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Dining out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

A family sits down for dinner at the

A family sits down for dinner at the Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook. (March 29, 2009) Credit: Joel Cairo

Looking for a place to dine for the holidays? Most restaurants are open Christmas Eve, some offering their regular menus, others serving up something special.

Christmas Day, however, offers more of a challenge. Which is why we're giving you a longer list of options.

Christmas Eve

Mirabelle Tavern
150 Main St.
Stony Brook
COST $55 adults; half-price, children under 10
Mirabelle Tavern plans a buffet dinner that includes a raw bar, salads and soups; a carving station featuring beef Wellington, leg of lamb, rack of pork, and herb-crusted swordfish; chafing dishes with duck confit, stuffed sole, butternut squash ravioli, lobster and shrimp in pastry, and eggplant rollatine; plus holiday pies, cakes, cookies. There’s also a hot dog cart, mac-and-cheese bites and chicken fingers for children.

Porto Vivo
7 Gerard St.
COST $65
Christmas Eve menu choices include seafood fritto misto, stuffed calamari, arugula salad with roasted peppers and artichokes, butter-poached lobster and shrimp with parsley risotto, squid-ink linguine with cuttlefish in spicy tomato sauce, black-pepper fettuccine puttanesca with grilled prawns; crisp salt cod with truffled potatoes and onion-tomato broth, seared ahi tuna, stuffed sole, and grilled swordfish with olives and artichokes. Dessert: Port-poached pears, chocolate panettone French toast with eggnog sauce.

Bel Posto
15 New St.
COST $36.95; children’s menu available
Three-course dinner includes selections such as cold antipasti, seafood salad, fried calamari, butternut squash soup, prime rib, veal Parmigiana, roast Cornish game hen, grilled fish of the day, and “feast of the seven fishes pasta,” or linguine with shrimp, mussels, clams, cockles, scallops, swordfish and lobster in tomato-basil sauce. Desserts: chocolate layer cake, chocolate mousse, pumpkin cheesecake.

45 Seventh St.
Garden City
COST $79, adults; $39.50, children under 12; no charge under two
Four-course dinner with dishes such as seafood salads, beet carpaccio, lobster bisque with crab meat; Satur Farms salad; pan-seared Arctic char with Brussels-sprout leaves, baby turnips and spiced red-wine sauce; pappardelle with seafood, fennel and capers; herb-marinated filet mignon with shallots and broccoli rabe; yuzu-glazed Long Island duck breast with braised mustard greens and ginger-and-chile spiced sweet potato puree; chocolate-hazelnut bûche de Noël.

Bob’s Restaurant
230 Jericho Tpke.
Floral Park
COST A la carte menu: small plates, $10.50-$16; main dishes $22-$35
Selections include lobster bisque, baked clams with sake, seared yellowfin tuna, shrimp cocktail, loin of pork with stuffing and garlic-mashed potatoes, Long Island duckling ravioli, baked panko-and-herb crusted filet of sole, and a seafood sampler.

Christmas Day

Atlantica on the Ocean
80 W. Broadway
Long Beach
Cost: $58 a person ($30 for children under 12)
Hotel restaurant with boardwalk view, open from noon to 8 p.m. Chef Todd Jacobs’ holiday buffet will include a carving station with slow roasted pork belly as well as boneless turkey and caramelized chestnut stuffing. The pasta station will have four-cheese lasagna. Expect such other dishes as cedar planked roasted salmon and oven roasted monkfish. Among desserts: tiramisu, organic strawberries with Marsala zabaglione.

Restaurant Blue

7 Montauk Hwy.
Blue Point
Cost: A la carte menu, entrees $20 to $49, small plates, $10 to $18 and sushi, $8 to $30
Service starts at noon. Holiday specials, such as surf and turf, offered, in addition to regular menu items such as hazelnut-crusted Chilean sea bass over roasted baby bok choy or seared scallops with a potato zucchini cake. From the sushi menu, there’s a Kobe roll or a crunchy spicy tuna roll. Small plates include espresso-rubbed short rib and tuna tempura.

Burton & Doyle Steakhouse
61 Northern Blvd.
Great Neck
Cost: A la carte, entrees, $29 to $46; sushi, $10 to $35
Service starts at 5 p.m. Regular steak-centered menu augmented by holiday specials, such as braised veal osso buco with basil fennel puree and pan roasted wild striped bass.

Cafe Rustica
200 Middle Neck Rd.
Great Neck
Cost: Three-course prix-fixe, $14.95 to $22.95, served 4:30 to 6 p.m.; later, a la carte menu; also $45 five-course tasting menu
Opens at 4:30 p.m. The menu at this Italian restaurant covers all bases, including the gluten-free ones). Typical dishes: fettuccini Bolognese, chicken scarpariello, filet of sole Francese.

The Inn Spot On The Bay
32 Lighthouse Rd.
Hampton Bays
$50 for three-course prix-fixe
Open 2 to 7 p. m. It doesn’t get more Christmas-y than the menu here, which includes a traditional roasted Christmas goose among entree choices. For an international perspective, there’s a spicy Indonesian shrimp curry, among other options. For dessert, the global theme continues with an Italian pannetone, an Irish Christmas pudding and individual mince pies.

Jackson’s Restaurant
6005 Jericho Tpke.
Cost: $24.95 price-fixed and a la carte, entrees, $15.95 to $26.95.
Opens at 3 p.m. The restaurant’s regular prix-fixe includes such appetizer choices as kung pao calamari or chopped salad, followed, perhaps, by marinated skirt steak or sweet potato-crusted sea bass. Dessert options: crunchy white chocolate mousse and almond napoleon.

113A Middle Neck Rd.
Great Neck
Cost: Average check about $60 a person
Opens at 5:30 p.m. Chef and food personality Michael Ginor will offer the restaurant's regular menu of small plates, such as a torchon of Hudson Valley foie gras, and large ones, like roast mallard duck breast.

1053 Oyster Bay Rd.
East Norwich
A la carte, entrees, $20 to $42
Opens at 5 p.m. The regular Italian menu will be augmented by such Christmas specials as rack of baby lamb, whole branzino and herb-crusted double cut pork chops. For dessert, there will be strawberry napoleon and zabaglione with mixed berries.

Marco Polo’s @ the Viana Hotel & Spa
3998 Brush Hollow Rd.
Cost: Regular menu, entrees, $17 to $26; specials may be higher
Dinner runs 5 to 11 p.m. Order from the hotel restaurant’s regular menu, which encompasses such Asian-Italian choices as chicken Francese egg roll, tuna tataki, Asian Dijon salmon and truffled mushroom ravioli. For dessert, there’s a s’mores  egg roll and tiramisu.

Nisen Sushi
5032 Jericho Tpke.
7967 Jericho Tpke.
Cost: $35-$75 a person, on average
The regular menu at the mostly Japanese Commack branch averages $35 a person; Woodbury (which has a full Asian fusion roster of entrees, such as miso-cured black cod and Colorado rack of lamb), averages $50 to $75 a person.

pasta Vino
149 Mineola Blvd.
Cost: $27.95 for three-course prix-fixe.
Opens at 4 p.m. On the prix-fixe menu at this Italian restaurant, appetizer choices include fried zucchini and little meatballs; entrees include pork baby back ribs and veal braciole. Choose from regular dessert menu: chocolate budino and strufoli.

Pearl East
1191 Northern Blvd.
Cost: Regular menu, averaging $30 a person before drinks.
Open from noon to 11 p.m. This long-standing Chinese restaurant offers a menu of traditional favorites (diced chicken with red peppers and peanuts, crispy orange beef) along with some Asian fusion dishes and sushi.

2468 Main St.
Cost: $55 a person three-course prix-fixe
Opens 8 a.m. for breakfast, serving until 10 p.m. A French accent informs the prix-fixe at this long time Hampton favorite featuring such choices as oysters or escargots to start, as well as a bouillabaisse Marseillese or magret de canard (duck breast) a l’orange among entree selection. Finish with profiteroles or a selection from the plateau de patisserie at the front of the house.

Simply Fondue
24 Great Neck Rd.
Great Neck
Cost: Starts at $30 a person for three-course fondue menu.
Open from 4 p.m. Spear, swirl, even cook your own food at this upstairs fondue palace offering full-course dinners as well as a la carte cheese and chocolate fondue options.

Table 9
290 Glen Cove Rd.
East Hills
Cost: A la carte menu (average check, $50 a person); three-course $29.95 prix-fixe offered until 6 p.m.
Opens at 5 p.m. Prix-fixe (offered only for an hour) includes such appetizers as eggplant rollatini and poached pear salad, followed, perhaps by an entree of tagliatelle Bolognese or grilled Berkshire pork chop. For dessert: chocolate mousse. More extensive a la carte menu prevails later.

West East Bistro
758 S. Broadway
Cost: Banquet menu, $29.95 a person, regular a la carte menu also available for lunch and dinner.
Opens at 11:45 a.m. Banquet menu available only to parties of four or more; includes, among other dishes, a surf and turf roll, chicken soong, Peking duck, slow braised short ribs, whole red snapper Thai style, seafood longevity noodles and, for dessert, forbidden (purple) rice pudding and chocolate lava cake. Otherwise, order from a la carte menu (average check $20 at lunch, $30 at dinner).

62 W Park Ave.
Long Beach
Cost: Three courses, $24-$32, depending upon entree; regular menu also available (averaging $40 a person)
Opens at 3 p.m. Humor rules at this New American restaurant whose owner, Alan Adams, augments the everyday menu with a Chinese Christmas dinner. You might start with sticky ribs or sweet and sour soup and proceed to “Admiral Alan’s” chicken or red snapper with black bean sauce, followed by — what else — ice cream and fresh pineapple.

Dinner at Mirabelle Tavern, Stony Brook

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