The Life&Style staff got together to put this list together a couple of years ago, and I just went through and updated it for this year. It’s certainly not a complete list of every single restaurant that’s open Christmas, but it’s a start. Know of more? Leave the information in the comments field. And, after the jump, more than 25 restaurants that are open Christmas, including this one. Can you guess which it is?
Everyone knows you can head to the movies on Christmas Day. But what if you’d rather skip the popcorn in favor of a fancypants meal? A spicy tuna roll? A plate of pasta? We called hundreds of restaurants to find out which are open and what’s on the menu, and here’s what we found.
Nearly every Chinese restaurant in the region is open for Christmas, but how many have an aquarium of fresh fish from which you may select your entree? Aberdeen in White Plains, for one. Owner Ricky Ho will offer the full range of his Cantonese menu, and he’ll keep the doors open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you go for lunch, you won’t go wrong with any of the dim sum dishes, especially the chive cake, the shrimp shu mai and the pork dumplings. For entrees, try any of the whole fish and chicken dishes. Marriott Residence Inn, 3 Barker Ave., White Plains. 914-288-0188.
Ready for a break from all that rich, heavy holiday food? A spare, clean round of sushi might be just the ticket. Jason Koo, the owner of Abis in Thornwood, says he will be serving his regular sushi and traditional Japanese fare on Christmas night. (He’s closed for lunch.) Traditionally, it’s a busy night for the restaurant and he suggests making reservations at least a few days in advance. 14 Marble Ave. Thornwood. 914-741-5100, www.abisrestaurant.com.
Since he opened Aquario in 1993, Manuel Cabral has insisted on keeping his Portuguese and Brazilian restaurant open every day of the year, including Christmas. The menu will include the regular fresh seafood dishes as well as two to three specials, including Portuguese-style catfish with shoestring potatoes, eggs and onions and a luscious seafood stew with lobster, jumbo shrimp, littleneck clams, scallops, mussels, calamari, fresh tomatoes, rice and a touch of cilantro. The mural-lined dining room has just undergone an extensive renovation. Reservations are suggested, especially for Christmas Eve. 141 E. Lake St., West Harrison, 914-287-0220, www.aquariony.com.
At Bengal Tiger in White Plains, Christmas Day will proceed as usual – with a few specialties thrown in for good measure. The restaurant’s cozy interior – decorated with textiles from the subcontinent – will be filled with the aromas of Southern and Northern Indian fare that it has been serving since 1975. Sample the ever-changing offerings of the lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., while the evening (from 5 p.m.) offers a pair of choices. Select from the regular menu or the monthly specialties. December dishes are set to include Attirachi Olathiyathu (boneless pieces of lamb stir-cooked with slices of white coconut, spices, herbs and curry leaves) and Jhinga Maduri (jumbo shrimps cooked with a medium blend of spices and herbs with ripe mango and coconut milk). And there’s no need to call ahead, as the restaurant will observe its reservation policy (first come, first served) on this day, too. 144 E. Post Road, White Plains. 914-948-5191. www.bengaltiger1.com.
Because the seafood menu at Caffe Regatta changes with what chef-owner Anthony Labriola finds fresh at the market, there’s no way of knowing what will be on his specials list on Christmas Day. But we sure hope he’s planning to offer his seafood tower, piled high with lobster, clams, oysters, crab legs and shrimp. If not, we’ll dig in to just about anything on the menu, from a peppery arugula salad to a satisfying pasta dish, like Seafood Capellini. Labriola suggests reservations early because he gets lots of big tables of six, eight and 12 people. 133 Wolfs Lane, Pelham. 914-738-8686.
After the big feast at home, head over to The Candlelight Inn, where the mood will be as warm and casual as the rest of the year. The chicken wings are a trademark, so why not make them a new holiday tradition? Like ‘em hot? Ask for Chernobyl. The restaurant opens at at 8 p.m. No reservations, ever. 519 Central Ave., Scarsdale. 914-472-9706.
Down by the Bay in Mamaroneck, the white-tablecloth seafood restaurant in a historic building that dates to the 18th century, will be serving its regular menu – which features dishes such as horseradish-cranberry salmon, swordfish with sun-dried tomato and filet mignon. The restaurant holds about 55 people, but dining also is available at the bar. Owner Abe Nasar says the restaurant serves eclectic, world cuisine – combining food and techniques from Italian, Chinese and even Middle Eastern cooking – but they do a great burger. While you’re there, raise a glass to James Fennimore Cooper, who lived there from 1792 to 1811. 410 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. 914-381-6939.
A turreted castle perched high above the Hudson provides an enchanted backdrop for your holiday feast at Equus, in the Castle on the Hudson. Request the Garden Room for lunch on Christmas Day – if you’re lucky, the weather will be clear, offering you views straight to Manhattan. Fireplaces make for cozy dinner dining in the Oak Room or Tapestry Room, which never feel crowded with a maximum seating of 45. Or, if you have a big family, request the Great Hall, which can accommodate up to 150 guests. Every room will offer a $85 four-course, prix-fixe menu. Pair your decadent meal with one of 900 bottles from the wine cellar, and if you think you (or grandma) might drink too much, just call ahead to reserve one of 31 guest rooms and suites – five of which come with a wood-burning fireplace.The five dining rooms are decked with garlands and festively trimmed trees, so it’s a very popular place. Book your table now, reservations are very limited. 400 Benedict Ave., Tarrytown. 914-631-3646.
Halstead Avenue Bistro, known for its contemporary American cuisine, will be open for Christmas dinner from 2 to 9 p.m. The bistro’s dinner offerings include chicken-confit quesadillas, panko- and coconut-crusted halibut, veal and shiitake meatloaf, and butternut squash, spinach and goat-cheese ravioli. You also can get a burger, served with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and shoestring potatoes. Make reservations for Christmas Day at least a week ahead. 123 Halstead Ave., Harrison. 914-777-1181.
At Hunan Village, the triple-cooked pork rib is cooked for 7 hours, and it gets so tender you “could cut the meat with your tongue,” says Thomas Luo, the manager. The restaurant is one of the most highly regarded Chinese spots in the county, so it’s very popular, especially on Christmas. Call at least two weeks ahead for a reservation, and ask for one before 7 p.m., because after that, the crowds really start pouring in, says Luo. Once you’re there, enjoy the white-tablecloth service and classic Hunan dishes. Macadamia shrimp, which is sautéed and served with sugar peas, is a favorite. 1828 Central Park Ave., Yonkers. 914-779-2272.
Take a big crowd to Kang Suh, the Korean restaurant on Central Park Avenue, and order plates of bi bim bop, bulgogi and kalbi – barbecued beef and short ribs. When you sit down, the group gets little plates of goodies called panchan (on a recent visit, they included Romaine with a garlic-chili dressing, spicy pickled cucumbers, al dente black beans with peanuts, spinach and garlic, fish cake with sweet dressing and mushrooms, kimchee and dried anchovies). Mix those up with your entrees – the Gop Dol Bi Bim Bap is good: rice and beef cooked in a stone casserole and layered with vegetables and a soft-cooked egg. Kang Suh, 2375 Central Park Ave., Yonkers. 914-771-4066.
It seems only fitting that La Panetiere would be open for Christmas. Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated year-round in this charming French restaurant, tucked into an exquisitely landscaped corner of Milton Road, blocks from the beach in Rye. This Christmas, owner Jacques Loupiac is planning a five-course tasting menu, with suggested wines for each course. The a la carte menu also will be available. Seatings for Christmas dinner will be offered from noon to 1, 3 and 6 p.m. Make reservations as soon as possible. For a sneak peak at the Christmas menu before you make a reservation, visit www.lapanetiere.com. 530 Milton Road, Rye. 914-967-8140.
Celebrating Christmas at Monteverde at Oldstone Manor in Cortlandt can add even more shimmer to this shiny holiday. Enjoy a meal while taking in the charm of this 29-acre country estate, centered with a restored mansion that was built in 1760 and now houses the restaurant, spa and inn. The Christmas menu will feature a three-course, $65 prix fixe dinner. Diners may reserve between noon and 6 p.m. Monteverde’s historic charm will be enhanced by holiday decorations. 28 Bear Mountain Bridge Road, (Routes 202 and 6 West), Cortlandt. 914-739-5000, Ext. 1.
When it comes to sushi in Scarsdale, everybody has been to Sakura. The blond wood and clean lines will give your eyes a break from staring at all those colorful blinking lights. Try the rainbow roll or anything with mackerel, order some warm sake and chill out. 58 Garth Road, Scarsdale. 914-723-7767.
Between 600 and 700 people are expected at Travelers Rest in Ossining, where the old mansion is decked out with trees and garland, and a gingerbread house bigger than a doghouse is the centerpiece of the season. And if it snows, the illuminated waterfall makes the scene even more of a winter wonderland. Continental and German dishes like sauerbraten with dumplings or Wiener schnitzel are on the prix fixe menu, which offers a choice of appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for about $50. There are seatings from noon to 7 p.m., but the ones between 2 and 4 p.m. fill up fast. Route 100 between 134 and Random Farms Road, Ossining. 914-941-7744, thetravelersrrest.com.
With some of the best steaks in Westchester, the Willett House is always a great place to celebrate. On Christmas, the regular a la carte menu is available, but the restaurant is also offering some pretty spectacular specials: lobster ravioli carbonara or New England clam and corn chowder and a choice of entrees: glazed baked ham, pork osso buco, skirt steak, pesto-crusted Chilean sea bass and roast rack of lamb. A full dinner ranges between $24 and $55 includes, soup, salad, dessert and coffee. Reservations are available between 1 and 9 p.m. 20 Willett Ave., Port Chester. 914-939-7500, thewilletthouse.com.
Most Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas, but Fortune Garden – hidden in the corner of a strip mall just west of the Nanuet Mall on Route 59 – is one of the best in the county. (We’ve seen Wasabi chef-owner Doug Nguyen getting take-out). Go for the walnut shrimp (crispy and delicious with a white sauce), the sesame chicken (not heavy like most) or the filet mignon, which is served with vegetables and a black pepper sauce. If you’re looking for a real feast, call at least a day ahead to request the Peking duck. Owner Steve Mui says it’s a busy day, but he’ll still accept walk-ins. 179 W. Route 59, Nanuet. 845-623-0058.
Crispy duck, prepared in a choice of Thai styles (in coconut milk, curry or a garlic-chili sauce) might be a suitable choice for Christmas dinner at the King & I in Nyack. Not feeling so daring? Stick to the pad Thai, a traditional noodle dish considered a signature here. The restaurant will be open during its regular hours of noon to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner. It’s a popular place, so reservations are suggested. 93 Main St., Nyack; 845-358-8588, www.kingandinyack.com.
It’ll be hard to decide what to feast your eyes on at Mount Fuji Restaurant in Hillburn – the beautiful, sweeping views of the Hudson River Valley or the twinkling holiday lights and festive decorations. The feast for the mouth might start with sashimi, and move on to a hibachi meals cooked tableside. Other specialties include steamed gyoza; Sunomono Salad, a julienne of crab, shrimp and cucumber in a light rice wine vinaigrette and a big selection of sushi. Or go for the complete dinner, which includes a hibachi shrimp appetizer, Japanese onion soup, garden salad, fried rice, noodles, vegetable medley and green tea. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. 296 Route 17, Hillburn. 845-357-4270 www.mtfujirestaurants.com.
After long evenings of fancy meals at holiday tables, why not dig into some great pub grub for a change. At the Olde Village Inne, wings, burgers and pizzas (ask for well done if you like ‘em crispy) all are delicious, and fit the cozy, Irish-pub setting (check out the cool murals of the tri-state area and of Ireland). Tired of the holiday excess? Go for the avocado salad – lettuce, onions, corn and avocado with a feta dressing or the Inne Salad with Cajun Chicken — and feel smug that you’ve begun your New Year’s resolutions early. 97 Main St., Nyack. 845-358-1160.
If you’ve got a big crowd, head for the hibachi tables at U-Me Sushi & Hibachi, where 18 people can dine together and watch the slicing, dicing and cooking of steak, shrimp, chicken. (We like when they crack the egg to mix in with rice.) Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes are steak with shu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), the spicy tuna roll and the Jazz roll, which has spicy tuna with crunches inside and eel and avocado with wasabi fish eggs outside. The restaurant opens at 3 p.m. 237 W. Route 59, (Seaman Shopping Center), Nanuet. 845-623-3110.
George Seitz, owner of The Arch, an elegant country restaurant that’s surrounded by woodlands and herb gardens, always likes to roast a goose for Christmas dinner. Ask for a spot near the stone fireplace and feast on items from his $68 prix fixe menu. Options might include the foie gras and raspberry appetizer or mesclun salad, osso bucco (veal shank) with garlic linguine, and the famous Grand Marnier souffle. There will be four seatings (2, 2:30 p.m. and 4:30, 5 p.m.) and all reservations should be made as soon as possible. Route 22, Brewster. 845-279-5011. archrestaurant.com.
Ready for a break from all that heavy holiday food? Go for sushi. At Izumi, owner Rick Wong will offer his regular menu of signature dishes, as well as tasty specials like Bob’s Roll: cucumber and avocado wrapped with caviar and lobster tempura. Got a big family? No problem. The hibachi table can seat up to 20 guests, but for that, call a few weeks in advance. 1890 Route 6, Carmel. 845-225-8898.
Christmas dinner with Charlie Chaplin? Not exactly. But Jaipore, the Indian restaurant that was also a speakeasy, housed one of Chaplin’s studios in the early 1900s, and the comedian filmed many movies using the building as a backdrop. The 160-year-old mansion now offers several distinct dining rooms, all of them lusciously decorated with textiles and artifacts from the subcontinent. This year’s buffet will likely showcase foods from all four corners of India, including chicken tikka masala (a layered dish made with various spices), malai kofta (vegetable dumplings in a creamy cashew sauce), and lassoni gobi (batter-fried cauliflower tossed in a garlic-tomato sauce). An all-day buffet means you can come at any time. 280 Route 22, Brewster. 845-277-3549. www.fineindiandining.com
You couldn’t ask for a more festive holiday setting than the one created every season by owner and Culinary Institute of America grad Mohsen Alameldin at the Plumbush Inn. He and his family decorate two Christmas trees and adorn the 19th century building – once the home of noblewoman Marquise Agnes Rizzo dei Ritii- with strings of twinkling lights. This year, the restaurant will offer a four-course, $68 prix fixe meal. You’ll choose from five different appetizers, such as escargots wrapped in phyllo leaves and dunked in garlic butter, followed by a salad and an incredible selection of entrees that might include Colorado rack of lamb or venison medallions doused in sour cherries. Indulge in one of the chef’s luxurious desserts, before enjoying your digestif in the cozy oak-paneled bar. Dinner will be served from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Call now for reservations. 1656 Route 9D, Cold Spring. 845-265-3904. www.plumbushinn.net.