by Melissa Kravitz
|Chinatown's Buddha Bodai is always a popular Christmas spot for all religions --credit|
Maybe you're a terrible cook, or perhaps you just feel burnt out after hosting a supremely gourmet Thanksgiving. The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy heaping plates of food, not to stress out about entertaining or preparing the perfect honey glazed ham (does anyone even like that?). Luckily, New York City has plenty of options, both modestly priced and gloriously indulgent, to treat yourself to a tasty Christmas meal without having to chop a carrot or run a dishwasher.
On Christmas Eve morning, December 24, acclaimed gastropub Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway in Astoria) will serve an Asian-meets-Jewish mash-up brunch. The à la carte holiday menu will include ramen noodle kugel, Szechuan egg in a potato latke basket, challah French toast with Chinese five-spice pear compote, and egg cream bubble tea. No reservations, but stop in 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for some epic creations.
|A sunny day inside Queen's Kickshaw --credit|
On December Saturdays , Aquavit (65 E 55th St) will serve its famous Nordic Christmas smörgåsbord: the Julbord, a bountiful spread featuring signature Christmas dishes like julskinka (Christmas ham) and pepparkakor (ginger snaps), Swedish meatballs and matjes herring alongside smörgåsbord classics complimented by a cup of the aromatic,warm mulled wine glögg. The feast is available 11:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve at $88/person.
|A glass of warm glögg at Aquavit|
Chinatown's Buddha Bodai (5 Mott St), is a Kosher and vegetarian Chinese restaurant run by Buddhists who obviously do not celebrate Christmas. The restaurant is open throughout the holiday and is usually packed on the 25th. Dim sum starts at $2.50, with specialties like imitation ribs with black bean sauce and steamed vegetable buns. For fake meat enthusiasts, you have an entire farm of faux animal proteins to choose from here, and you can't really go wrong with fried sesame "chicken" or a noodle dish packed with fresh veggies.
|Sesame "chicken" at Buddha Bodai --credit|
Cafe Boulud (20 E 76th St) will serve a luxe three-course prix fixe meal adorned with black and white truffles! French festive dishes will include Winter Squash Veloutè with pain d’épices croutons and celery leaves; Squab en Croûte with quince purée, toasted pistachio and fresh mâche; Striped Bass en Paupiett with pommes purée, holland leeks, and sauce meurette; and a classic duo of Dry-Aged Beef served with Spinach Subric, crispy horseradish, pommes Anna, and shallot jus. For dessert, the Buche de Noël will include a vanilla biscuit, chestnut mousse, and caramel ice cream. Dinner will be 5:30 to 9 p.m. for $155/person.
For a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, visit Roman's (243 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn) for Christmas Eve. The menu will include fried baccala, spot prawns with oranges and olives, sardines in saor, crab brodetto, linguini with clams, and a whole roasted fish. Price is $65/person.
On Christmas morning, grab your ice skates and head to Rockefeller Center for Breakfast with Santa. Both the Sea Grill ($105) and Rock Center Cafe ($95) will serve a prix fixe brunch featuring brioche French toast, scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon and sausage, breakfast pastries, gingerbread men, crepe and omelet stations, a chocolate fountain, freshly squeezed orange juice, breakfast cocktails, and more, along with entertainment by elves and live carolers.
|Have a delicious and cheerful Christmas! --credit|