Give yourself the gift of good food, good times and no cleaning up this Christmas. From swanky multi-course meals in elegant surroundings to casual, comfortable bar bashes, there's somewhere for everyone (at every price point) to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While many of our favorite eateries are hosting excellent annual feasts, including Feasts of the Seven Fishes at Coperta and all the Jax Fish Houses, a Duck the Halls dinner at Beast + Bottle and a prix fixe feast at Hearth & Dram, we've rounded up ten new events around town, starting with December 24 dinners.
Arcana909 Walnut Street, Boulder
This Boulder establishment is serving up a fairly traditional holiday roast — that is, if you grew up on a farm. The star of the three-course, family-style feast is a lamb shoulder from local ranch Buckner Family Farm, served with buttermilk potatoes, braised leeks, pears poached in red wine and smoked gravy. There's pecan pie to satisfy your sweet tooth, and you can add Arcana's house nog (aged rum, amaro and fennel seed crème Anglaise), wine, cider and beer onto the $65 meal. Find the whole menu on the restaurant's website, then book your table (reservations start at 5 p.m.) online or by phone.
Il Posto2601 Larimer Street
We can't compile a list of Christmas Eve dinners without including at least one Feast of the Seven Fishes, and this year's entry is going to be a beauty. Chef Andrea Frizzi's five-course feast includes seven (if not eight) sea creatures, with mussel, clam and saffron croquettes; a striking black squid-ink spaghetti with calamari and uni butter; seafood risotto; and black cod with white beans and broccolini, all served in the equally impressive space. Dinner will run you $95 without drinks, or $140 with wine pairings. Call the restaurant directly to request a table on the second level with sweeping views of RiNo, or book your seat on Il Posto's website, where you can also take a look at the complete menu.
Liberati2403 Champa Street
Liberati's Christmas Eve seafood spread is definitely Italian, but it's no Feast of the Seven Fishes; that's because this craft brewery is Italian-Italian, not Italian-American. So the four-course meal that includes baccala (a salt cod meatball), tuna tartare, lobster fettuccine and scallops with pancetta won't include your Grandma's greatest hits — unless Nonna was from Rome — but it will arrive at your table looking pretty as a present and is guaranteed to be more memorable than the ill-fitting, lumpy, handmade socks you got last year. Buy your tickets ($108.80, including tax and tip) plus optional beer and wine pairings ($38.40 and $51.20) on the brewpub's Facebook page; reservations start at 5 p.m. Already have plans for Christmas Eve? Liberati's also serving a family-style Christmas Day dinner, with stuffed meatloaf, a white lasagna with pesto, and pandoro, an Italian Christmas cake, all for $76.80.
Lola Coastal Mexican1575 Boulder Street
This LoHi Mexican seafood shack underwent a significant remodel and menu overhaul in 2019, and if you haven't seen the new digs, you should take in the brighter, breezier space before the new year — and Christmas Eve, when the kitchen is turning out its mouthwatering Mexican-style paella, is the perfect time to do it. The restaurant is taking reservations from 3 to 8 p.m.; while Lola will be serving its regular menu, you'll want to opt for the three-course dinner at just $40 per head. The celebratory main course is a paella platter piled high with rice that brings the flavors of Baja instead of Barcelona, plus a wealth of chorizo, chicken, shrimp, clams and mussels, with the option to add on a whole lobster tail for $13. Thirsty? Pitchers of sangria, margaritas and bottles of wine are just $30. Reserve your spot on Lola's website.
Oak at Fourteenth1400 Pearl Street, Boulder
As with everything Oak does, its Christmas Eve menu is approachable but elevated. Familiar and comforting flavors make up the three-course prix fixe meal, but instead of dry, overcooked ham slices stacked on a platter, you'll find Benton's Country Ham and smoked cheddar gnocchi, and in place of creamed spinach you'll find creamed kale seasoned with pecorino served alongside braised lamb cannelloni. Reservations for the $85 dinner ($135 with wine pairings) start at 4:30 p.m.; call the restaurant to make yours.
Keep reading for Christmas Day celebrations.
Alpine Dog Brewing Co.1505 Ogden Street
What to do after the stockings have been unstuffed and the presents opened? You could just hang around the house cleaning up bows and wrapping paper, or you could party like the pro you are at this craft brewery's Christmas Day party. Doors open at 10 a.m., and with three beer releases throughout the day (bourbon barrel aged porter, bourbon barrel aged English Old Ale and schwarzbier), you'll feel like you're opening presents all over again. There will also be sugar cookie decorating and live music from the One and Only Jon Ham from 1 to 3 p.m. Find out more on the brewery's Facebook page.
So you stayed up all night wrapping presents, and come daybreak, you've got no breakfast plans to feed a houseful of overstimulated kids and expectant houseguests. Don't despair! The stylish restaurant atop the Art Hotel is serving a holiday brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu items include carving station mainstays like prime rib and ham (this little piggy comes glazed with quince jam), along with a raw bar stocked with chilled shrimp and oysters, eggs Benedict made to order, pasta with porcini and leek ragu and candy cane pancakes. The spread costs $68 per person ($28 for kids) with $20 bottomless mimosas — well worth it when you consider that after three, your in-laws will need at least a two-hour nap. Find the entire menu and make reservations on Fire's website.
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The Nickel1100 14th Street
What's a Christmas Day diner who wants more than two choices — or isn't in the mood for prime rib or fish — to do? While prix fixe menus can be a good deal for customers, they can also feel limiting if they offer only a couple of entree choices. Not so at the Nickel's Christmas Day dinner, which offers five main-course options (including lamb ravioli, bison meatloaf with cranberry barbecue sauce, and vegan ratatouille), five sides to choose from for the table, and four different dessert possibilities. Reservations start at 5:30 p.m.; make yours on the restaurant's website or by phone. For $65 per person, you'll be spoiled for choice.
Occidental1950 West 32nd Avenue
Christmas is the most magical time of the year (literally) at the Occidental, which is hosting its second Very Harry Potter Christmas Party on December 25. Doors open at 6 p.m., with movies playing in the background as costumed bar-goers snap selfies on a Muggle device known as a "cell phone," with elaborate decorations as backdrop. To up the drama (as if you need any more holiday hysterics), a Triwizard Tournament will also be held; here's hoping the death toll remains at zero. There's no cover, but save your galleons for house-themed cocktails. Details are up on the Occidental Facebook page.
Urban Farmer1659 Wazee Street
Nothing says Christmas like a big honkin' steak. The Oxford Hotel's resident steakhouse is going whole heifer on Christmas Day with four cuts of forty-day dry-aged beef: a 24-ounce porterhouse, a 16-ounce Kansas City strip, an 18-ounce T-bone, and a 36-ounce tomahawk, plus a 20-ounce, 21-day dry-aged tenderloin chateaubriand. The price for such luxury is commensurate with the quality of the meat (steaks range from $110 to $225), but if ever there's a time to celebrate, it's Christmas Day. Find a full list of specials and book your seat between 4 and 8 p.m. on Urban Farmer's website.