Part of the fun of a shopping outing, if you can swing it, is taking a break, putting down your packages, and settling into a cozy table at a restaurant adorned for the holidays. Here are some splashy restaurants to check out during the last days of the holiday shopping season.Read More
10 Splashy Restaurants to Fuel the Final Days of Holiday Shopping Madness
Shop till you drop — into one of these splurge-tastic restaurants
Tableside flambéed crepes, baked Alaska, and bourbon with apple cider and spices amp up the spirit at this popular spot which has a party vibe all year round. New chef John Villa, formerly corporate executive chef at the Tao Group, has taken over the Beijing-style kitchen. He’s added spicy tuna tartare, hand-pulled vegetable lo mein, and other new dishes to the menu, alongside classics like Peking duck and green prawns.
2. Il Mulino
Across the street from Barney’s and two blocks from Bloomingdale’s, the uptown outpost of Greenwich Village's legendary Italian restaurant is offering up lots of seafood, including lobster pasta. “It’s all about fish and family over the holidays,’’ says chef Michele Mazza. There is also a selection of festive seasonal dishes, such as ravioli stuffed with porcini and white truffles with Champagne sauce.
3. Loi Estiatorio
You feel like you are being welcomed into Maria Loi’s home, as the consummate hostess greets guests at her intimate space located between the Time Warner shops and the stores of 57th Street. Minotavros, a Greek take on a hot toddy, made with mountain tea, Cretan honey, cranberry, bitters, and Metaxa, is being offered throughout the season. The restaurant is also offering a special three-course $69 prix fixe on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that includes such favorites as pomegranate salad with wheatberries, arugula, walnuts, and apples; lamb fricassee with dill, scallion, egg, and lemon; prime rib with parsnip puree; and, of course, lavraki.
4. Il Gattopardo
Wreaths made from chili peppers adorn this classic Italian restaurant steps from the Fifth Avenue stores and Rockefeller Center. Perfectly al dente pastas include spaghetti with grey mullet bottarga, garlic, parsley and extra virgin olive oil; and legume cavatelli in rapini sauce with anchovy and garlic. Among the standout entrees are Sicilian couscous with shellfish ragout, and veal “braciola’’ scented with wild fennel pollen. Brunch, featuring live jazz and Bossa Nova, will be served over the holidays in the restaurant’s lush eight-story atrium.
5. Shay & Ivy
New York, NY 10010
After shopping in the Flatiron District, rest your weary feet in the back skylight room with ivy-covered walls, hanging plants, and a view of the stars. Sink your teeth into a grilled Berkshire pork chop for two, served with whipped butternut squash, braised rainbow char, apple blossoms, and a mulled cider reduction before indulging in a boozy hot chocolate, made with rye, chai, ginger egg white foam, and cinnamon.
6. Sushi Ginza Onodera
The holiday season is a perfect excuse to splurge on ultra high-end sushi. Omakases at this spinoff of the Tokyo-based mothership range from a $100 smaller lunch offering to a $400 opulent dinner selection. Start with sparkling sake served in a cut crystal glass of your choice, and be sure to try the soup, which is made from three different types of miso, before moving onto the fish, which is all imported from Japan.
7. Kellari Taverna NY
Peruse the jewelry district before popping into this warm Greek restaurant with some of the freshest fish around. Appetizers include calamari fried with chickpea flower; sushi-grade octopus; portobello mushrooms with grilled feta, truffle oil, and balsamic; and slow roasted lamb riblets. All seafood is sustainable and there are several wild Mediterranean fish big enough to feed three. The wine cellar has 350 selections.
8. Sant Ambroeus West Village
Pop into this quintessential charming West Village corner restaurant after checking out the area’s unique boutiques: — it is at its most appealing this time of year, with window wreaths and a large decorated tree out front. Favorites like seared Scottish salmon with beluga lentils, and filet mignon with roasted baby carrots share a menu with seasonal truffle dishes. In addition to the famous house-made cookies and pastries, your sweet tooth can be sated by a decadent hot chocolate studded with melted chips, or a coffee drink made with espresso, thick hot chocolate, foam, and cocoa powder.
9. Blue Water Grill
The Christmas markets in Union Square are just steps from this BR Guest favorite, which is lined with trimmed trees. For twenty years it has been illuminated over the holidays, but after its update and refurbishment, Blue Water is particularly glittering. New culinary additions include smoked mushrooms in parchment paper with maple butter; mini lobster rolls; a chirashi bowl with avocado and tomago; and a whole daily market fish.
10. Rotisserie Georgette
The enticing aroma from turning spits permeates this elegant dining room situated between Barney’s and Bergdorf. Whole roasts for two — such as a Zimmerman Farm chicken with foie gras, or classic Duck L’orange — are festive choices. Sour cherry glazed baby back ribs or red wine marinated hanger steak also get the rotisserie treatment. Add sides like Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon, or crispy sunchokes with rosemary and lemon.