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Classic French bistro dishes are on the Christmas Eve menu at this Georgetown restaurant and wine bar. The $47.50 four-course menu, prepared by chef de cuisine Simon Ndjiki-nya, includes a choice of “appeteasers,” a choice of entrées, a selection of French cheeses with country bread, and a hazelnut-chocolate bûche de Noël. Starters include chestnut soup with duck confit, and smoked-salmon terrine with caviar vinaigrette. Entrées include lamb filet with a purée of Peruvian potatoes, and Maine lobster with mango, heart of palm, and coconut milk. Seatings are between 5:30 and 9:30. Call 202-333-0111 for reservations.
Celebrity chef Michael Mina’s steakhouse at the Four Seasons Hotel has ultra-rich à la carte dishes on the menu for both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Chef David Varley kicks things off with a choice of caviar parfait with layers of smoked salmon; chestnut soup with foie gras cromesquis and spiced marshmallows; and Asian-pear salad with pomegranate and blue cheese. Next, choose from brown-butter-braised lobster with carnaroli risotto; salt-roasted prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, horseradish cream, and braised oxtail; and roasted goose with chestnut/foie-gras stuffing. Dinner will be served between 6 and 10 on Christmas Eve and 5:30 and 10:30 on Christmas Day. Call 202-944-2026 for reservations.
Capital Restaurant Concepts
Like a culinary advent calendar, several eateries in the Capital Restaurant Concepts group are participating in 24 Days of Dining, offering nightly specials now through Christmas Eve. Among them are Georgia Brown’s, J. Paul’s, Paolo’s, and Old Glory Bar-B-Que. At each restaurant, a $24-per-person menu includes a three-course holiday meal and a glass of chef-selected wine. The menus are available from 5 to 8 each night. Visit the restaurants’ Web sites for more information as well as individual menus.
5120 MacArthur Blvd., NW; 202-237-2300
The French/Belgian menu of this Palisades eatery will get a rich jolt on Christmas Eve with several à la carte specials. Expect house-made ravioli with lobster bisque ($10.95); wild-mushroom napoleon ($8.95); and wild boar with braised red cabbage and chestnut flan ($32.95), among other dishes. For dessert, there are two varieties of bûche de Noël. From now until Christmas, the restaurant is offering take-home slices of bûche for $4.50 each, with a minimum of four slices and 48-hour notice.
Lafayette at the Hay-Adams
800 16th St., NW; 202-638-2570
Executive chef Peter Schaffrath’s Christmas Eve dinner menu features plenty to keep you sated until Christmas morning. The à la carte menu begins with soups—chestnut-cream and oxtail consommé with porcini dumplings ($12 each)—and follows with appetizers such as smoked salmon on buckwheat blini ($22) and salads such as duck confit with Chablis-poached pears ($18). Entrées include roasted pheasant with red cabbage and lingonberry jus ($35) and fettuccine with saffron-cream sauce, shrimp, and scallops ($34). The richness doesn’t let up for dessert; selections include an eggnog crème brûlée and brioche bread pudding ($12 each).
Christmas Eve dietary restrictions are at the heart of the traditional Italian-American Feast of the Seven Fishes—but Hook’s version is more about celebration than forgoing meat. The dinner starts with a trio of crudo—dorade with spinach ginger; scallop with carrot and saffron; and smoked mackerel with Pommery mustard—and is followed by plates such as smoked-mussel agnolotti and yellowfin tuna with sunchokes, pancetta, hazelnuts, and figs. The menu is available from 5 to 11 on Christmas Eve for $85 per person. Wine pairings are an additional $40, and premium wine pairings are an additional $85. If you’re intrigued by the menu but don’t want to down (and pay for) seven dishes, a four-course option is also available for $65 per person. Wine pairing for the four-course meal is $25 extra; premium pairing are $65. Call 202-625-4488 to reserve.
Penn Quarter, Bethesda, and Crystal City
Christmas lasts nearly all month at José Andrés’ tapas houses, where multiple holiday events are on the schedule. The Clementine Festival, running until December 20, pays homage to the fragrant winter citrus from Spain with special dishes and cocktails. Tapas—seared squid with artichokes and clementines ($9); asparagus with clementine juice and Manchego cheese ($8.50)—are followed by desserts such as clementine ice cream or sorbet with olive oil ($7). Cocktails put citrusy twists on classics—including the Clementina Old Fashioned, with the bourbon cranked up with clementine juice and cinnamon/apricot syrup ($12). If the fruit has won you over by the end of the evening, you can take home a box of Spanish clementines ($7).
On Christmas Eve, the place to be is Jaleo Bethesda, which will serve holiday dishes from 11:30 to 10:30. Salt-baked whole red snapper and traditional Catalan Christmas stew are on the entrée list; dessert is an assortment of Spanish almond Christmas candy.
Kaz Sushi Bistro
In the midst of a day of Christmas shopping, give your feet—and your wallet—a rest with Kaz Okochi’s holiday lunch specials. A sushi trio and miso hot pot with pork or chicken are both $12 each, available from 11:30 to 2:30 until December 31. Call 202-530-5500 for reservations.