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The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Dining in DC

By Rina Rapuano
December 10, 2013
Photo by: Greg Powers

Whatever your plans for the holidays, these area restaurants will do their best to make sure you won’t go hungry - no matter how naughty or nice you've been this year.

Christmas Eve

701 Restaurant offers a three-course holiday menu for $55 from 5-10 PM in addition to the regular a la carte menu. The prix fixe menu includes such dishes as rockfish with garlic broth, rapini and chili oil; butternut squash agnolotti with apple, pumpkin seed and sage; and crispy duck breast with mole, farro and turnips. Desserts will include a chocolate yule log with meringue and passion fruit and carrot cake with basil ganache. There will be live jazz throughout the evening (202-393-0701).

2941 Restaurant offers a four-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person ($48 for the vegetarian menu and $25 for the children’s menu) from 4-9:30 PM. Executive chef Bertrand Chemel will prepare such dishes as crab cannelloni with mushroom crèmeux and chervil, duck duo with soubise jus and winter roots and chestnut ravioli with celery root emulsion and pioppini mushrooms. Pastry chef Cailtin Dysart will make a blood orange creamsicle with candied kumquats and olive oil cake, among other desserts (703-270-1500).

Ardeo + Bardeo offers a three-course Christmas Eve menu crafted by executive chef Matt Kuhn priced at $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) from 5-9 PM. Dishes will  include celery root and potato soup with butter poached lobster, brioche croutons and foie gras butter; pork terrine with dijonaise, pickled turnips and rustic bread; and grilled hanger steak with farro risotto, charred broccoli, a sous vide egg and truffled Pecorino. For dessert, guests can enjoy a pear-cranberry crisp with spiced cranberry puree and creme fraiche ice cream (202-244-6750).

Bastille prepares a four-courses prix fixe dinner for $75, excluding tax and gratuity, at three seatings: 5 PM, 7 PM and 9 PM. Appetizer choices include Maine lobster bisque and foie gras terrine, while entrees will include steak au poivre and duck a l’orange. Desserts bring a choice of buche de Noel, chestnut point cake and a Valrhona Manjari Bavarois, and wine pairings available upon request (703-519-3776).

Bibiana serves a traditional feast of seven fishes prepared by executive chef Nicholas Stefanelli from 5-9:30 PM on Christmas Eve. Priced at $65 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), menu highlights include grilled eel with onion compote and red wine vinaigrette; fried shrimp with calamari, smelts, oysters, cauliflower and lemon; and seared cod with tomatoes, olives, raisins, capers, pine nuts with olive oil crusted potatoes. For dessert, guests can enjoy Amalfi Coast sponge cake filled with lemon cream (202-216-9550).

Bistro Vivant offers a three-course, prix fixe holiday menu in addition to the regular a la carte menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Priced at $59 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), the exclusive menu is available during both lunch and dinner service. Executive chef Katie Busch’s menu will include an appetizer of Canadian lobster with soft poached egg, red endive and fennel pollen; a main dish of almond-crusted lemon sole with haricot vert and parsnip purée; and a dessert option of bûche de Noël with maple mascarpone, ginger, coconut and mango (703-356-1700).

Boqueria serves its unlimited brunch tapas, drinks and sweets for $39 from 10:30 AM-2 PM all week, except Christmas Day, with the menu running from pancakes to empanadas to lamb meatballs to churros. Drinks include sangrias, mimosas and beer (202-558-9545).

Brabo offers a three-course Christmas Eve menu created by chef de cuisine Harper McClure for $65 per person. Traditional dishes will include chestnut-foie gras soup with maitake mushrooms, chopped hazelnuts and brandy cream and goose two ways with roasted breast, confit leg, glazed root vegetables, Asian pear and a spiced ginger jus. The menu also includes pastry chef Erin Reed’s Christmas yule log with hazelnut sponge, mocha cream and eggnog ice cream (703-894-3440).

Firefly starts the celebration with a Christmas Eve brunch from 9 AM-2 PM that will feature lemon-ricotta pancakes, eggs Benedict, $3 mimosas and $4 Bloody Marys. Christmas Eve dinner brings a complimentary glass of champagne and the opportunity to vote on the server’s ugly Christmas sweater contest (202-861-1310).

The Grille at Morrison House presents a feast of seven fishes for $85 per person from 5-8 PM. Chef Brian McPherson will prepare such dishes as fruits de mer, Patagonian red prawn thermidor with Anson Mills polenta and loup de mer with fingerling potato “scales,” Viognier poached hen egg, fennel and caviar (703-838-8000).

Legal Sea Foods in Chinatown, Tysons Galleria and Crystal City will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day serving its a la carte menu and a holiday special entree. Call each location for hours and reservations (Chinatown, 202-347-0007; Tysons Galleria, 703-827-8900; Crystal City, 703-415-1200).

Nopa Kitchen + Bar will offer a seasonal a la carte menu prepared by executive chef Greg McCarty that will include a 12-ounce prime rib with horseradish puree, red wine jus and creamed kale and roast duck with an orange glaze, sautéed squash and grilled scallions. Desserts like fried pies and a chocolate bar with peppermint ice cream. The restaurant will be open from 5-9:30 PM (202-347-4667).

The Oval Room features a three-course, prix fixe holiday menu from 5:30-10 PM priced at $55 per person, or $90 with wine pairings (tax and gratuity not included). Executive chef Tony Conte has created a lineup that includes sautéed foie gras with gingerbread, serrano and black pepper yogurt; Nantucket Bay Scallops with crispy rice and cranberry; Butternut squash soup with crème fraîche, sorghum and allspice; lump crab salad with blackened banana and pumpkin lime relish; Rockfish with smoked onion, Brussels sprouts, bacon vinaigrette; and prime beef with heirloom pumpkin, XO sauce and juices of butternut and carrot (202-463-8700).

Christmas Day

Blue Duck Tavern executive chef Sebastien Archambault will present a three-course holiday brunch from 10:30 AM-3:30 PM, including seasonal starters followed by choice of a plated entrée and side dishes showcasing produce from regional farms. Holiday desserts prepared by pastry chef Naomi Gallego will be available. The brunch costs $95 per person for adults, $42 for children ages 6-11; and free for children five and younger (202-419-6755).

All three Farmers Restaurant Group locations will be open every day throughout the holiday season, closing at 10 PM on Christmas Eve and at 8 PM on Christmas Day (Founding Farmers DC, 202-822-8783; Founding Farmers MoCo, 301-340-8783; Farmers Fishers Bakers, 202-298-8783).

The Grille at Morrison House will serve a Christmas Day brunch 11 AM-2 PM for $50 per person ($25 for kids and free of charge for children under 5). The brunch will see the addition of holiday options like figgy-pudding beignets, escargot Wellington with mushroom duxelle, herb garlic butter, puff pastry and lovage and pan perdu with brioche, fresh berries and warm Virginia maple syrup (703-838-8000).

Plume at The Jefferson hosts a prix fixe dinner for $95 per person ($45 for children 12 and younger) that includes gougères stuffed with truffled bechamel, seared ahi tuna, prime rib of local beef and bourbon butterscotch pudding (202-448-2300).

Christmas To-Go

Acadiana sells a New Orleans-style holiday dinner for eight that includes a roasted or fried Cajun-style turkey ($175) or ham ($200) with a choice of gravy; biscuits with pepper jelly; any four side items; and a choice of cranberry chiffon or pecan pie. All orders must be received by 5 PM December 17, and pick up is from 11 AM-1 PM on Christmas Eve. All items can also be ordered a la carte (202-408-8848).

Bayou Bakery prepares holiday pies, party bites and sides for those who place orders by December 22. Items that can be ordered include andouille and chicken gumbo ($20 per quart); unspiked Bayounog ($8 per quart); and deviled eggs ($12 per dozen). Orders will be available for pick-up on Christmas Eve (703-243-2410).

BlackSalt offers a Christmas Eve pick-up at the Fish Market for its extensive prepared holiday foods to-go. Offerings include artisanal meats, seafood, soups and desserts. Orders must be placed by December 19, and the full menu can be seen here (202-342-9104).

Society Fair offers two Christmas bags to go: the Christmas morning breakfast bag for $40 and the holiday bag to go for $100. The breakfast bag, which can be ordered here, is stuffed with a ham strata, a 10-ounce bag of Society Fair coffee, a winter citrus salad, fresh-squeezed orange juice and cinnamon rolls. The dinner bag packs a holiday dinner for two in the form of beef Wellington, sherried chestnut soup, mashed potatoes, pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with house-cured pancetta, sautéed glazed carrots and potato rolls. It can be ordered here (703-683-3247).

Places Mentioned

701 Restaurant

Continental • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food23 Decor24 Service24 Cost$54
 
 
 
2941 Restaurant

American • West Falls Church

Food27 Decor27 Service26 Cost$70
 
 
 
Bastille

French • Alexandria

Food24 Decor19 Service22 Cost$52
 
 
 
Bibiana

Italian • Downtown

Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$56
 
 
 
Bistro Vivant

French • McLean

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Boqueria Washington DC

Spanish • Dupont Circle

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
BRABO

Alexandria

Food26 Decor22 Service24 Cost$55
 
 
 
Firefly

American • Dupont Circle

Food23 Decor23 Service21 Cost$42
 
 
 
The Grille

French • Alexandria

Food25 Decor23 Service27 Cost$63
 
 
 
Legal Sea Foods - Tysons Galleria

Seafood • Tysons Corner

Food23 Decor20 Service22 Cost$39
 
 
 
Legal Sea Foods - 7th Street

Seafood • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food23 Decor20 Service22 Cost$39
 
 
 
Legal Sea Foods - Crystal City

Seafood • Arlington

Food23 Decor20 Service22 Cost$39
 
 
 
NoPa Kitchen + Bar

American • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
The Oval Room

American • White House/World Bank

Food26 Decor23 Service25 Cost$69
 
 
 
Blue Duck Tavern

American • West End

Food27 Decor25 Service26 Cost$64
 
 
 
Founding Farmers

American • Foggy Bottom

Food24 Decor22 Service20 Cost$35
 
 
 
Founding Farmers

American • Potomac

Food24 Decor22 Service20 Cost$35
 
 
 
Farmers Fishers Bakers

American • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Plume

Fine Dining • White House/World Bank

Food26 Decor28 Service29 Cost$109
 
 
 
Acadiana Restaurant

Contemporary Louisiana • Mount Vernon Square

Food24 Decor23 Service23 Cost$45
 
 
 
Bayou Bakery

Southern American • Arlington

Food22 Decor18 Service19 Cost$17
 
 
 
BlackSalt

Seafood • Palisades

Food27 Decor21 Service23 Cost$55
 
 
 
 
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