishes, a richly seasoned stew of mussels, clams, king crab claws, head-on prawns, octopus, calamari and bacalao (cod). As at the Flying Fisherman, non-seafood lovers are not left out – they can share Legasea’s fried chicken with biscuits and Mike’s hot honey, served in a fun takeout box and create a new Christmas Day tradition of your own. 485 Seventh Avenue, The Moxy Hotel.
At equally trendy Industry Kitchen, Christmas will be celebrated in style with the new American-cuisine restaurant decked out to resemble a holiday chalet. Diners will be greeted by a trio of Christmas trees and reindeer in the entryway along with twinkling lights, wreaths and holly, transforming the Seaport setting into a winter wonderland. On Christmas Day, Industry Kitchen’s winter menu features warm comfort dishes like the Squash Pot with mushroom ragout, and pumpkin tagliatelle with shaved truffles. Indulge in festive dishes and libations like the gingernut pizza made with a gingerbread crust, eggnog frosting, spicy pecans and sprinkles; or the Frozen Peppermint Slide, a giant shareable cocktail with Baileys, candy canes, peppermint bark and pretzel rods for a true Christmas in a cup. An added plus: if you forgot to buy a Christmas gift, you could make a gift statement for your entire party by ordering the restaurant’s decadent white-cheese 24K pizza that comes with osetra caviar, 24K gold leaves and foie gras. 70 South Street.
Dining with a view of the skating rink and Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is another tradition that will please the entire family. Choose to dine at the seafood-oriented Sea Grill, which will be serving a special three-course meal as well as a holiday menu just for kids. At this upscale seafood restaurant, treat your loved ones to a menu of salmon tartare with American caviar, house-made linguine with black truffles, butter-poached Maine lobster and dark chocolate baked ganache at this upscale seafood restaurant. 19 West 49th Street. Or book a table at the adjacent Rock Center Café which will delight the family with a varied Yuletide prix fixe menu including Barolo-braised short ribs, magret duck breast with bacon Brussels sprouts, sautéed spaghetti squash, and spiced apple tart with cider reduction. As with its sister restaurant The Sea Grill, the Rock Center Café caters to the little ones with their own holiday menu. 20 West 50th Street.
If you don’t want to stay in the middle of Rockefeller Center madness or push your way among the throngs milling along Fifth Avenue or Lexington Avenue to look at the Christmas windows at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue or Bergdorf Goodman, you can walk just a few blocks East to The Sea Fire Grill, where the cozy bistro has one of the city’s best prix fixe deals for Christmas Day with dishes like Truffle Burrata, Lobster Risotto and Roasted Mediterranean Branzino for a mere $79 per person. Finish your meal as you began at home with a holiday eggnog.158 East 48th Street.
Photos: Meryl Pearlstein