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Christmas Dinner near Iowa City

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Okay. Here's the story. My mom's house is a wreck (unfinished work-in-progress) and this year - for the first time in ages - all three of her kids plus spouses plus some grandkids are coming for Christmas dinner. She can't really do it at home. She lives in Washington, about 30 minutes south of Iowa City. Does anyone have any suggestions for where we might be able to take our group of 12 for a nice Christmas Day meal? Something half nice and a bit traditional would be fine, although I am beginning to think that merely available will be the bottom line. Thanks!

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  1. Tough day to find a place, but, you might check Ruthies at the Riverside Casino. Ruthies is a steak house a little on the pricey side. Not sure that it will be open on the holiday, but you might check. It is secluded from the casino and a very nice room. If all else fails, the casino has the traditional buffet, but . . .

    You also might call Cafe Dodici in Washington, although I would expect that she will not open on the holiday. Still worth a call.

    If all else fails you could have the local grocer (Hy-Vee) prepare and deliver the entire dinner on Christmas Eve. A few nice disposable utensils and gifts would probably work out.

    The hounds around Iowa City might have more possibles up that way. You also might consider Fairfield as I expect that a significant number of residents there might be open on the holiday. Good Luck!

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    1. re: DrWine

      Ruthie's is open on Christmas, as is Oyama, a sushi place in Iowa City. Sushi's hardly traditional, at least in my Christmas experiences, but Oyama's good and much more affordable than Ruthie's (which is also good but has high-roller, a la carte steakhouse prices).