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Holiday Restaurant Roundup 2011!

By Daniel Swartz on December 15, 2011
Chef Scott Drewno will prepare a traditional family-style holiday duck dinner for guests at The Source on Christmas Eve.  (Photo: Liz Libbrecht)
Chef Scott Drewno will prepare a traditional family-style holiday duck dinner for guests at The Source on Christmas Eve. (Photo: Liz Libbrecht)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Most District residents enjoy fond memories of cozy kitchen conversations with family and friends in holiday years past. For them, the smell of freshly baked pies and pastries and lovingly-prepared platters of chicken and turkey (or “turducken” for the truly adventurous), that will emanate from homes throughout the area over the next couple of weeks, can’t come soon enough.

But for those Washingtonians whose ovens typically serve double-duty as storage and whose refrigerators are stocked with nothing but beverages and condiments, the preparation of a large holiday feast is a somewhat daunting proposition.

Fortunately, many of the city’s top-rated restaurants are standing by on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve to alleviate such concerns. And they all have a few culinary tricks up their sleeves!

CHRISTMAS EVE

Sou'Wester at the Mandarin Oriental

  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck -- Chef Scott Drewno will be preparing a traditional family-style holiday duck dinner from Thursday, December 22nd through Christmas Eve, which will feature seasonal sides and a signature 15-layer carrot cake. $49 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

  • Sou’Wester at the Mandarin Oriental -- On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Chef Eric Ziebold’s casual Southern restaurant, a family-style three course menu featuring New England Lobster Pot Pie, Roasted Christmas Goose, Smoked Shoat Ham Salad, Braised Collar Greens, and a selection of Christmas desserts will be offered for $65 per guest ($35 for children 12 and under).

  • Equinox – On Christmas Eve, Chef Todd Gray will roll-out an elegant a la carte feast beginning at 5:30pm, featuring poached Maine lobster, thyme basted New England diver scallops, spice rubbed Pennsylvania duck breast, and a winter truffle milkshake.

  • Bibiana Osteria Enoteca -- Chef Nicholas Stefanelli will provide his own award-winning interpretation on Italian cuisine, with a signature ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’. For $65/person, the five course menu will feature dishes like Spaghetti ai Ricci di mare (Black Spaghetti, Catalina Island Sea Urchin, 'Aglio Olio e Peperoncino') and Baccala' alla Napoletana (Seared Cod, Tomatoes, Olives, Raisins, Capers, Pine Nuts, With Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes).

    The Source by Wolfgang Puck

CHRISTMAS DAY

  • Blue Duck Tavern -- Guests are invited to celebrate the Christmas holiday from 10:30am to 3:30pm, with a special three course brunch for $90/person ($42/child ages 6-12, free for children under the age of 6). The meal begins with an array of starters spread throughout the restaurant’s open kitchen, followed by a choice of plated entrees and side dishes showcasing produce from regional farms, and is capped by a variety of homemade desserts. Blue Duck Tavern’s regular a la carte menu will then be made available for dinner from 6pm to 10:30pm.

  • J&G Steakhouse -- For $75 per person, guests will be able to enjoy Chef Philippe Reininger’s interpretations of various Christmas classics, including butternut squash soup with fall mushrooms, rice cracker crusted tuna with citrus chili sauce, grilled filet mignon with soy-caramel sauce and gingered mushrooms, and green apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream.

  • The Jefferson, Washington D.C. -- Chef Christopher Jakubiec’s gourmet take on a Christmas feast, include rich bowls of Lobster Bisque with cognac and black pepper cream, Phyllo-wrapped Loin of Lamb, and a signature “Christmas Cake” with hazelnut and peppermint. The $90/adult ($45/child twelve and under) elegant three-course French meal will be offered between 11am and 6pm.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

The kitchen staff at Michel Richard Citronelle

  • CityZen -- Chef Eric Ziebold’s flagship will be offering two special seatings; the first will consist of 6 courses with a plated dessert and the second will feature 7 courses and culminate in a festive champagne and dessert celebration at midnight. Dishes will include Maine Lobster Chiboust, Slow Cooked Sirloin of Australian Wagyu Beef, Moulard Duck Foie Gras Stew, and Valrhona Chocolate Brioche.

  • Graffiato -- In his typical laidback manner, Chef Mike Isabella's breakout Italian-style restaurant will be offering its regular dinner menu starting at 5:00pm. Guests can warm-up at the start of the night with a special mug of house-pressed pear cider and toast the arrival of 2012 with a glass of prosecco on tap.

  • Central Michel Richard -- Marking its fifth anniversary since it first opened, Chef Michel Richard’s NYE celebration at Central will showcase five different dinner specials, along with its regular menu, as diners enjoy five hours of live music (8pm to 1am) by the New Orleans jazz quartet Laissez Foure. All guests will also be presented with a glass of Champagne Gosset Brut Excellence just before the clock strikes midnight.

  • J&G Steakhouse -- One merry group of up to 20 guests will be toasting the new year in style inside a private “Bubble Lounge” wine bar, that includes a dedicated bartender, valet, private entrance complete with red carpet, and unfettered access to the W, Washington D.C.’s prized rooftop P.O.V lounge overlooking the monuments.

  • Michel Richard Citronelle -- Two different seatings will be available to diners, including a 4 course menu ($140/guest + optional $80/guest wine pairing) designed to be completed by 8:15pm and a later 5 course dinner ($175/guest + optional $115/guest wine pairing) that will be capped with dancing and party favors.



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