You made it!
Your home is cleaned and decorated. The tree is up and festive as…you know. Gifts have been bought and wrapped and hidden away. Parties have been attended and obligations have been met. You are an exhausted little elf! Now you get to spend hours preparing a huge, magnificent, delicious meal that will be gobbled up in minutes barely even tasted or appreciated. And oh joy, all of the dishes to do after the feast! Or do you?
Christmas is a pretty quiet day in the restaurant world. But a handful of Philly restaurants and bars — especially venues in hotels — are serving Christmas brunch and dinner, perfect for whether you don’t celebrate the holiday or you want to avoid the nightmare of who likes this and who is allergic to that.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (1426-1428 Chestnut Street) this year the popular steakhouse year will open its doors with its regular a la carte menu — that includes prime rib and a Wagyu tasting — available 3-8 p.m.
Inside the Loews Hotel, Bank & Bourbon (1200 Market Street) will serve a prix fixe menu that includes several options within each of the three courses, including a cured ham trio to start, a filet mignon entree, and an eggnog apple cranberry tart for dessert. It’s available from 5-10 p.m. and it’s $65 per person, with a $35 optional wine pairing.
Urban Farmer (1850 Ben Franklin Parkway) will cook up an a la carte dinner menu from 4-9 p.m. The steak specialist at the Logan hotel is serving dishes like harissa-charred octopus, prime rib, king crab legs, and baked Alaska for dessert. The restaurant will also open early for brunch.
Dinner at Red Owl Tavern (433 Chestnut Street) in the Hotel Monaco is inspired by the classic movie A Christmas Story when Ralphie’s family spends Christmas at a Chinese restaurant. The menu is a la carte and includes duck confit steam buns, General Tso’s chicken, and a whole Peking duck. The restaurant has a full size “leg lamp” (a prop made famous by the movie) that’s available for photo ops.
Brunch goes all day at Lacroix (210 W. Rittenhouse Square) at the Rittenhouse hotel. The $105 price tag feels justified when the menu includes unlimited oysters, caviar, elegant canapés, roast leg of lamb, suckling pig with truffles, a chocolate fountain, and dozens of other decadent offerings. The hotel is also getting into the Christmas spirit with a gingerbread house display, hot chocolate, and roasted chestnuts.
Pasta is a good idea on any holiday. Italian BYOB La Fontana Della Citta (1701 Spruce Street) will serve its regular menu as well as specials. Bring a bottle or two of wine to the Italian spot, open on Christmas from noon to 11 p.m.
Square 1682 (121 S. 17th Street) at the Hotel Palomar is serving 2:30-7:45 p.m. with a three-course prix fixe menu that includes pumpkin soup, country ham, duck breast, and Dutch apple pie for $60. A limited a la carte menu will also be available.
Avoid the Chinatown crowds by crossing the Schuylkill for flaming cocktails, noodle bowls, and spring rolls at Vietnam Café (816 S. 47th Street). Sister spot Vietnam Restaurant (221 N. 11th Street) in Chinatown is also open all day.
Craving spicy Sichuan dishes? All Han Dynasty locations will be open on Christmas — according to owner Han Chiang, it’s their busiest day of the year.
Legend has it The Plough & the Stars (123 Chestnut Street) started staying open on Christmas for Irish ex-pats who didn’t have anywhere to go and it turned into a tradition, with a 25-foot Christmas tree and roaring fireplace to set the festive scene. Dinner, including Irish smoked salmon, rack of lamb, and Irish ham, goes from noon to 8:15 p.m.
So go ahead, stay close to home at your apartment at The Royer; break a holiday rule and go out for an elegant Christmas dinner that will make beautiful memories for everyone. Especially YOU! Merry Christmas!