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Oct 31, 2009 12:44 PM

Christmas Day Closures?

In celebration of 42 years of marriage, and full-retirement after 38 years of college teaching, we are finally going to spend Christmas in New York City!! We'll be there for a week (12/18 to 12/27) and are wondering how difficult it will be to find a nice, moderate-priced, restaurant (e.g., under $100 per person) for dinner on Christmas Day. Are most restaurants closed then?? Is it essential that we book now or before Thanksgiving? Is it totally naive to think we'd have a lot of choices available after we arrive?

When I Google Christmas Dinner, NYC, only about 8 restaurants come up...some pretty pricey. We'd appreciate any help you can give us. MaineDon

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  1. You have lots of options. Check Open Table - right now, about 100 restaurants come up in a search for a Christmas Day reservation. You'll find even more if you search closer to the date; many restaurants only make reservations 30 days in advance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      Two to check out that are in your price range (out the door including a drink, tax & tip) are Cibo and Marseille.

    2. My experience is if you wait until only a few days before Christmas, you will still be able to reserve but you may find the most popular times already booked. Opentable is the easiest way to check, but don't rely on the menus listed on websites, as most are serving special prix-fixe dinners. That does not necessarily mean they will be more expensive than at other times, but the dishes may differ from the regular menu. It is a good idea to call any restaurant that interests you to find out what they are serving, but I have found they often can give only a general idea until very close to the date. We have enjoyed Christmas dinner the last several years at Marseille. It was very reasonable (IIRC, $38 for 3 courses), the food was a mix of regular menu items and other choices. It has a festive atmosphere but is not particularly noisy. A week or two in advance is more than enough time to reserve.

      1. Thanks small and rrems. The Open Table website is very helpful. We feel a lot better deferring our Christmas Day choice until we become more informed about restaurants and their specialties. Next summer when you are avoiding the City's summer heat by coming to Maine, e-mail me and I will tell you where to get the best lobster. Thanks so much. MaineDon

        3 Replies
        1. re: MaineDon

          Since you brought it up, maybe you could let us know... Where's the best lobster in Maine?

          1. re: StheJ

            StheJ: My favorite is Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard, on the "quiet" side of Mt. Dessert Island. You pick your own lobsters (freshly caught) from their tank and wait as they are cooked. You eat on a large screened dock extending out into Bass Harbor and watch the lobstermen unload their catches at the adjacent pier. It's a working harbor and provides a great show.

            1. re: MaineDon

              Thanks for the recommendation/happy anniversary! I went to camp in Maine for 10 years and only ever went to Eaton's Lobster Pound on Little Deer Isle. Acadia National Park is awesome... between sunrise on Cadillac mountain and climbing the knife's edge, you can't have much more fun.

        2. There's always Chinatown where every restaurant will be open. Much has been written on the Jewish tradition of dining in Chinatown on Christmas Day--not just in NYC but other cities, too.