The most wonderful time of the year is here: the holiday season. And for those of us who celebrate Christmas, there are many fun ways to go about it: decorating our home, making ornaments, exchanging presents, sharing a special meal of comfort food with our loved ones.
If playing home cook isn't on your wish list this year, give yourself the gift of savoring the special occasion at one of our South Florida restaurants. Several will be open on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve serving special holiday feasts. Find the ten best options below. Tax and gratuity are not included and reservations are strongly suggested.
Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits
N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The rustic seaside eater in the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale will be hosting a special Christmas Eve dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. The menu will feature family-style herb-roasted prime rib; truffle whipped potatoes; root vegetables; horseradish cream; and a bottle of Champagne for $129 per couple. On Christmas Day, guests can enjoy a buffet-style feast from noon of duck confit, salmon with tomato dill, and cauliflower and goat cheese gratin, along with breakfast, raw bar, carving, risotto, and sushi and dim sum stations from noon to 8 p.m. Cost is $99 per adult and $49 for children ages 5 through 12. A bottomless beverage package is available for $25 per person.
2409 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
Palm Beach's Northwood village, Cafe Centro will celebrate Christmas Day with a spin on tradition. Chef Jamie Steinbrecher and co-owner Yang Kutsal created a Chinese three-course prix fixe menu inspired by the holiday dinner in the A Christmas Story movie. The menu will feature Asian chicken soup or Asian salad, followed by choices of shrimp spring rolls or vegetable egg roll. For a third course, choose between beef, chicken or vegetable lo mein; sweet and sour chicken with jasmine rice; crispy Szechuan duck with jasmine rice; or shrimp fried rice. Sweet endings of peanut butter cup pie ($7), tiramisu ($7), and pistachio tartufo ($7) will also be served.
Dune Fort Lauderdale
2200 North Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
On Christmas Eve, Dune at Auberge Beach Residences & Spa in Fort Lauderdale will serve a four-course prix fixe feast of signature dishes. Start your meal with options of yellowfin tuna carpaccio or carnaroli rice risotto with Maine lobster, bay scallop and Périgord truffle. For a man course, choose between charcoal roasted branzino with Castelvetrano olives, baby fennel, cherry tomato and mussel, or a dish of beef filet with wild mushroom, celeriac puree, and bordelaise. Chocolate semifreddo with hazelnut dacquoise and Amarena cherries will cap off the meal. Specially crafted cocktails will also be featured, including Nog Martini with egg nog, Tito’s Vodka, English Harbor four year rum and cinnamon sugar ($14) and Beach “Cider” Sangria, a mix of Palm Whispering Angel Rose and cider ($14). Cost is $125 per person. From 5 to 8 p.m.
111 S Surf Rd, Hallandale Beach
500 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
From Monday, December 23 through Sunday, December 29, Etaru will feature a special holiday menu at its Hallandale and Fort Lauderdale location. The three-course, family-style menu of signature items includes Kampachi sashimi with yuzu truffle dressing, mizuna, and pickled vegetables; a sashimi platter with a selection of sashimi, tartare, oysters and sushi; pork dumplings with mushrooms, truffle and ponzu sauce; and lobster tempura with chili mayo. Dessert is the chef's dessert platter and exotic fruit. Cost is $85 per person. Served from 5 to 10 p.m.
16850 Jog Rd, Delray Beach
Find a holiday menu of American comfort food at Henry's this Christmas Eve. Expect appetizers of magical split pea soup ($9), crab martini with avocado and house-made potato chips ($16), and "to share” housemade mozzarella, roasted red peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and crostinis ($21). From the main course list, enjoy lobster tail Thermidor ($46), crab-stuffed shrimp ($62), rosemary airline chicken breast ($28), and bone-in veal Milanese ($30). For your sweet tooth, choose from molten chocolate cake, fresh berries, holiday parfait, or chocolate chip brownie ($7 each).
Lona Cocina y Tequileria
321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
At Lona Cocina y Tequilería in Fort Lauderdale, guests can enjoy a four-course tasting menu of Mexican dishes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Get in the holiday spirit with chicken, pork or beef tamales; lechón (crispy pork) served with white Mexican rice; brisket Mazatleco; and dessert of buñuelos with cinnamon ice cream. An a la carte menu will also be available. Cost is $55 per person. Served from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
404 Plaza Real in Boca Raton
Spend Christmas Eve or Day at Max’s Grille in Boca Raton with a seasonal menu of specialties. For starters, order sweet pea and ham soup mustard-pineapple relish ($7); heirloom tomato “ceviche” with crispy taro root chips and jalapeño-ranch ($14); or roasted cauliflower with warm dilly goat cheese ($15). Entrée highlights are all-natural cowboy ribeye with sunchoke-potato gratin with wild mushroom ragout and pearl onion agrodolce ($48), braised lamb shanks with saffron and vegetable risotto,($36), and branzino with prosciutto-wrapped Mediterranean sea bass with spinach-ricotta gnudi ($32). For a sweet ending, guests can indulge in the s’mores bread pudding with warm chocolate sauce and graham cracker streusel ($10).
Naked Crab at B Ocean Resort
1140 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Start with amuse bouche of oyster and caviar, followed by choices of marinated miso scallops, and yellow corn or wagyu bresaola carpaccio with pink grapefruit, black truffle, and misuna salad. For a second course, the eatery will serve pan-roasted halibut with fennel marmalade and wagyu strip loin wellington with roasted cauliflower and seafood bouillabaisse with grouper cheeks, prawns, langoustines and crustacean sauce. End your holiday meal with a tasting of Christmas sweet treats. Cost is $65 per person, $25 for children ages 12 and under. Served from 6 to 11 p.m.
5550 NW 40th St, Coconut Creek
The Italian eatery at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will offer a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. The holiday dinner will feature eight seafood courses, starting with chilled seafood salad with baby octopus, scallops, mussels, lump crab, and cerignola olives and hearts of celery; followed by fritto misto with crispy calamari, smelts, zucchini chips, and basil aioli; a dish of baked clams with bread crumbs; scampi with white wine and parsley; and scungilli with San Marzano tomatoes, olives, basil, pecorino romano, and bucatini. Main courses of snapper puttanesca and lobster fra Diavolo are also on the menu, which includes a sweet platter with mini cannoli, pizzelle, budding di panettone, and traditional cookies. Cost is $80 per person. Served Tuesday, December 24, starting at 8 p.m
1307 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
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Indulge in a classic Italian festive meal at Talento on Las Olas Boulevard on Christmas Day. Toast with a complimentary glass of prosecco, then order an appetizer of classic minestrone soup o caesar salad. Main course options are lobster ravioli with pink sauce; gnocchi sorrentina in San Marzano sauce; branzino Mediterraneo with rosemary and garlic, mashed potatoes and asparagus; or filet mignon with grilled with balsamic glaze and sautéed exotic mushrooms. Dessert is tiramisu or panettone. Cost is $65 per person. Served from 4 to 10pm.
100 S Ocean Blvd, Manalapan
Christmas Day brunch at Eau Palm Beach’s Mediterranean bistro will showcase an array of options, including breakfast items, carving station offers like gingersnap ham and banana leaf snapper; baked shrimp pasta and porchetta flatbread; a display of mezze, and raw bar items. There's also entrees of roasted duck breasts and line-caught grouper and desserts of raspberry torte, pecan tart, maple bourbon croissant pudding, and chocolate chestnut tart. Cost is $125 per person with bottomless bloody marys and mimosas and $35 for children ages 5 through 12. Served from noon to 3 p.m.