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Dec 4, 2008 02:48 PM

Is Christmas Impossible?

I've lived in New York for a few years, but never been here over Christmas. This year, my parents are coming to visit me, rather than the traditional other way around.

They'll be here on the nights of the 24th and 25th, and we'd like to go out someplace nice for dinner at least one and maybe both of those nights. It could be in Brooklyn or Manhattan. We can probably splurge once on something that's about $100 a head for the total tab, but then would need to find something more modest for the other night.

Anyway. Is finding space at a restaurant on Xmas Eve/Xmas Day totally impossible? Or is it easy? I have no idea.

Also, specific recommendations about where to have a nice meal with mom and dad are more than welcome. We want: something American or Euro, not too loud, fancy/nice but not too snooty. My dad was briefly obsessed with Mario Batali, so that's an option. OTOH, my mother lives for vegetables.

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  1. Definitely not impossible to book for either. I think you should start by going to OpenTable. Plug in the dates, the number in your party, and your preferred time, and you will get a long list of restaurants that can accommodate you. Pick out those which interest you, then check their websites for costs. Note that on Christmas Day, many restaurants have special holiday menus and pricing.

    2 Replies
      1. re: toomuchkatherine


        I should have added that restaurants do not give all their reservations to OpenTable, so if it shows no availability, it's best to call the restaurant directly because they may actually have a table at the time you want.

        Also, if you want feedback on specific restaurants that pique your interest, do a separate post, and Hounds who have been to them will give you their opinions.

    1. In Manhattan you could check out Cibo (at 41st & 2nd) and also Marseille on West 44th. Both have holiday menus which are well within your $$ parameters.

      1. I know Batali related places are usually closed on Christmas and Christmas Eve for dinner. You might want to call and see if Babbo is open for lunch. We went to Artisnal for Thanksgiving and the food was amazing for the price- three courses $65ish, plus tax, wine, tip. There was no fois gras suppliment too and it was the best fois gras/duck terreine we have had. The staff was so friendly and great. For holidays, Open Table has a page for each holiday and the pre fixe menu price listed usually.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mslex

          Babbo doesn't serve lunch, even on non-holidays.

          From their site:

          Babbo serves dinner during the following hours:
          Mon - Sat: 5:30 -11:30PM
          Sunday: 5:00 -11:00PM
          Wine Bar opens Monday through Saturday at 5:00PM, and at 4:30PM on Sundays.
          We will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
          We accept reservations up to one month in advance to the numerical date, and for parties of no more than six people.

          However, Lupa will be open on Christmas Eve, doing the feast of the seven fishes.

          For Christmas Day itself, your best bet is somewhere that's also a hotel restaurant, like BLT Market, Bar Milano, or Gordon Ramsay's restaurant.

          1. re: kathryn

            Checking the list of restaurants open on Christmas Day via OpenTable, BLT Market and Bar Milano are not on it.

            Gordon Ramsay is not on OpenTable. It may very well be open on Christmas Day. A call directly to the restaurant would determine that.

            1. re: RGR

              Information about BLT Market on Christmas Day is located here:

        2. Most restaurants are open Christmas Eve, but Christmas is another story altogether. Very few are open. Opentable is the best way to find out which ones are. We had a great meal at Marseille last year, and it was only $38 for 3 courses. The menu included most of their regular items. Nice Matin, which is under the same ownership, is also open.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rrems

            When you plug in the date and a time, the list of restaurants on OpenTable which are open on Christmas Day is actually longer than you might think.