It’s not easy to find places to eat out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when restaurateurs are likely to give themselves and their staffs some time off.
To ensure that you don’t go hungry, call before heading out to your favorite bistro or sushi bar. Fancier dining rooms offering fixed-price meals usually require reservations.
Here are some choices:
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen (140 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale; 516-621-3340) will be serving its regular menu from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 24, and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 25. That’s great news if you’re craving fried kreplach ($9.99), or stuffed derma ($9.99). Warming chicken soup comes with either a matzo ball, kreplach, noodles or rice ($4.99-$5.29). For dessert, there’s chocolate babka ($4.29) or mini rugelach ($3.49). Other locations in Carle Place and Woodbury.
Cassariano (348 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola; 516-280-8990) will be serving its regular dinner menu Christmas Eve from 1 to 10 p.m. Start with antipasti like burrata with prosciutto ($15.50), beef carpaccio ($11.50), or polenta with Fontina cheese and white truffle oil ($13.50). A dozen pastas range from linguine with seafood and tomatoes ($20.50) to braised beef ravioli with mushrooms and marsala ($21.50) to manicotti filled with salmon, mascarpone and pesto ($21.50). Entrees are divided into two lists, one with meat that includes veal scaloppine with porcini mushroom sauce ($28.50), roast duck breast with fig risotto ($32.50) and filet mignon with peppercorns and brandy ($35.50), and the other with fish and seafood dishes such as sea bass piccata ($33.50) and grilled swordfish ($28.50). Reservations recommended.
Eric’s Italian Bistro (70 Old Country Rd., Mineola; 516-280-5675) will be open for lunch Christmas Eve and will be serving a limited version of its a la carte dinner menu, along with some holiday specials, on both Christmas Eve (last reservation at 8:30 p.m.) and Christmas Day (from noon to 9 p.m.). You might start with baked clams oreganata ($12.95) or goat cheese-stuffed portobello mushrooms ($12.95). Penne with shrimp, shiitakes and asparagus ($26.95) or with broccoli rabe and sausage ($22.95) are among the pasta choices. Entrees might include boneless chicken scarpariello ($24.95), braised New Zealand lamb shank ($34.95), or shrimp scampi ($26.95). Reservations recommended.
Fortune Wheel Seafood Restaurant (3601 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown; 516-579-4700) will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Come to this old-school Chinese restaurant for well-made classics such as fried squid and spicy salt, shrimp with lobster sauce, kung po chicken, and eggplant with garlic sauce. Dinner for less than $25 a person. Reservations recommended.
Ginza (45 Carmans Rd., Massapequa; 516-882-9688) will be open Christmas Eve, 2 to 9 p.m. and Christmas Day, noon to 10 p.m. There are plenty of choices on the five-page menu, including soups and salads ($3-$9), hot and cold appetizers ($5-$18), a la carte sushi and sashimi ($3-$6) and rolls galore ($5-$24). A wok’n’grill section includes dishes as various as sliced flank steak with Thai basil ($17), crispy duck with pineapple fried rice ($20) and pan-seared tuna with soba noodles ($23). Reservations recommended.
The Orient (623 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage; 516-822-1010) will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., serving dim sum from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the regular menu throughout. If you enjoy old-school Chinese, you will like the greaseless shrimp toast ($6.50), beautifully lacquered barbecued spare ribs ($9.95-$12.95) and spicy shrimp with garlic sauce ($14.95).
LB Social (62 W. Park Ave., Long Beach; 516-431-7846, lbsocialny.com) will be open Christmas Eve from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; not open Christmas Day. From the regular menu, order lamb sliders ($12), chicken dumplings ($11) or clams with Andouille and collards ($13) to start. Mains include pappardelle carbonara with bacon, Brussels sprouts, and shrimp ($25); a double-cut pork chop with roasted asparagus and a potato apple cake ($25); and herb-roasted organic half chicken ($25). In addition, chef Matthew Hisiger will be offering some Seven Fishes specials, including lobster tail, Alaskan king crab legs, and seafood salad. Reservations recommended.
Union Prime Steak and Sushi (661 Northern Blvd., Great Neck; 516-487-9200, unionprimesteak.com) will be open Christmas Eve from 5 to 9 p.m. and Christmas Day from 3 to 8 p.m., serving its regular dinner menu. There is a large choice of traditional Japanese, or order sushi and sashimi by the piece or platter. On the steakhouse side of the menu is a variety of appetizers (mini Kobe beef burgers for $17, French onion soup for $11), salads (wedge or Caesar for $13-$14) and fish and poultry entrees. Union Prime serves 35-day dry-aged beef. Cuts you might try include an 8-ounce petit filet mignon ($39) and a 16-ounce New York sirloin ($53). Or go for broke with a porterhouse steak ($65). Reservations recommended.
Gatsby’s Landing (1362 Northern Blvd., Roslyn; 516-277-2318, gatsbyslanding.com) will be open Christmas Eve for a special brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then for dinner, serving the regular menu. Start your meal off with grilled octopus with chorizo piperade ($22). Raw bar selections include Long Island fluke crudo ($17) and a daily selection of oysters ($18 for 6, $30 for a dozen). Entrees range from roasted duck breast ($33) to a porterhouse for two ($125). Reservations recommended.
Chef Wang (1902 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park; 516-354-2858, chefwangny.com) will be open Christmas Eve from 12:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Christmas Day from 11:30 to 10 p.m., allowing diners to celebrate Sichuan specialties such as fried beef or lamb with cumin, spicy pork hock, fish with boiling oil and cook-at-the-table hot pots. The extensive menu also includes some Shanghai specialties (such as steamed soup dumplings and Shanghai bok choy with shiitake mushrooms) as well as a full roster of Cantonese and Chinese-American dishes. Wonton soup, fried rice, lo mein, beef with broccoli, mu shu pork, General Tso’s chicken — all present and accounted for. And there is a full sushi bar menu, too. Most entrees are less than $20.
Polo Steakhouse at Garden City Hotel (45 Seventh St., Garden City; 516-877-9385, gardencityhotel.com) will be serving a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve beginning at 5 p.m. The buffet feast will feature a caviar station; a selection of chilled shrimp, lobster, and King crab legs; a display of fresh rolled sushi; a smoked fish station including gravlax, smoked salmon, white fish and trout; salt cod brandade, cedar-plank-roasted Norwegian salmon; and New Bedford diver scallops. In addition, there will be Mediterranean appetizers, artisan breads, a salad station, a carving station, a pasta station and a Christmas dessert display. Reservations required. The cost is $120 per person, including tax and tip; children between 2 and 12 eat for $60, no charge for children under 2.
Ristorante Da Claudio (51 Cedar Swamp Rd., Glen Cove; 516-801-6700, ristorantedaclaudio.com) has a special Christmas Eve menu, served from 1 to 7 p.m. The largely Italian selection includes appetizers such as fried calamari with spicy marinara sauce ($14), Christmas caprese ($14), and baked clams oreganata ($13). Lobster ravioli ($28) and fettuccine with veal ragu ($26) are the pasta choices. Among the entrees are lamb chop with balsamic fig reduction ($42), broiled salmon Dijon ($34), veal Piccata ($33), and a rib eye steak with wild mushrooms, onions, and truffle oil ($48). Reservations recommended.
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas (The Gallery at Westbury, 1002 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-228-5400, spuntinowinebar.com): This small plates Italian restaurant will offer its Feast of the Seven Fishes menu from Dec. 1 to 24. The tapas-style seven-course tasting consists of salmon bruschetta, lobster fritters, mussels in white wine, crabcake, crispy octopus, campanelle with shrimp and calamari ragu, and red snapper with Swiss chard, bell pepper, and pineapple coulis. The cost is $65, or $90 with wine pairings. Dishes are also available a la carte.
Ala Turca (691 Rte. 109, West Babylon; 631-450-4478) will be serving its a la carte menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. Turkish specialties include pide (Turkish pizzas) topped with ground lamb, Turkish sausage, or spinach and feta ($9-$14). Authentic Turkish casseroles with chicken, marinated beef or vegetables ($15-$16) are served with Mediterranean salad as are yogurt-marinated lamb and chicken kebabs ($14.99-$17). A large section of the menu is devoted to vegetarian and gluten-free dishes including hummus, white bean salad, and stuffed grape leaves ($6.99 each). For dessert there is baklava ($5.50) and rice pudding ($5.25)
Almond (1 Ocean Rd., Bridgehampton; 631-537-5665, almondrestaurant.com) will be open Christmas Eve from 5 to 9:30 p.m., There will be a special suckling pig roast dinner for $42 prix fixe. Or order from the regular a la carte menu. Start your holiday meal with Buffalo-style cauliflower ($16.25) or Korean-style barbecue short ribs ($17/$34). Entrees include mac and cheese with prosciutto and truffles ($28.75), duck breast with sweet potatoes ($34.50), and bistro classics such as mussels and fries ($27.25). Reservations required.
Baron’s Cove (31 Water St., Sag Harbor; 631-725-2101) will be serving a three-course prix fixe Christmas dinner from 2 to 9 p.m. Starters include a crispy lobster frito misto with rock shrimp and local squid, house-cured citrus gravlax, and local butternut squash soup. For mains, choose between roasted game hen, grilled filet au poivre, seared Shinnecock scallops, and spiced halibut. Desserts are classic: local pumpkin cheesecake, East End apple pie, berries with whipped cream, or a chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream. $74 for adults, $28 for children 12 and younger (kids younger than 3 are free). Reservations required.
Caci North Fork (56125 Main Rd., Southold; 631-765-4383, cacinorthfork.com) will observe Italian tradition on Dec. 24 with a fixed-price Feast of the Seven Fishes menu served from 1 to 10 p.m. Seafood starters will include grilled jumbo shrimp with lemon butter, grilled calamari with seasoned breadcrumbs, and pan-seared bay scallops with fennel and blood orange sauce. Next comes risotto with lobster, clams and asparagus, followed by sesame-crusted grilled tuna. Dessert is an orange cake with chocolate gelato. $75 a person, reservations required.
Jonathan’s Ristorante (15 Wall St., Huntington; 631-549-0055, jonathansristorante.com) will offer a special Christmas Eve menu as well as its regular dinner menu from 4 to 9 p.m. Just for the holiday: butternut squash soup with caramelized walnuts ($10), marinated grilled octopus with potato salad ($17), lobster tail with savoy cabbage and black truffle vinaigrette ($37), and a 16-ounce rack of lamb with roasted potatoes and baby artichokes ($42). Reservations recommended.
Restaurant Mirabelle (150 Main St., Stony Brook; 631-751-0555) will be cooking a special three-course Christmas Eve dinner. The meal begins with an appetizer such as pan-seared foie gras or lobster bisque. Indulgent main courses include baby rack of lamb or prime rib. There will be a choice of dessert. And let the kiddies loose at “the candy store” for children only. $65 for adults, half- price for children 10 and younger. Reservations required.
Tutto Pazzo (84 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-271-2253, tuttopazzo.com) will be open for Christmas Eve dinner from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be a special Christmas Eve a la carte menu, including 15 or so appetizers and 15 or so mains. Reservations recommended.
Scarpetta Beach (290 Old Montauk Hwy. at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk; 631-668-1771, ldvhospitality.com) will be serving its regular menu on Christmas Eve from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Appetizers on offer might include creamy polenta with a fricassee of truffled mushrooms ($19), butternut squash soup with sweet and spicy sausage ($18), and braised short ribs with farro risotto ($18). Pastas both simple (spaghetti with tomato and basil for $24) and elaborate (beet mezzaluna with brown butter, Sicilian pistachios and poppy seeds for $25) are all handmade in house. Main courses encompass seafood (black cod with caramelized fennel for $38), poultry (roasted organic chicken with fregola, kale, and butternut squash puree for $29), and meat (lamb loin with braised cabbage, pancetta and pickled cranberries $41). Desserts ($12) tend toward the Italian, with a spiced ricotta cheesecake, a coconut panna cotta, and an espresso budino on the menu. Reservations recommended.
View (3 Consuelo Place, Oakdale; 631-589-2694, lessings.com) will feature a special a la carte menu from 4 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Tuna tartare ($15) and Peking duck tacos ($14) are among the appetizers. In addition to pan-seared scallops with lobster-truffle risotto ($38) and grilled Scottish salmon with golden quinoa ($29), entrees will include Maine lobster cavatelli ($30) and mustard and rosemary chicken breast with cremini mushrooms ($26). A children’s menu of chicken fingers, pasta and hamburgers is available for the little ones. Reservations recommended.
Wild Side Organic Bistro and Bar (1551 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale; 631-791-1800, wildsidebistro.com) will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from noon to 6 p.m. The full menu will be available, including many gluten-free and vegetarian choices. Start with shrimp tempura ($12) or wood-fire-roasted cauliflower ($10). There are soups and stews including gumbo with shrimp, chicken, chorizo and basmati rice. Naples-style pizzas from the wood-burning oven ($14-$20) are a specialty. The entree list features flavors from around the world, including braised short ribs with tamari and lemongrass ($27), a kale and black bean burger with mole sauce ($16), and lobster mac and cheese ($28).
Jedediah Hawkins Inn (400 S. Jamesport Ave, Riverhead, 631- 722-2900): This cozy North Fork restaurant in a historic inn will be serving its regular menu on Christmas Eve from 4 to 9:30 p.m. The eclectic American selection includes appetizers like a frisee salad with beets, shaved fennel and Humboldt fog goat cheese ($14); a flatbread with wild mushrooms and duck confit ($16); and pork ribs with peanut coleslaw ($15). The large plate selection might feature cioppino with octopus, shrimp, local little necks and Montauk squid ($36); and roast chicken with Satur Farms spinach ($38). In addition, there will be holiday specials, like a veal rib chop with Anson Mills polenta, prime rib with horseradish mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, and Maine lobster with shrimp and scallop brioche stuffing. For dessert, there will be apple crisp ($12) and vanilla bean crème brulee ($11).