Christmas Day poses an interesting opportunity for dining. Or is it a conundrum? For those who celebrate the holiday, it could be an opportunity to perfect and present a feast of dishes from the home oven, but for many, leaving things to the professionals is best for everyone involved. No matter if the family numbers one or 30, there is a chance for too many cooks in the kitchen, and at least one who’s got a whack-ass recipe for pasta-Jell-O or cake made Campbell’s tomato soup. (It’s a thing. Trust).
Can't cook, don't want to or simply don't celebrate Christmas? You still need to eat, so save your holiday thanks for the open signs among all the darkened doors on Christmas Day. We've found some places that offer something better than what's at your nearest 7-Eleven.
RJ Mexican Cuisine
1701 N. Market St., No. 102
Steak is the reason for the seasonings. RJ is serving up filet mignon, T-bone and rib-eye steaks all Christmas Day. If surf and turf feels merry, go with the steak and lobster (which boasts some bonus shrimp). There’s also a pot roast and mash option for a more traditional spin or a full-on Tex-Mex fest at the fajita, taco and nacho bar. In Texas, salsa is the staple of the season. Brownie desserts are included in the price of entrées.
Second Floor Regionally Inspired Kitchen
13340 Dallas Parkway, Level 2
They said let there be a prix fixe menu to satisfy the silver and gold and the holly and jolly. And there was. And it is at Second Floor from 3-10 p.m. Start with a choice of Caesar salad or French onion soup, then spin out on prime rib ($32) or honey-cured ham ($28), and top it all off eggnog cheesecake or a chocolate peppermint situation. Want some earlier bites? There’s an extended brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And there’s a non-prix fixe menu starting at 3 p.m., so you can still stick with your black sheep image and go rogue. Reservations recommended.
5300 Mockingbird Lane
Meat lovers rejoice! The Tesar has not forsaken you. The Knife crew is kicking it on Christmas Eve and Day with all the 44 Farms steaks and Ozersky burgers and oxtail ravioli that dreams are made of. With a prime rib special, even a holiday spent in a hotel will feel right at home. If Christmas is a no-go, book New Year’s now. Yes, it's open.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
And unto them, tastefully appointed decorations and a multicourse meal were presented. Them being whomever rolls up to the Mansion for traditional holiday faves in a setting out of a better-than-Hallmark Christmas movie. Restored stained glass and an enormous Christmas tree provide the perfect welcome while decadent desserts are the ideal close. It’s $130 per adult or $60 per child, and reservations are strongly recommended. Seating times are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
2916 McKinney Ave.
Don’t bother getting dressed for this one. No, seriously, stay in your swaddling clothes. Shell Shack is hosting a onesie and PJ party, so stretchy pants are required. Open all day (11 a.m. to 2 a.m.), the Shack is serving combo platters large enough to feed the family. Snow crab, shrimp, king crab and catfish — it’s all there among the VIP, Date Night and Heavyweight platters, plus a complimentary dessert on Christmas Day.
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15201 N. Dallas Parkway
And the Fourth Wise Man gave a brunch reservation. The ol’ IC promises to take care of every detail as long as you reserve the table. Brunch service is from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last reservation at 2 p.m.). There a buffet with seafood, salad, carving, hot entrée, pasta, omelet, breakfast, bread and dessert stations, plus live music and pics with Santa Claus. So, frazzled parents, take note. Prices include tip and are $83 per adult, $30 for kids 6-12.
Lark on the Park
2015 Woodall Rogers Freeway
Chef Ryan Barnett rocks a Christmas supper straight out of A Christmas Carol or maybe Downton Abbey. At least the grilled venison loin, baked ham and roast goose sounds like some delicious traditional fare that would perk both Lady Mary and Ebenezer Scrooge right up. Service is from 5-10 p.m. and features an a la carte menu. Reservations are encouraged.
3656 Howell St.
The sun has set, and it’s time to leave the manger for the annual Drink the Tree at the Rustic. Doors open at 6 p.m., and Fireman’s No. 4 is $3 all night. The best part: After all the ham and dressing, it’s time for tamales (especially if you didn’t get any on Christmas Eve!). The limited menu features a variety of the husked gems: brisket, chicken tinga, pork carnitas, and roasted poblano and cheese. Add a Winter Warmer cocktail and some live music, and it might be possible to forget about the mess at home.