Eater Chicago intern Jeffy Mai contributed this article.
C-House [Photo: Zagat]
Sit back and relax with good company by letting someone else do the cooking this Christmas. Instead of slaving around the kitchen, these restaurants will do the dirty work so you and your family can stay merry. With cuisines ranging from French and Spanish to Italian-Asian fusion, there is something here that is sure to delight even the grouchiest eaters. So give yourself the gift of a day off and check out the Eater Chicago guide to Christmas dining.
Where: 17 E. Monroe
What: Lockwood, the contemporary American restaurant located in the Palmer House Hilton, will be serving up a Christmas Day brunch special from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be starters such as wild mushroom and fennel soup, chilled grilled shrimp cocktail, and a selection of local cheeses and organic fruits and nuts. Heartier dishes include smoked lake trout, cavatappi carbonara Florentine, and roasted, peppered prime aged rib of beef. The a la carte menu will be available after 5 p.m. The cost is $60 per adult and $25 for children between 6-12 years old.
Where: 401 N. Wabash
What: The signature 16th floor Trump Hotel restaurant will be celebrating Christmas with a brunch between 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy a buffet, which will include everything from artisan breads to vegetables, deli carving stations, and dessert delicacies. The cost is $125 per adult and $35 for children ages 8 and younger.
3) Ann Sather
Where: 909 W. Belmont; 3411 N. Broadway; 5207 N. Clark
What: Ann Sather will be offering a special Christmas menu at their Belmont, Broadway and Clark St locations. Holiday favorites such as baked ham with fruit glaze and sweet potatoes, roast turkey with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and prime rib served with au jus will be available. The cost for each holiday entrée is $19.95 per adult and $10.95 for children. The Belmont hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Broadway location from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Clark St. restaurant from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Call: Belmont: 773-348-2378; Broadway: 773-305-0024; Clark St: 773-271-6677
Where: 166 E. Superior
What: The Streeterville restaurant from chef Marcus Samuelsson will be celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas with a 3-course dinner. For the first two courses, diners can choose from dishes including oyster stew, goat cheese soufflé, Swan Creek Farm Goose, and prime rib. Dessert selections are gingerbread torte, mint chocolate and Rogue Cremery’s Smokey Blue cheese. The cost is $49 per person and seatings start at 4 p.m. lasting until 8:30 p.m.
5) Mercat a la Planxa
Where: 638 S. Michigan
What: Celebrate Christmas Catalonia-style with the South Loop Spanish restaurant on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Try some traditional Spanish favorites from the regular a la carte menu or enjoy a 4-course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings for $85 per person. On Christmas Day, brunch will be served with items including house-made charcuterie, cheeses and desserts along with three chef-selected courses for $25 per person.
6) NoMI Kitchen
Where: 800 N. Michigan
What: NoMI Kitchen will be open on Christmas Day with a special menu. A selection of market seafood will be offered as well as an assortment of sushi, steamed snow crab claws and oysters on the half shell. Other brunch items include French toast, grits, and gruyere and bacon quiche alongside Christmas ham. An open-faced crab cake sandwich, braised short rib, and wild mushroom risotto are also available on the a la carte menu. Brunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
7) Café des Architectes
Where: 20 E. Chestnut
What: The Gold Coast French eatery will be offering a special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day a la carte menu. Dishes include sweet potato gnocchi, truffled white pumpkin velouté, spice seared venison loin, and whole roasted squab. Baked Alaska, warm cider beignet, and several other sweet plates comprise the dessert menu.
Where: 11 E. Walton
What: The modern-European bistro inside the Elysian Hotel will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Balsan will be serving a special three-course family style meal for $75 per person. The same special will be offered on Christmas Day between noon and 7 p.m. The traditional Balsan breakfast will also be available from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. that day. Items include brioche French toast, house-smoked salmon and bagel, and house-made corned beef hash.
9) 676 Restaurant & Bar
Where: 676 N. Michigan
What: The organic and sustainable 676 Restaurant & Bar will be open with a special Christmas Day four-course prix fixe menu from noon to 8 p.m. Starting plates include grilled Lake Erie walleye and crab cakes, confit duck flatbread, and a Spence Farm butternut squash bisque. Local ingredient entrées include Slagel Farm ham, Lake Huron Salmon, and Garden Gate Farm turkey. Northbrook Acres pumpkin pie, Seedling Farm pear cake and Michigan Heirloom apple crisp are among the dessert selections. The cost is $62 per person.
Where: 350 W. Mart Center Dr, 15th Floor
What: The Italian-Asian fusion restaurant inside the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza will be serving a unique Christmas Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Items on the buffet menu include chicken won ton, roasted asparagus and wild mushroom tortellini, risotto with lobster, shrimp and scallops, grilled polenta, and wild mushroom ragout, as well as an assortment of holiday pastries. The full regular menu will also be available. The cost is $29.95 per adult and $15.95 for children 12 and under.
11) Smith & Wollensky
Where: 318 N. State
What: The River North steakhouse will be open on Christmas Eve from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Christmas Day from noon to 9 p.m. The special holiday menu items includes dry-aged sirloin Carpaccio, seared duck breast, and chateaubriand for two.
Where: 235 Parkway Dr, Lincolnshire, Ill.
What: The steakhouse will be open Christmas Day at its Lincolnshire location from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The regular dinner menu will be served all day and a holiday brunch menu will be served until 2 p.m. Brunch selections include chilaquiles, upside-down apple French toast, crab cakes benedict, and a smoked salmon platter.
13) Glen Prairie
Where: 1250 Roosevelt Rd, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
What: Glen Prairie, the contemporary American restaurant in Glen Ellyn, will be offering a holiday prix fixe menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from noon to 9 p.m. For starters and entrées diners can choose from organic spinach and pomegranate salad, poached quail egg and wild mushroom benedict, Meyer Ranch prime rib, and pan seared black cod, among others. Finishing it off is the dessert course with selections including eggnog and cranberry bread pudding, deep-dish caramel apple pie, and red velvet cupcakes. The cost is $45 per person.
14) Chicago Prime Steakhouse
Where: 1444 Algonquin Rd, Schaumburg, IL
What: The Schaumburg steakhouse will be open on Chrismas Eve from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Christmas Day from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Alongside its regular menu will be several holiday specials — roasted boneless leg of lamb, honey glazed ham, and prime rib.