6 Epic Christmas Feasts (Dig in!)
There’s a reason everyone throws diets to the wind come December. ‘Tis the season of all the carbs, cookies and cocktails you desire. So, if you find yourself in a hotel instead of home for the holidays, check out these six festive dinners (because we all know calories don’t count on Christmas!).
PUBLIC Chicago is a foodie’s heaven. Its historic Pump Room has once hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, but today, it draws a crowd for its chic interiors and Jean-Georges Vongerichten-crafted menu. And on Christmas, the chefs will prepare the ultimate meal (think: crispy salmon sushi with chipotle mayo and soy glaze, black truffle caesar salad, passion fruit pavlova, and prosciutto-wrapped pork chop with mushrooms glazed in wine, butter and sage).
The Beekman, New York City
For three years we eagerly awaited the Beekman’s debut, and with it, Keith McNally’s newest showstopper, Augustine. Since it opened on November 1st, the French brasserie in the Financial District has become the hotspot, serving mouthwatering dishes like roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, salt-baked oysters, gruyère soufflé, sea urchin spaghetti with king crab and pickled jalapeño, Grand Marnier-braised duck à l'orange, armagnac mille-feuilles and a bone-in 40-ounce beef porterhouse. So though the set Christmas menu will be announced the day of, we trust it’ll be good—as long as you don’t mind the suspense.
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Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans
As one of America’s culinary capitals, NOLA knows how to have a feast. And in December, they go all out for Reveillon, a 19th-century French tradition still celebrated today. Experience the festivities for yourself with the five-course dinner at The Grill Room in the Windsor Court Hotel. You’ll have caviar and champagne to start, then there’s crawfish bisque with cayenne aioli and thai basil, frisée aux lardons (smoked duck lardon, orange, poached egg, mustard vinaigrette), and seared sea bass with blue crab, black garlic potato purée, asparagus and sauce périgueux. For dessert? Your choice of bûche de noël (yule log, a French holiday dessert) with chocolate glaze, banana mousse, passion fruit pâte de fruit, milk chocolate feuilletine, or apple galette with cinnamon apple butter and mulled wine sorbet.
The Bowery Hotel, New York City
Tucked within The Bowery Hotel, the Italian trattoria Gemma is the perfect place to cozy up for Christmas. The romantic ambience extends from its rustic exposed wood beams to the comfy semi-circular booths and the candle-lit tables. While seats are usually reserved for guests only, on Christmas, locals and visitors alike are invited (so jump on it, people!). On the menu: potato and leek soup with crème fraîche and caviar, braised veal shank, and panettone bread pudding.
The Breakers, Palm Beach
The Breakers is as over-the-top as it gets. The Floridian palace, built by Henry Flagler in 1896, sits on 140 acres of manicured gardens and windswept coastline, and has four oceanfront pools, nine restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, 10 tennis courts, a half-mile private beach and 11 on-site designer shops. So, it’s no surprise that the Christmas festivities would be opulent as well. The day begins with brunch at The Circle (including a harpist playing holiday carols), then continues with a three-course prix-fixe menu at Flagler Steakhouse. But the main event is in the Ponce de Leon Ballroom. Under crystal chandeliers, you’ll dine on hand-carved beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, spiced jumbo shrimp cocktails, Alaskan King Crab legs, and caviar.
Montage Deer Valley, Park City
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Make a beeline for Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. This ultra-luxe alpine retreat is hosting an epic four-course affair at its signature restaurant, Apex. Head-turners include foie gras torchon with almond financier, pear purée, orange-coffee gastrique and pumpernickel crumble; homemade potato gnocchi with braised lamb, frisée, confit tomatoes and porcini mushroom jus; poulet rouge with vanilla yam purée, charred endive, smoked chestnuts and whiskey reduction; and butterscotch pudding with white pepper financier and cajeta swirl ice cream.
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