Eat, drink and be (very) merry this holiday season

Feeling a little Scrooge-like this holiday season? Get into the holiday spirit at one of these city restaurants.
These special locales go all out, with holiday dishes and decor that will surely leave diners with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.

281 Third Ave., 212-477-4750
Rolf’s is arguably the most festive restaurant in the city.
“There are 70,000 lights in the interior of the restaurant,” said Terri Cash, above, Rolf’s server captain.  The dining room is also covered in ornaments and evergreen garland. “In any small German village restaurant they do the same thing,” Cash said.
 In addition to an assortment of German beers and liquors, during the holiday season Rolf’s serves Glühwein, a wine that is combined with spices and served warm. They also feature the signature roast golden goose — a quarter of a goose served with mashed potatoes and red cabbage.

Rock Center Café
20 W. 50th St., 212-332-7620
Located in Rockefeller Center, this ice-rink-side restaurant features contemporary American fare with an Italian influence. The dining room has views of the Christmas tree, and the restaurant is decorated with white wreaths and red ornamental balls.
The popular Breakfast with Santa happens every Saturday and Sunday with two seatings, 7:30 and 9:15 a.m., and includes a chance to ice-skate with St. Nick himself.

Macy’s Cellar
Bar & Grill
151 W. 34th St., 212-868-3001
The holiday spirit radiates into the basement of Macy’s, where the Cellar Bar & Grill offers diners a festive environment. This season, there are classic photos and retired window displays decorating the space. “We have a Roy Rogers display and a Tony Bennett room with photos from when he was the grand marshal of the parade,” said manager Michael Salmon. Burgers, salads, sandwiches and milk shakes are menu favorites.

Tavern on the Green
W. 67th St. and Central Park West, 212-873-3200
Now’s the time to experience a holiday meal at this city landmark, as the restaurant will close after Dec. 31. (In January, many decor items will be auctioned off.)
Fun and whimsical holiday decorations are added to the already ornate decor. “Tavern’s culture is that of a celebratory restaurant and there is nothing better to celebrate than the holidays,” said Shelley Clark, who has done Tavern’s publicity for 16 years. On Christmas Eve and day the restaurant will offer a three-course, prix-fixe meal for between $86-$126.

The Russian
Tea Room

150 W. 57th St., 212-581-7100
Thanks to its bright red booths and green and gold walls, The Russian Tea Room always has a Christmassy vibe; but additional holiday accoutrements such as a beautifully lit Christmas tree and ornamented chandeliers bring it to a new level of festive.
The holiday season is so busy that the restaurant opens.
The Bear Lounge on the second floor, normally reserved for private events.
The Tea Room serves lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and high tea.

Gramercy Tavern
42 E. 20th St.,
Since opening 15 years ago, the management at Gramercy Tavern has been dedicated to creating a beautiful and homey holiday atmosphere. The ceiling is covered with grapevine balls made with pinecones, winterberries, driftwood and pomegranates. There’s also a Christmas tree decorated with cookies made by the tavern’s pastry department.
During the holidays, Roberta Bendavid, the florist in charge of the decorations, transforms an antique rake into a menorah. Her favorite part of putting up the decorations is removing the autumn decorations, seeing the restaurant bare and creating a Christmas atmosphere. “The whole process is really amazing,” she said.

Tags: Rolf's , Christmas time , holiday spirit

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