Walking around Lower Manhattan these past few nights, it is clear that something is in the air. Literally. Take a deep breath in and find your lungs greeted by wave of pine from the tightly wrapped trees that now seem to line every street corner.
By next week, it will be impossible to dodge the holiday reminders. Don’t worry, you still 24 days left to shop. But you don’t have as many left to make dinner reservations for Christmas Eve. Most places will begin taking reservations this Saturday, December 1, so check out our list and plan accordingly.
Ai Fiori – Michael White’s grand palace of pasta will offer a $96 tasting menu featuring signature dishes and a few holiday specials. Reservations are available from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. 400 5th Avenue. (212) 613-8660</>.
Back Forty West- Occupying a cozy corner in Soho, Peter Hoffman’s restaurant gives off the vibe of an elegant farm. They’ll be open for dinner on Christmas Eve and have discussed, but not yet confirmed, plans for a special smoked meats menu. 70 Prince Street. (212) 219-8570.
Big Daddy’s – If all you want for Christmas is a burger, head to any of the ever-so-slightly upscale locations of this classic American diner. The restaurant will be offering their comfort food classics on Christmas day, as well. Multiple locations. bigdaddysnyc.com.
Bouley – There’s a reason people are still clamoring for tables at David Bouley’s Tribeca flagship. And while the space has recently undergone renovations, the charm of this long lasting restaurant is still in full effect. The holiday menu will be feature a 6-course Christmas feast for $195. 163 Duane Street. (212) 964-2525.
Maialino – The swank but cozy Danny Meyer restaurant inside the Gramercy Park Hotel will be open for brunch and dinner on Christmas Eve. Hungry (and willing) guests can order a $200 winter truffle pasta tasting menu, however the regular menu will also be available. 2 Lexington Avenue. (212) 777-2410.
Mile End Deli– The Canadian-Jewish delicatessen will be taking reservations as of December 1 for their annual Chinese Christmas feast. 97A Hoyt Street. (718) 852- 7510.
Pertrossian – Caviar lovers can head to Midtown West for this decidedly decadent meal. On Christmas eve, the restaurant will offer their traditional caviar prix-fixe for $77, as well as other specials like roasted goose. 182 W. 58th Street (212) 245- 2214.
Pulino’s- If you like your pizza with a side of supermodel, this will likely be a good spot for your holiday. The Bowery restaurant has not yet announced the day’s special menu but they will be open for (a no doubt bustling) business. 282 Bowery. (212) 226-1966.
Tenpenny- This unassuming but worthwhile Midtown restaurant will feature a three course menu on Christmas eve. Featured dishes will include foie gras risotto, goose ravioli, wild boar osso buco and spiced apple cobbler. 16 E 46th Street. (212) 490-8300.