A CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER
Enjoy your holiday meal at these Twin Cities restaurants
By Lianna Matt
Whether you're here to visit family or taking in the holiday lights of the Twin Cities for the first time, we're happy to have you this winter. At some holiday meals, you talk with loved ones long after the last crumb has been eaten. At others, you reflect on the past year and all of its memories as you let the food flavors dance across your tongue. No matter which category you find yourself in, Minneapolis and St. Paul have you covered this Christmas Day with award-winning restaurants open for your holiday feast.
While all of executive chef Everton Clark's meals are locally sourced and Minnesota-inspired, he has created a special Christmas Day dinner. Come to Cedar + Stone, Urban Table on Christmas Day between 3 and 10 p.m. for a truffle gnocchi appetizer, roasted fennel and apple bisque soup, a prime rib entree, and a sweet ending with a Grand Marnier chocolate chiffon. After such a mouth-watering meal, it's plausible you'll just want to kick back and relax for the rest of the night. If so, no worries; Cedar + Stone is located in the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America hotel.
From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., take part in Citizen‘s Christmas Day meal. Entrees including lobster shirred eggs, pan seared scallop, eggnog French toast and truffled mushroom farro risotto stock up the menu, and pastries and sides like potato gratin, grilled vegetable crudite with green goddess dip are served alongside it, family style. The cost includes complimentary self-parking in the Intercontinental ramp in downtown St. Paul as well.
Besides serving the regular menu in its entirety, FireLake in the Radisson Blu Hotel near Mall of America has created a menu worthy of a family holiday celebration. The Christmas Day four-course meal begins with a popover with maple butter and highlights the season’s fruits with a pear and pomegranate salad. The star of the meal is the spit-roasted prime rib au jus, complete with freshly grated horseradish sauce and loaded tricolor baby potatoes, and a honey whiskey cake ends the dinner on a sweet note.
Fogo de Chao has its normal churrasco experience, but for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, they’re adding some special items to the menu. Celebrate the season with a Vegas-cut New York strip; bone-in cuts including cowboy ribeye, lamb chops and beef ribs; and sweet potato casserole. On these special days, the dinner price will be all day, although the regular children discounts still apply.
Visit Lela in Bloomington for a special Christmas buffet. While details are still being finalized, if their Thanksgiving buffet is anything to go off of (including carving stations with char sui pork shoulder, broiled salmon with hollandaise, prime rib, turkey breast and all of your favorites sides and desserts), you’ll get your fill and then some at this modern Italian bistro. If you want to start celebrating the holidays a little sooner, reserve your spot at their Chef’s Counter Omakase on Christmas Eve for an exclusive menu curated by Chef Stewart Woodman, including wine pairings and a special holiday gift.
Enjoy the holiday feast in downtown Minneapolis at Manny’s Steakhouse. Opening at 9 a.m. on Christmas Day and going until 3 p.m., enjoy Manny’s Holiday Buffet menu, which includes prime rib, salmon with king crab and beurre blanc, truffled deviled eggs, fresh pastries and featured cocktails.
Christmas Eve Bonus: Birch’s on the Lake
For little ones who have last minute holiday wishes, visit Santa at Birch’s on the Lake Christmas Eve from 9 a.m.-noon. At the Santa Brunch, you can get your photo with Santa while enjoying two special buffet brunches. For Santa’s Lil Helpers, the buffet includes mini doughnuts, dollar pancakes, yogurt, macaroni and cheese and Christmas cookies, and Santa’s Buffet (for those with slightly bigger shoes and appetites), the menu includes a waffle bar, eggs Benedict with county ham, carve top sirloin with horseradish and wild rice mash. There are specific Santa seatings, so like all of these restaurants, reserve as soon as you can.