2007 Christmas Dining Guide

Looking to keep the kitchen clean and dine out this Christmas? Here’s our guide to restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Day, including some of the special holiday menus they’ll be serving.

By: sara levine, Marissa Conrad

1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St., NW; 202-965-1789). Chef Nathan Beauchamp’s Christmas Eve menu includes butter-braised prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, Stilton cheese, and horseradish; branzino with local oysters, salsify, and black-truffle sauce; venison with huckleberry jam, sweet-potato gratin and red-wine-braised onions; and goose with chestnuts, arrowhead cabbage, currants, and black truffles. All items à la carte. The six dining rooms will be decked out with greenery, candles, antique toys, and carolers from the Washington Men’s Camerata. 4 to 10 pm; $18 to $34.

2941 Restaurant (2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church; 703-270-1500). Christmas Eve lunch or dinner in this glass-walled restaurant features a six-course feast. Guest chef Scott Bryan’s menu includes lobster salad or hamachi tartare to start; pan-roasted turbot with fingerling confit or pan-seared salmon with Savoy cabbage; seared Hudson Valley foie gras or roasted sweetbreads; glazed duck breast with spiced pumpkin purée or wild-mushroom-and-truffle ravioli; prime-beef medallion with Yukon black-truffle purée or pan-roasted pheasant with Brussels sprouts; and for dessert, a “peppermint patty” with fresh-mint mousse or a nontraditional bûche de Noël—a yule log filled with gingerbread sponge cake and kumquat mousse.
Noon to 7:45; $95 per person, wine pairings $65.

BLT Steak (1625 I St., NW; 202-689-8999). If you’d rather eat steak than Christmas ham, head to BLT on Christmas Eve. The stylish steakhouse will be serving its regular menu until 10 pm.

Brasserie Beck
(1101 K St., NW; 202-408-1717). Choose from 18 Belgian holiday beers added to Beck’s list for the season, including Delirium Noël (2006 vintage), St. Feuillien Cuvée de Noël, Corsendonk Christmas Ale, and the just-released St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. The restaurant will be open Christmas Eve serving its regular à la carte dinner menu plus a few holiday dishes created by chef Robert Wiedmaier, including a goose special. 5 to 10:30; $10 to $27.

Carlyle Club (411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria; 703-548-5953). Christmas Eve dinner includes à la carte items such as oysters Rockefeller, New York strip steak, and pomegranate-and-rosemary rack of lamb, plus several specials that the chef will select closer to the date. 5 to 10; $6 to $31.

Central Michel Richard (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-626-0015) and Citronelle (3000 M St. NW; 202-625-2150). Both of Michel Richard’s restaurants—the whimsical, James Beard Award-winning Citronelle and its more affordable bistro sibling, Central—will be open regular hours and serving their regular menus on Christmas Eve. Citronelle will also be open during regular dinner hours (6 to 10) on Christmas Day.

CityZen (1330 Maryland Ave., SW; 202-787-6868). At this the luxe foodie destination in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, chef Eric Ziebold is preparing a seven-course Christmas Eve meal. Dishes on this special tasting menu include grilled Kagoshima Wagyu beef with Matsutake mushroom salad and citrus vinaigrette; fried Path Valley Farms hen egg with Anson Mills grits, wilted spinach, and shaved white Alba truffles; sautéed filet of Chatham Bay cod with smoked-cod hash and béarnaise mousseline; and a grasshopper pie with warm pave of Valrhona chocolate, garden-mint broth, crème fraîche, and an Oreo tuile. 6 to 8:30 pm; $150 per person.

D'Acqua (818 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-783-7717). Through the month of December, this seafood-focused Italian restaurant is, appropriately, serving a Feast of the Seven Fishes. The eight-course meal includes pan-fried oysters with black truffles; cured smoked salmon with pear and mustard sauce; octopus salad; a warm salad of black fin tuna, catalini beans, and red onion; seared scallops with prosciutto; seafood ragout in a lobster and creme reduction; monkfish with fresh herbs; and sfogliatelle, a traditional Italian dessert of ricotta-filled pastry with orange zest and orange blossom. December 1st through 31st (Christmas Eve); $75 per person.

Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-686-2966). This rustic Italian dining room in Cleveland Park celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah. December 4 through 6, owner Dean Gold offers a four-course dinner with an olive-oil theme to symbolize the oil that lasted eight days in the story of Hanukkah. The menu includes latkes with green apple and crème fraîche; lamb kebabs with minted yogurt and olive-oil sauce; olive-oil-poached wild salmon; and an olive-oil cake for dessert. For Christmas, Dino celebrates Italian-style with a modern take on the traditional Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fish. Available December 20 through Christmas Eve, Chef Stephan Boillon’s menu includes crostini di baccala; grilled shrimp and calamari salad; zuppa di pesce; and an entrée choice of ravioli filled with scallop and artichoke or poached halibut with shellfish-bisque sauce. Hanukkah dinner 6 to 9:15; $48 per person. Seven Fish menu 6 to 9 Thursday; 5:30 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday; 5:30 to 9:15 Sunday; 6 to 9:15 Monday (Christmas Eve); $59 per person.

Famoso (5471 Wisconsin Avenue; 301-986-8785). This ritzy Italian dining room in Chevy Chase is offering a Christmas Eve menu highlighting the cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region. Dishes include warm rabbit salad with fennel, orange, and citrus vinaigrette; cappelleti  pasta in capon broth; salt cod slow-cooked in olive oil with garlic and rosemary; and panettone souffle with white chocolate and Moscato creme anglaise. 4 to 11 p.m.; $55 per person.

The Grille at the Morrison House (116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria; 703-838-8000). This historic hotel in Old Town features a Feast of the Seven Fishes tasting menu as well as a special à la carte menu for Christmas Eve. The seven-course all-seafood menu includes dishes such as kumamoto oysters with juniper “air” and apple caviar; crudo of fluke with preserved lemon, capers, and marinated calamari; and lobster-and-salt-cod brandade with a butter-poached lobster tail, lobster glacé, and lobster roe. For carnivores, there’s filet mignon with seared foie gras and Amish chicken breast with chicken-leg confit on the à la carte menu. Both menus feature a special dessert assortment called ’Twas the Night Before Christmas: chocolate cake, candy-cane gelato, ginger bread, eggnog, and sugarplums. 5 to 9; Feast of the Seven Fishes menu $90.

Hook (3241 M St., NW; 202-625-4488). The traditional Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes fits perfectly with Hook’s focus on sustainable seafood. Chef Barton Seaver offers a six-course menu for Christmas Eve featuring a tasting of crudo (Italian-style sashimi); clam chowder with house-cured bacon and potato purée; “sardines two ways”; grilled calamari with basil-walnut pesto and warm potato salad; and chocolate-dusted tuna with glazed turnips and brown-butter sauce. 5 to 10; $65 per person.

Inn at Little Washington (309 Middle St., Washington, Va.; 540-675-3800). On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, chef Patrick O’Connell will accent his regular seven-course tasting menu with several holiday dishes. The dishes haven’t been created yet, but they will be different each day. The restaurant will feature Christmas trees in the living room, and garlands, lights, and other decorations throughout. 5:15 to 9 both days; $168.

Jack’s Restaurant & Bar (1527 17th St., NW; 202-332-6767). Executive chef Hector Playuk will present an à la carte menu as well as a prix-fixe four-course dinner on Christmas Eve. Dishes include pan-seared sea scallops with mango chutney and citrus vinaigrette; Maine lobster and fennel served in a radicchio basket accompanied by orange, Belgian endive, and organic greens; pan-seared Chilean sea bass with spinach and zucchini flan and ginger-raisin sauce; and grilled black Angus tenderloin with saffron risotto cake topped with foie gras and a port-truffle reduction. 5 to 10; $65 for the four-course menu.

Morrison-Clark Historic Hotel and Restaurant
(1015 L St., NW; 202-898-1200). Executive chef Janis Mclean’s five-course Christmas menu (available Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) includes Taylor Bay scallops in the shell with a cepe ragout; roasted carnival-squash bisque with a sweet garlic flan and parsnip chips; a salad of hearty greens with a poached farm egg; crispy pancetta and grilled flatbread; a choice of roast rib eye with chanterelles, popovers, potato gratin, and creamed spinach, rockfish in puff pastry with leek fondue and shaved truffles, or kulebiak with Atlantic char; and dessert of either bûche de Noël or sticky toffee pudding. 5 to 9 Christmas Eve, noon to 8 Christmas Day; $75.

Tabard Inn
(1739 N St., NW; 202-785-1277). This cozy spot will serve a special four-course menu on Christmas Eve, but that’s all we know for now: The restaurant won’t announce the dishes until a week before the date. 3 to 8:30; price to be announced.

Poste Moderne Brasserie (555 Eighth Street, NW; 202-783-6060). At this American-style brasserie in Penn Quarter’s Hotel Monaco, chef Robert Weland offers his regular à la carte menu on Christmas Eve from 5:30 to 10:30.

Willard Room (Williard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-637-7440). Inside one of Washington’s most historic hotels, the elegant Willard Room offers a seven-course Christmas Eve dinner and brunch on Christmas Day. The Christmas Eve tasting menu includes dishes such as organic Virginia pumpkin velouté; Hudson Valley foie gras royale; seared Maine day-boat sea scallops with braised Belgian endive; and an entrée choice of herb-roasted filet mignon or pan-seared turbot filet. For dessert, there’s a chocolate-mango-and-passion-fruit crepe soufflé with vanilla pecan-praline ice cream and dark-rum sauce. The Christmas Day brunch buffet includes carving, seafood, and pasta stations and a wide selection of desserts. A separate children’s buffet offers miniature pizza bagels, pigs in blankets, and more. Christmas Eve 5 to 9; $99 per person, $50 children under 12. Christmas Day 11 to 2; $75 per person, $35 children.