If your letter to Santa starts off something like, "Dear Santa, I don't want to cook this year..." you're definitely not the only one. We know that 'tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, but the mere thought of cooking can be overwhelming when you're playing host to a house full of family members. Luckily, many of Houston's top restaurants are making life a whole lot easier by offering hard-to-resist Christmas feasting options. From traditional dinners to out-of-the-box treats, we've got the round-up of where to eat this holiday.
For a Christmas dinner that would have Elvis Presley wiggling his famous pelvis, check out The Sandy Clause Hawaiian Luau on December 21 at MAX’s Wine Dive on Washington. Tickets are priced at $105 per person and include a five-course Hawaiian-themed meal paired with five wines or beers. Opt for the "You Make Me Want to Hula" option for $25 extra to upgrade your wine pairings throughout the evening.
French favorite Le Mistral in West Houston invites guests to indulge in a special, holiday dinner on Christmas Eve. The decadent menu of classic French fare from executive chef David Denis is priced at $75 per person and will feature five courses including pheasant consommé with Italian black truffle-mushroom ravioli, roasted black cod with dry vermouth Newburg sauce, and a hazelnut praline bûche de Nöel with chocolate ganache. Reservations are available from 5 to 9 p.m. on December 24.
In the way of hosting holiday parties at home with dozens of hungry guests, the Butcher Shop at B&B Butchers & Restaurant is providing guests with a Christmas take-out menu available all month long with 48-hour notice. The traditional butchery, known for high quality meats and top-flight cuts, is part of the upscale boutique steakhouse on Washington Avenue. Take-out selections include filet mignon, smoked or glazed ham ready to cook, and beef wellington with foie gras and wild mushroom duxelles, ready to bake. Homemade apple crisp, key lime and pecan pies are available for $30 each. The restaurant itself will be open on Christmas Eve for both lunch and dinner when guests are welcome to enjoy selections from the regular menu.
Uptown Park's charming French bistro Etoile will offer a three-course prix fixe menu on Christmas Eve and also a take-home option available for guests with 72 hours notice. The Christmas Eve dinner is priced at $65 per person and $28 for children. Expect such delicious dishes as the bisque de homard (Maine lobster bisque with Gulf Shrimp); tartare de truite saumonee (steelhead trout tartare); and magret de canard (roasted duck breast). The intimate space is decorated with traditional Christmas decor and is an exquisite place to enjoy a holiday meal.
Looking to venture out on Christmas Day? Kiran’s Restaurant & Bar will be hosting a festive Mistletoe Brunch Buffet on December 25 priced at $60 per person. Guests are welcome to reserve one of three seatings at the following times: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:00 pm. Signature selections will include chicken tikka masala, Goanese shrimp, and in keeping with Texas tradition, tamales (in lamb or vegetarian varieties). A kid-friendly menu of chicken nuggets, sliders, macaroni & cheese, and hot chocolate with donuts will be available for $25 for children under 12, and children 5 years and under are complimentary.
Montrose mainstay Underbelly will be hosting a one of a kind Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner inspired by Chef Chris Shepherd's favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story. Reservations are available for a 5:30 pm seating on December 24th and an 8:00 pm seating on the 25th. Appropriately named "A Christmas Dinner" tasty dishes from the themed menu include "Meatloaf, Smeatloaf, Double Beatloaf", Chopsuey Palace, and cookie trees. The cost is $70 per person and $30 per child, and is a "tribute to the original, traditional, one-hundred percent, red-blooded, two-fisted, all-American Christmas."
Radio Milano invites Houstonians to spend Christmas at the modern Italian restaurant housed in the uber trendy Hotel Sorella at City Centre. Between 5 and 9 p.m. on Christmas eve, guests can feast on a four-course menu priced at $75 per person with notable menu items like prochetta with chestnut spread, apple and Barolo glaze; quail with wild seasonal mushrooms, potato cake, and cipollines; and apple tart with calvados ice-cream. On Christmas morning, the restaurant will play host to all with a festive brunch featuring pasta, omelette, carving, and sweet stations for $35 per person.
As if The Woodlands wasn't already a fabulous place to enjoy with family and friends on Christmas Day, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro will offer a three-course prix fixe menu from noon to 8 p.m. on December 25. Priced at $69 per person, highlights from the menu include roasted bone marrow with bacon jam, crispy octopus and charred baguette; sea salt and herb crusted prime rib with truffle potato puree; and gingerbread spiced tres leches with meringue and cranberry passion fruit sauce. The $12 menu for children 12 and under will include meatballs and fettuccini, chicken tenders and signature grilled cheese sandwich.
Zifty.com, the ever-popular online restaurant delivery company, will be serving Houstonians during their regular service hours (11 a.m. to midnight) on Christmas Eve. Depending upon delivery location, customers can choose to order-in form such notable eateries as Batanga in downtown, Texas Tamale Company and Mascalzone, all while enjoying the convenience of dining at home. With dinner taken care of, you can spend your time baking cookies for Santa—a much more important task indeed.