The larger-than-life Christmas tree will be lit this evening at Rockefeller Center, marking the start of the holiday season and all the festivities that go with it. From the shop windows down Fifth Avenue to the ice skating rinks and enormous Christmas trees, New York City is one of the greatest cities in which to spend the holidays. So when you’re done skating in figure eights and marveling at the tree, take a break at one of these great eateries near Rock Center.
Sit curbside at Brasserie Ruhlmann for a direct view of the tree and toast to the start of the sparkly season with a dozen oysters and a couple glasses of champagne. Or skip straight to the sweets with chocolate profiteroles and hot cocoa.
Order a bold red wine and a plate of charcuterie alfresco at Morrell Wine Bar & Café, just across the street from the ice skating rink. Peek through the crowds and skaters for an up-close view of the tree and when you’re toasty enough from the wine, don a pair of skates yourself.
If you’re looking for proximity, rather than views, spring for a steak at AJ Maxwell’s Steakhouse. It’s an old-school, white tablecloth steakhouse where oysters and shrimp cocktails come before filet mignons and porterhouse steaks.
Bouchon Bakery has some of the most mouthwateringly delicious (and most beautiful to look at) pastries in the city — from light and airy lemon tarts and flaky croissants to precious pastel macarons and their classic, moist chocolate bouchons. Pop in for a sweet or savory treat that you can enjoy inside or out by the tree. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/advencap)
Hang out rink-side with a cup of hot cofee, pack of crackers, and a handful of cheeses (or maybe a cup of soup) from Dean and Deluca, at 1 Rockefeller Plaza.