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New Yorkers - Please Help!

We will be spending our 3rd Christmas in your wonderful city. I am looking for New Yorkers to share their Christmas Day restaurants.

Please do not refer me to Open Table. I've been there and the selection is limited. Plus as we all know, not ALL restaurants participate with Open Table.

The previous two Christmas Day dinners we enjoyed at Chelsea Bistro (2002, 2004), but we are looking for somewhere new. We would prefer a restaurant and not a hotel, plus we are looking for restaurants away from the Theatre District and mid town. UWS, UES, Chelse, Greenwich, Soho, etc. would be preferred. Ethnic just won't cut it.

I am willing to make tons of phone calls to see if restaurants are open as they may be one year and not the next. So don't hesitate to comment on a spot you visited on Christmas Days a couple years back. Thank you so much!

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  1. You could try the King's Carriage House, 251 E 82nd Street
    New York, NY 10028 (212) 734-5490.

    We had Thanksgiving dinner there many years ago and it was a memorable occasion. I don't know if they are open for Christmas but you can easily find that out.

    1. Thank you Brian W., I will call them today to see if they are open for Christmas dinner.

      1. Cibo, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 41st St., is a large, attractive neighborhood restaurant with very good food. They are always open for Christmas dinner and have the menu posted on their website.


        1. I believe Compass is open (70th between West End and Amsterdam) and the food is fabulous.

          1. I phoned King's Carriage House and they are not open. I looked at Cibo's menu but it did not excite me for $65.00 p.p.

            Thank you comidaqueen for Compass. This restaurant is looking very promising. I e-mailed them today and they responded very quickly indicating they should have a menue in a couple of days. I appreciate your opinion on the food.

            I also called Jo Jo and they are e-mailing their Christmas Day menu in a couple of days when it's ready. The other restaurants that I am considering are Brasserie and Brasserie 8 1/2.

            1. JD -- since you've been to NYC during Christmas time, can you recommend a good Chinese restaurant for Xmas dinner? I've posted with this queary and haven't gotten any responses, thanks.

              1. My parents and I always go to San Domenico for X-mas Eve. Not sure if they are open X-mas day, but worth calling to find out. Amazing food.

                1. Atlantic grill, crispo, blue water grill, etas unis, brasserie
                  good luck

                  1. We just made backup reservations at "Town" in case we don't opt for dinner in chinatown -- do a search, suppose to be good. It's $75pp, they don't have their menu avail yet but the hostess is very nice. I believe you can reserve on opentable.

                    1. I have had the same problem for the past three years! I am a New Yorker, but we dine out on Xmas day and the Open Table selection is not very good!

                      We just made reservations at Town, which was recommended to me. My family really wanted somewhere festive, but I doubt we are going to get excellent food and amazing decour on Xmas Day...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jillieb

                        I've never dined at Town during Christmas season, so I have no idea what kind of seasonal decorations (if any) they may have. But trust me when I tell you that Town's "regular" decor is jaw-droppingly gorgeous! As for the quality of the cuisine, normally it is superb, so I think you stand a good chance of having a quality meal. If they are offering their two signature dishes -- the main course duck steak and the dessert beignets -- I highly recommend them.


                      2. Try The Harrison - they had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner this year - not sure about Christams but give them a call - location is Tribeca.
                        Good Luck !

                        1. Years ago, I used to work for a very wealthy woman who was absolutely insistent on the best of everything, and every year she went to Butler Restaurant with her family for Thanksgiving, and sometimes for Christmas as well. Recently a good friend of mine worked there as a bartender, and brought from work a box of the most delicious deserts I've ever had to a gathering. It also has a stunning penthouse view of the whole city, and an offbeat location. It's on 120th Street and Morningside Ave, very close to Columbia University.

                          1. Personally, I wouldn't want to go to a place where I'd think the staff were sad about having to work on Christmas. So, I'd want to go to a Jewish or Chinese place. As has been documented in the NYT, a classic Jewish experience on Christmas day is, of course, to hit Shun Lee West. As for the Jewish side of the coin, Katz's may be too informal for you, but the food is awesome. Muslim food is another option, as is Japanese. Just something to think about...

                            1. Thank you for your suggestions. I am now re-thinking Town. One question I have for those of you that have been to the restaurant is how formal or casual is the restaurant? From their web site it looks 'very' formal and dressy. Is it?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JD5761

                                No need to pull out the gown and tux. lol You'll find a mix. Though gentlemen are not required to wear jackets, some do. Some woman gussy up a bit while others are in smart casual dress.

                              2. One more thought, Butler Restaurant is now called Terrace in the Sky. They are open Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JD5761

                                  Oh wow! That's great to know, because I was having trouble finding it and I was starting to think it was like Rao's where they don't answer their phones and hardly ever let anyone in!