Maybe you've been singing along to "All I Want For Christmas is You" every waking moment of the last few weeks. Maybe you've been watching all the Star Wars movies and shows that are suddenly out. Whatever it is, if you've forgotten that the holidays are here and you have to eat something, we can help.
Some Houston restaurants and eateries will be open on Christmas. Even more will be open on Christmas Eve. Need help on what and where to eat? Our favorite options for the holidays include:
Naoki Yoshida and Co. will nod to the Japanese tradition of ordering Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas Eve by throwing a big Japanese Fried Chicken dinner Tuesday night. For $25 per person, get a custom-made box with chicken, plus sides like truffle mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with duck fat gravy, biscuits, and a salad. The meal also includes a champagne toast.
After wrapping all those presents, head to the popular wine bar for its annual night-before-Christmas celebration starting at 8 p.m. Camerata will serve up champagne and caviar on a 20 percent discount, and will offer wine from Austria's Nikolaihof Winery (St. Nickolaus). Bring an ornament for the tree to get 20 percent off a bottle of vino, and feel like Santa by adding Paulie's Christmas cookies to your evening imbibing.
This swanky River Oaks space will be open from 6-9 p.m. on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Chef Sunil Srivastava is promising a prix fixe menu for both evenings ($65), which will undoubtedly entice the senses. If Srivastava's inventive biryani is on offer, go for it.
Spend Christmas with a Houston institution. The Uptown restaurant had a big year, reopening with new ownership (Berg Hospitality Group) and a reinvigorated menu highlighting chef Robert Del Grande's exciting takes on Southern and Texan cuisine. It's open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the regular menu available. On Christmas Eve, carolers will be singing during dinner service.
And Finally, Tamales ...
And what is Christmas without tamales? Alicia's Mexican Grille is offering tamales (green salsa, pork with red salsa, con rajas with poblano pepper and cheese). Get a dozen for $15.95 or a half-dozen for $8.50. You must order 24 hours in advance of pickup, and you can order at any Alicia's location. For more tamales, I also recommend the ever-popular Alamo (closing its East End location after the season) and Tamales Don Pepe. Finally, The Pit Room has brisket tamales if you call today.