The holiday season demands a special meal. But what if you’re a lousy cook or have a small kitchen or just plain can’t be bothered? Here are a few suggestions for your big meal on Christmas Day in New York.
Bouley: Known for his attention to detail, dashing good looks and idolatrous fans, David Bouley will serve a six-course Christmas tasting menu for $95 at lunch and $150 at dinner starting at 5 o’clock.
Located at 163 Duane St. in Tribeca, the restaurant will serve continuously from 11:30 a.m., with the last reservation at 10:30 p.m. Information: +1-212-964-2525 or http://www.davidbouley.com/
Balthazar: Open on Christmas Day for the first time, Balthazar will offer for $62 a nontraditional three-course prix-fixe menu that includes soup, entree and dessert. Or pay $44 for just the entree; select from salmon ratatouille or prime rib. The regular menu will also be available, which means you can enjoy the famous frites.
Balthazar, located at 80 Spring St., will be open for lunch from 11 to 3 and for dinner from 5:30 with the last reservation at 9:30. Information: +1-212-965-1414 or http://www.balthazarny.com/
Le Bernardin: The $185 seven-course holiday truffle tasting menu includes a black truffle and garlic sauce with halibut, and black truffle and bacon Bordelaise with baked lobster. Upstairs, in the private dining room at Les Salons, an additional course of venison tenderloin takes the price to $220. The main restaurant’s regular four-course tasting menu for $112 will also be served.
Located at 155 W. 51st St., Le Bernardin is open from 5:15 with the last reservation at 11. Information: +1-212-554-1515 or http://www.le-bernardin.com/
Le Caprice: The $85 three-course Christmas menu includes a traditional option of organic turkey with chestnut stuffing or a vegetarian option of Champagne risotto, among other tasty choices. Children can be accommodated with pasta or other small dishes.
Le Caprice, open from noon, will take the last reservation at 10. It’s located at 795 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-940-8195 or http://www.capriceny.com/
JoJo: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Upper East Side place, will offer the a la carte dinner menu, a $48 four-course vegetable tasting menu and a $68 four-course Christmas tasting menu. Included on the Christmas menu will be tuna, red snapper and rack of lamb.
JoJo is at 160 E. 64th St. It will serve continuously from noon and will take the last reservation at 10 p.m. Information: +1-212-223-5656 or http://www.jean-georges.com/
Kajitsu: Vegetarians will exult in the special $90, nine-course prix-fixe dinner served at this Japanese restaurant on the Lower East Side. The menu includes grilled walnut sesame tofu and daikon sushi. The cuisine, shojin, originates in Zen Buddhism and is likely to induce calm on an otherwise hectic day.
Kajitsu doesn’t allow cell phones in the dining room. It is located at 414 E. 9th St. near First Avenue and is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Information: +1-212-228-4873 or http://www.kajitsunyc.com/
Maialino: Of all the restaurants in Danny Meyer’s vast empire, only Maialino will be open on Christmas Day. Holiday specials include capon with polenta and house-made panettone with zabaglione. Chef Nick Anderer says other specials are in the works and will be served along with the a la carte menu.
Located in the Gramercy Park Hotel at 2 Lexington Ave., Maialino will be open for brunch from 10 to 2 and dinner from 5 to 9 on Christmas Day. Information: +1-212-777-2410 or http://www.maialinonyc.com/
Wallse: Traditional Christmas goose is served at this West Village restaurant named after chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s hometown in Austria. The $95 four-course Christmas menu also includes the inevitable wienerschnitzel. Children eat from the prix-fixe menu for half-price.
Located at 344 W. 11th St., Wallse will be open from 11 a.m. with the last reservation at 9 p.m. Artworks by Dennis Hopper and Julian Schnabel hang in the dining room. Information: +1-212-352-2300 or http://kg-ny.com/wallse
PJ Clarke’s: What could be better than a 125-year-old saloon on Christmas day? PJ Clarke’s has no Christmas specials and no special hours, just the regular menu including fantastic burgers, shepherd’s pie and great drinks.
Three locations in Manhattan will be open on Christmas Day, including the original at 915 Third Ave. Information: +1-212-317-1616 or http://pjclarkes.com/