Looking for a festive, possibly even extravagant place for a late lunch Christmas Eve day. We are attending the Nutcracker matinee at the Opera House, which finishes up around 1 PM. We’ve never dined in the castle, so currently have a table booked at Smith and Wollensky (my understanding is this location will be closing). Most special “Christmas Eve” menus I’ve found aren’t on offer until 5 PM. L’ Espalier is not an option, strongly disliked by my SO. Suggestions?
Bar Bloulud, Bristol Lounge, Select Oyster?
Great suggestions - Select looks like fun, but a bit scary that it has been cited for so many Level III violations (just posted on hungryonion). Haven’t been to the Four Seasons since the days of Aujourd 'Hui, but the view is certainly festive. Much as I appreciate Daniel Boulud’s efforts in Manhattan, my sense is he’s not fully engaged here in Boston.
I’ve not had experience with the “Reserve” app that Select uses, and I’m a bit hesitant to store cc info with yet another startup.
Well that’s certainly not something I like to see about one of my favorite places! Outward appearances can be deceiving, but the physical space (including restrooms and open kitchen) look impeccable when I have been there. The staff is professional and experienced, which makes the nature of some of those basic violations listed hard to figure.
I completely agree with your take on Boulud. My rec was based more on the area of the city and location in the Mandarin. The vibe on Christmas Eve day should be there. The food should be good (and overpriced) enough to match.
Another place I like a lot for lunch is Abe & Louies. It’s not somewhere I’d go for dinner, but even after being sold the lunch and brunch services are still nice quality. The holiday atmosphere should be in full swing there as well.
Yvonne’s and No 9 Park both have holiday lunch menus. Towne could be fun too.
Unfortunately it appears that none of them are open for lunch on the 24th.
Thanks All for the suggestions. We ended up at Yvonne’s, a 5-minute stroll from the Opera House. The main room is certainly festive - a bit of an homage to Locke-Ober, of course, but very tongue-in-cheek: check out the artwork. The holiday lunch menu was lifted from an old Locke-Ober menu. We had oysters Rockefeller to start (and the best dirty martini we’ve had in a long while); Chateaubriand Rossini, creamed spinach and roasted potatoes, and baked Alaska to finish. The Chateaubriand was cooked perfectly to order, served with a take on Duchess potatoes, watercress, and a port or madeira reduction and a generous amount of sliced Perigord truffle. Didn’t detect any foie gras, but we were actually somewhat grateful the dish was lighter as a result. The creamed spinach was outstanding, better than Grill 23. And the baked Alaska was perfectly executed - crust not soggy, perfectly browned ridges on the meringue, but having been spoiled by modern takes (key lime baked Alaska, at the dearly-departed Pacific Time in Miami Beach; mango baked Alaska, at Trade), the classical version with plain ice cream seemed a bit tame.
Additional notes about the beverage service: an excellent Rosso di Montalcino available by the glass was advertised as a Brunello - that’s a no-no, and hardly necessary. I think I counted two bottles below $200 on the list. And the only half bottle available was a Champagne.
All-in-all it was a perfect complement to the Boston Ballet matinee, festive and convenient - we’ll add this to our Christmas Eve tradition.
am i reading that properly? only 2 bottles UNDER $200? were wines btg $50?
You read right. BTG prices turned out to be in the mid- to upper teens. I don’t know if this was the normal wine list or special for the holiday.
they definitely have cheaper wines. sounds like holiday extortion. gross.
Sure is, but I guess I’ve become a bit inured. Our pinot hound friends have given up ordering wine when they dine out, sticking to beer. They save the Williams-Selyem, Chasseur, for home instead of ponying up 3X retail.
i sell wine for a living and worked for years as a somm. there should be plenty of middle ground on a list between junk like mark west and super-premiums like william-selyem.
sometimes i want wine with dinner out, but you’re right, i don’t want to feel gouged.