Washington, D.C. is beautiful during the Christmas holidays and from Capitol Hill to Penn Quarter monuments, stately buildings, and landmarks twinkle with lights or are festooned with silver bells and green garlands. Luckily, restaurants and shops are offering dining and entertaining options for just about everyone. Food-lovers can shop for gourmet gift baskets, savor traditional feasts on Christmas Eve, and choose from more than 90 restaurants for their Christmas supper. And for those who want to dine in style at home but don’t want to slave in the kitchen, you can get your holiday meal as a take away.
We’ve compiled a list of options that will satisfy gourmets, experienced home cooks, and folks who just want dine without lifting a finger.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, prices do not include beverages, tax, or gratuity. This is a busy time of year, so we recommend you assume reservations are required, and please verify the menu and pricing when you make your reservation.
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
For devout Roman Catholics, Christmas Eve signals the end of Lenten fasting, the chance to celebrate Reveillon and Festa dei Sette Pesci, better known as Feast of the Seven Fishes, and menus that can finally include meat and drink. One restaurant, Urbana, is serving Feast of the Seven Fishes the entire month of December until Christmas Eve.
Celebrate Christmas Eve and laissez les bon temps roulez because Acadiana is offering a four-course Cajun Reveillon feast that includes traditional Cajun and New Orleans favorites like rack of lamb, fried turkey, and more than ten fresh Louisiana Gulf seafood dishes.
For an authentic Feast of the Seven Fishes you couldn’t find a more fitting chef to prepare the meal than Jake Addeo, the executive chef at Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca. He’s Italian through and through on both sides of his family and captures the beauty of Italian food whenever he cooks. For Christmas Eve, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. his seafood-centric Feast of the Seven Fishes costs $65 per person includes mouthwatering selections like freshly made ravioli with Maine lobster; squid ink spaghetti with razor clams; and grilled giant prawns. For the sweet finale a warm molasses cake is offered that is garnished with candied pecans, crystallized ginger, and brown butter gelato. If you prefer your meal to come from land rather than sea, a limited a la carte menu is also available throughout the evening. Valet parking is available for $8.
Chef Robert Wiedmaier is making BRABO in Old Town Alexandria ground zero for Christmas Eve dinner and offering a limited service period from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. BRABO chef Harper McClure will serve up a festive three-course menu for $75 per person that includes tasty standouts like chestnut and foie gras soup and chef McClure’s signature Christmas goose duo. Pastry chef Larry Queen will serve his passion fruit crème brûlée and each guest will receive one of his individual fruitcakes to take home.
Lafayette Restaurant at The Hay-Adams Hotel
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, one of General George Washington’s most trusted military advisors, would be pleased to dine in Lafayette Restaurant, The Hay-Adams’ eponymous restaurant opened in his honor. He would be impressed by the grace and hospitality of the restaurant and staff, especially this Christmas Eve. Executive chef Peter Schaffrath is serving a three-course, prix-fixe menu priced at $80 per person from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Elegant dishes like lobster thermidor and roasted prime rib with Bordelaise sauce are complemented by a selection of desserts prepared by pastry chef Josh Short such as honey roasted pear tart.
The Oval Room
If you want to enjoy a spectacular meal with equally stellar service, we always recommend dining at The Oval Room. Executive chef John Melfi never disappoints and his special menu for Christmas Eve includes opulent selections like chestnut velouté with foie gras, maple, and winter truffle, pan seared sole, or roasted Christmas goose, plus your choice of three delightful desserts. Service is from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., is $60 per person, or $95 with wine pairings.
Plume at The Jefferson Hotel
The Jefferson Hotel is a tiny gem boutique hotel, and Plume, its elegant, fine dining restaurant, is Washington’s only Forbes five-star restaurant. Executive chef Ralf Schlegel has created a Christmas Eve dinner that features a four-course menu. It includes a choice of an appetizer, a salad, choice of entrée, and a choice of dessert for $115 per person.
CHRISTMAS DAY BRUNCH AND LUNCH
Depending on your family tradition, whether or not you have kids, or travel to visit family on Christmas Day, dining early may be your preferred time of day for a Christmas feast. If so, there are brunches, lunches, and late afternoon dining options in the DMV that will suit your needs.
The Grille at Morrison House
For a fantastic early Christmas Day meal, head to The Grille at Morrison House and from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. dine on a prix-fixe menu that includes a choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert, and a complimentary glass of champagne or juice for $55. Beignets with huckleberry jam, chicken and waffles, corned beef hash, lemon brioche French toast, and white chocolate Bavarian are just a few of the tasty treats on the menu.
Family gatherings are essential in the South during Christmas holiday and if you want to take everyone, including the kiddies, for a fun brunch head to Succotash, at National Harbor. In addition to serving their regular Southern brunch menu from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., groups of six or more can partake of the special family-style feast priced $49 per person for adults and $24 per person for kids. This special menu includes regular brunch items like glazed ham in addition to new additions like roasted duck and more.
The tradition of Christmas dinner is open to interpretation and can include a formal meal with white tablecloths and family heirloom china or it can be a hearty family feast served buffet style, but whatever tradition you observe, there is a D.C. restaurant to suit your needs.
If you aren’t in the mood for American, French, or Italian fare, why not dine well Mediterranean style at Agora? They are offering a break from tradition with a diverse menu that includes delicious Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese meze selections that let everyone have a taste of something different. Plus, they have gluten-free, dairy free, and nut free options. Dinner service starts at 5 and ends at 11 p.m.
Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern is serving an a la carte dinner on Christmas Eve, but the real party is on Christmas Day when newly tapped executive chef Franck Loquet and Chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy will present a three-course holiday meal from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Starters will served from the open kitchen and include salads, bread, cheese, and meat, and the entrées, which include regional dishes like shrimp and grits, apple cider glazed ham, and wood oven roast goose will be plated for more formal service. Don’t skimp on dessert because new pastry chef David Collier will have a tempting selection of freshly baked holiday desserts. The price is $110 per person for adults and $55 for children between six and 12. Children under six years of age are complimentary.
For an intimate meal served in a modern cozy dining room, consider Corduroy for Christmas Dinner. They will be serving a three-course prix-fixe menu for $65 per person that includes four to five selections per course such as traditional roast turkey plus regular menu items.
The Prime Rib
The Prime Rib is a Washington institution that never disappoints, with the aged, prime steaks, seafood, or drinks, so cozy up with your near and dear for their three-course Christmas Dinner for $85 per person. For that price, you can choose an appetizer, an entrée, and dessert.