Our must-hit holiday celebration spots

The holidays and the New Year are upon us—but if cooking for a crowd sounds more daunting than celebratory, instead hit a restaurant where you can kick back and be merry. This handy guide will lead the way, with ten places to do your holiday dining in style, whatever your style may be. Please enjoy, and out of respect for your holiday (and inbox) you won’t hear a peep from us until January 2016. Happy Holidays from everyone at BBE!

Make Hanukkah last all month with these festive cocktails
If you’re hoping to stay in the Hanukkah spirit after the holiday is over, you can still find Hanukkah-themed drinks around the city in late December. Through December 30, Bar 54 will be serving “The Mazel,” mixed from vodka, fresh lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, orange bitters, Curaçao, and a garnish of absinthe-soaked lemon. To make it even more festive, the drink is lit on fire before it’s served. In Lower Manhattan, Dina Rata on Pearl Street will be serving “The Blue Dreidel,” made with vodka, Blue Curaçao, simple syrup, lime juice, and fresh blueberries for garnish, through December 25.
When: Now through December 30; Now through December 25
Where: 135 W. 45th St., New York, NY USA, 10036; 75 Wall St., New York, NY 10005
Telephone: 646-364-1234; 212-590-1234

A decadent five-course New Year’s Eve tasting menu, Israeli-style at Timna
Chef Nir Mesika of Timna will be serving an epic five-course tasting menu on NYE for $100 per person. Showcasing his modern Israeli cuisine, dishes will include signature Kubaneh bread to start; grouper carpaccio with roasted tomato, goat yogurt, and dried olives; grilled scallops with chanterelle and morel mushrooms, chard corn bisque, and paddlefish caviar; lamb chops with parsley jelly, bulgur-stuffed onion, garlic mousse, black tahini, and pistachio crumbs; and dessert. And since it’s New Year’s, they’re throwing in some foie gras with brioche, dried figs, and espresso crème, too.
When: Thursday, December 31
Where: 109 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10009
Telephone: 646-964-5181

Snow or no, Haven Rooftop is serving après-ski drinks all month
Here’s something different for New Yorkers: A ski chalet smack in the center of the city. That’s what you’ll find at Haven Rooftop, where the interior has been decked out to feel more like you’re drinking and dining at the top of a mountain that the roof of a Midtown skyscraper. In addition to Christmas and New Year’s Eve prix fixe events, Haven Rooftop is also a cool spot to grab drinks on an off night during your holiday break.
When: Now through December 31
Where: 132 W. 47th St., New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 212-466-9000

Fig & Olive is ringing in the New Year two ways
For their annual White & Gold party this NYE, Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking District is offerings two enticing options. For $100, there’s a cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres like chicken samosas, butternut squash, and chestnut soup shooters. Or for $150 you can sit down to a four-course dinner with dishes like baked oysters with Champagne sabayon and desserts like chestnut mousse with amarena cherry, walnut meringue, and cherry sorbet.
When: Thursday, December 31
Where:420 W. 13th St., New York, NY 10014
Telephone: 212-924-1200

Classes at ICE—‘tis the season to be cooking, after all
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in Tribeca is hosting a variety of holiday-themed cooking classes for adults and kids during late December. On December 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., relive some of your favorite childhood memories with ICE’s gingerbread house–making class for adults. If you’re more into decked out snacks than festive centerpieces, enroll in the make & take holiday cookies class with chef Chad Pagano, and go home with a collection of colorful sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, and others shaped and decorated perfectly for the holidays.
When: Different classes are available on most days; see website for schedule
Where: Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty St., New York, NY 10281
Telephone: 212-847-0700

This Michelin-starred Austrian hotspot will cook your goose for Christmas
For those looking for something fancy and off-the-beaten-path, there’s Austrian restaurant Wallsé. Located in the far West Village, the flagship restaurant from renowned chef Kurt Gutenbrunner is delivering a Christmas feast worthy of its Michelin star. In classic Austrian fashion, chef Kurt is preparing a four-course feast ($150 per person; $80 for kids under 12; optional wine pairings are an additional $120 per person) revolving around traditional Christmas goose. The bird is served with red cabbage, baked marzipan-stuffed apples, semolina dumplings, and apple-ginger chutney. Of course, there will be other amazing dishes, too, like venison loin with wild mushrooms and chestnuts, scallop ravioli with celery root and black truffle, and marinated beef tenderloin with sturgeon caviar and purple potatoes.
When: Thu–Fri, December 24–25
Where: 344 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014
Telephone: 212-352-2300

Bobby Flay–beater Kenneth Johnson celebrates the new year with Dueling Pianos at Gran Morsi
The food is out of this world, and Chef Kenneth Johnson just won on Beat Bobby Flay. How does Gran Morsi plan to take things over the top this NYE? By playing host to the Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos show, an all-request rock-and-roll party running all night long—with a four-hour open bar, delicious bites from chef Johnson, and a lively, fun-loving crowd dancing and singing the night away
When: Thursday, December 31
Where: 22 Warren St., New York, NY 10007
Telephone: 212-577-2725

Gabriel Kreuther is planning a flat-out extraordinary New Year’s Eve celebration
Gabriel Kreuther, the brand new, eponymous restaurant of the Michelin-starred, James Beard Award–winning chef, is doing it up big for New Year’s with two seatings for dinner. Reservations for the first seating start at 5 p.m. and will feature a four-course prix fixe dinner ($175 per person) that will showcase chef Kreuther’s extravagant, classical French style with fancy ingredients like foie gras, caviar, and truffles. Starting at 8:30 p.m., the restaurant will shift into its second seating, featuring a Gala Tasting Menu ($450 per person) with six courses including white and black truffle. The festivities will already be in full force starting at 8 p.m., as members of Lady Circus, an all-female circus troupe from Brooklyn, will be putting on an interactive performance throughout the main dining room and the bar (tickets for the bar are $150 per person) to wow guests.
When: Thursday, December 31
Where: 41 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 212-257-5826

Take the New Year in stride with laid-back festivities at Federal Bar
For those looking for a more chill way to ring in the new year, The Federal Bar in Williamsburg is shunning the prix fixe special to provide the perfect a la carte alternative. The menu will feature old faves along with new, holiday-inspired plates, like pear cider–marinated pork tocino served with brandied brown butter potatoes and crispy Brussels sprouts with apples, pecans, and maple-molasses vinaigrette.
When: Thursday, December 31
Where: 367 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Telephone: 718-388-8641

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