No Home For The Holidays? No Problem!

emmPhoto: Courtesy of Tavernita.
For those of us stuck in the city come Christmastime, it can look a little bit like an impending zombie apocalypse out on the streets, with nary a soul around or a lit storefront for miles. The trains are empty. The traffic is nil. Frankly, it’s a little creepy. But, don’t worry, city dwellers. You’re not (entirely!) alone. Signs of life can still be seen at plenty of local establishments, so if you can’t make it home for the holidays, you can at least treat yourself to a cocktail or a festive feast. Merry merrying!
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Brasserie by LM
Bargain alert! For just $35, you can pig out on a three-course menu that includes lobster bisque, salad, and an entrée choice of duck breast with Brussels sprouts and pancetta, sea bass, or beef Wellington steak for an extra $5. And, that’s not all — dessert includes flourless chocolate cake and crème brulee. Now, if only our pants size would remain small, too. Open on Christmas Eve from 4 to 10 p.m. and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Brasserie by LM, 800 South Michigan Avenue (between 8th and 9th streets); 312-431-1788.
Weber Grill
Meat lovers can have their fill at Weber Grill on either Christmas Eve or day (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) in the form of lamb chops, steak, beef, BBQ, you name it! Pair with a yummy handcrafted cocktail like the Maple Irish Coffee (Jameson Irish whiskey, maple syrup, and coffee, topped with Whipped Cream) to get your warm and fuzzies flowing.
Weber Grill, 539 North State Street (at Grand Avenue); 312-467-9696.
Sixteen
Sixteen has all your bases covered with Christmas Eve dinner (5:30 to 10 p.m.), Christmas day brunch (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and Christmas day dinner (6 to 10 p.m.). The dinners will include a whopping four-to-eight courses and will be priced at $115 or $155 per person (exclusive of alcohol), depending on chosen meal size. Brunch will run you $148 per adult, but this is a two-star Michelin rated resto with 30-feet floor-to-ceiling windows, so we’re willing to bet that old saying “you get what you pay for” will ring true in the form of an unforgettable meal.
Sixteen, 401 North Wabash Avenue (by Kinzie Street); 1-877-458-7867.
Mercat a la Planxa
Take a trip to Spain with host Chef Jose Garces at Mercat a la Planxa. His holiday prix-fixe menu (think Catalan favorites such as Costillas de Ternera, a braised short rib flatbread with bacon marmalade, parmesan, and arugula; and Gambas a la Planxa, jumbo prawns with garlic, parsley, and lemon) will be available on Christmas Eve from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. ($65 adult/$35 children) and Christmas day ($35) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oh, and of course, there will be plenty of sangria to wash it all down.
Mercat a la Planxa, 638 South Michigan Avenue (at Balbo Avenue); 312-765-0533.
Tavernita
Christmas Eve diners can grab lunch or dinner to share from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at tapas-style, Spanish-influenced restaurant Tavernita. Rich dishes like Pork belly sliders, steak tartare, and artichoke-ricotta ravioli will have you just as full as a homecooked meal by mom herself.
Tavernita, 151 West Erie Street (at LaSalle Street) 312-274-1111.
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Lockwood Restaurant & Bar
You can’t get much more festive than the famous Palmer House Hilton lobby, so Lockwood Restaurant & Bar is a no-brainer for a Christmas day spread. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll be privy to wild mushroom bisque, winter greens, local cheese, smoked trout and salmon, and aged beef tenderloin, just to name a few. Rates are $70 for adults, $65 for seniors, and $40 for kids ages six and up. Added bonus: free parking.
Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, 17 East Monroe Street (between Madison and Adams streets); 312-917-3404.
J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar
No holiday ritual to call your own? Not to worry. Come and celebrate the "feast of seven fishes" at J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar. Owner Joseph Frasca has incorporated family recipes and traditions to make it extra-special — and tasty. The dinner is priced at $48 per person and is available on Christmas Eve only.
J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar, 749 North Clark Street (between Chicago Avenue and Superior Street); 312-475-0271.
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