The Dish: Your 2018 guide to Christmas dining at San Diego restaurants
Food is the apex of the holidays and local chefs and their culinary teams are busy preparing their Christmas menus for the 2018 yuletide season. Treat your family and friends to a festive meal at these San Diego restaurants. Reservations are highly recommended, unless otherwise noted.
Addison will serve a flavorful Christmas Eve seven-course holiday-inspired menu. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego. $275 per person; $225 additional for wine pairings. (858) 314-1900.
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant’s classic Christmas Eve dinner is based around a house-smoked ham topped with apple-cider glaze and served with smashed yams and roasted root vegetables. The tradition of leaving treats for Santa is the inspiration behind Dad Ate The Cookies ($11.50), made with rye whiskey, lemon juice, orgeat and cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and topped with house-made whipped cream and cookie crumbles. 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. 2202 Fourth Ave., San Diego. $24.95. (619) 231-0222. bankershillsd.com
Bencotto in Little Italy will serve up a holiday special of spaghetti with pesto and guanciale (an Italian cured meat product) in a Parmigiano bowl. Monday, Dec. 24. Closed Christmas Day. (619) 450-4786. lovebencotto.com
Bistro 39 offers a holiday menu Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve. The three-course prix fixe dinner menu offers entrée choices like beef short ribs or jumbo bacon-wrapped scallops. Monday, Dec. 24 through Monday, Dec. 31. 3939 Ocean Bluff Ave., San Diego. $41.99 per adult; $21.99 per child under age 12. (858) 720-9500.
Bleu Bohème says “Joyeux Noel,” with a three-course prix fixe menu that offers a choice between four entrees: paillard de poulet, made with pan-seared Jidori chicken breast; saumon Bearnaise, made with pan-seared king salmon filet; gnocchi a la Parisienne, made with roasted cauliflower, beluga lentils, butternut squash, broccolini, soubise, romesco and arugula; and boeuf roquerfot, made with braised beef cheek. Canneberge, a cranberry gimlet made with Freeland Spirits Gin, cranberry juice, lime, simple syrup and cranberry bitters, has been crafted for the holidays priced at $12. 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. 4090 Adams Ave., San Diego. $65 per person. (619) 255-4167.
Monello restaurant will be serving a cheese wheel spaghetti with pesto and guanciale (an Italian cured meat product) and a cheese wheel risotto with spinach and bone marrow. Monday, Dec. 24. Closed Christmas Day. (619) 501-0030. lovemonello.com
Mustangs & Burros at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is hosting a four-course chef tasting menu with wine pairings. 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. $75 per person; $25 optional wine pairing. opentable.com
Trust Restaurant will serve its mainstay á la carte menu with choices like a 22-ounce Meyer Ranch bone-in ribeye and maple pecan crème brûlée. Sip on the Last Fall, a fig-infused cocktail, made with rum, green chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino Cherries and lime. 5 to 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. Closed on Christmas Day. (619) 795-6901. trustrestaurantsd.com
JRDN executive chef David Warner is cooking a three-course holiday-inspired dinner on Christmas Day. Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $45-$60 per person; $25 per child under age 12. 723 Felspar St., San Diego. (858) 270-2323. t23hotel.com/play/events/christmas
Rita’s Cantina at Harrah’s Resort Southern California is serving pollo pibil with elote, a citrus and achiote-marinated roasted chicken served with Mexican-style grilled corn, pickled onion slaw, rice and tortillas. Tuesday, Dec. 25. 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. $17.99. (760) 751-3100. harrahssocal.com
Rustic Root is getting into the holiday spirit with its three-course prix fixe Christmas Day menu with dishes like herb-roasted venison loin and stuffed roasted acorn squash, and sweet bites like a yuletide chocolate log and figgy pudding. For an additional $20, guests have the option to select the herb-roasted prime rib. Monday, Dec. 25. 535 Fifth Ave., San Diego. $55 per person. (619) 232-1747.
Seaview Restaurant at Manchester Grand Hyatt is serving a Christmas Day brunch buffet with seafood and sushi, a carving station with honey-mustard glazed ham and spiced winter ale-braised short ribs, and a create-your-own pasta station. Dessert options include mini eggnog cheesecake and a mini doughnut station. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $74 per person; $34 per child 5-12; children 4 and under are free. (619) 358-6735.
The Shores Restaurant Christmas Day buffet is complete with appetizers and side dishes like stone crab salad; entrées like the brown sugar glaze bone-in Kruse ham; and delectable desserts, including gingerbread bread pudding and hazelnut yule log. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $64 per person; special pricing for children 12 and under. (858) 456-0600. theshoresrestaurant.com
Vue at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is serving a Chef’s Christmas Day Brunch with choices like turkey and all the trimmings, cinnamon-glazed Nueske ham and roasted sirloin, along with gourmet vegetables and desserts. Tuesday, Dec. 25. 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad. (800) 854-5000.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Amaya’s Christmas Eve à la carte menu offers savory dishes like Snake River Farms beef duo, and a festive three-course menu with seasonal plates like parsnip soup and braised short rib will be on the menu Christmas Day. 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. À la carte pricing. Noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $115 per person; $30 per child ages 4-12. Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego. (858) 314-1996.
Chandler’s Restaurant is offering two seasonal menus. The Christmas Eve prix fixe dinner offers a choice of entrees: 8-ounce prime-raised short rib, cedar plank mustard-glazed salmon, herb-roasted Jidori half chicken or smoked fettuccine alfredo. The Christmas Day dinner buffet features herb-crusted New York strip, Chandler’s clam chowder, mustard-glazed Atlantic salmon and mesquite-smoked agave-glazed ham. 4 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec.24. Entrée prices vary; $25 per person additional wine pairings. 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $76 per person; $24 per child ages 4-12. Cape Rey Carlsbad, 1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad. (760) 683-5500 or chandlerscarlsbad.com/christmas
The Clubhouse Grill’s will offer guests a Christmas Eve buffet featuring roasted parsnip and candied chestnut soup, brown-butter mashed potatoes, baked ham and a variety of desserts or a bountiful buffet with chilled seafood, sage-hazelnut stuffing, strip loin roast and desserts on Christmas Day. 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. $68 per person; $30 per child ages 4-12. Noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $90 per person; $30 per child ages 4-12. Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego. (858) 314-1996.
Grant Grill is cooking up a multicourse Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feast with entrée choices like New Zealand lamb loin, sautéed Chilean sea bass, mangalitsa porchetta or duck cassoulet. Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 326 Broadway, San Diego. $97 per person; $43 additional wine pairings. (619) 744-2077.
Hope 46 at The Lafayette Hotel is serving a three-course prix fixe dinner with salad or lobster bisque, entrée of your choice and dessert. 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. 2223 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego. $45 per person; $20 per child ages 5-12; children 4 and under are free. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harumama in Little Italy and Carlsbad will serve cult-favorite character steamed buns, as well as a seasonal Snowman ($7.95 for two) filled with butterscotch ginger pudding. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 1901 Columbia St., San Diego and 2958 Madison St., Carlsbad. harumamasd.com
Osetra Seafood & Steaks is serving a Christmas menu with entrées like Chilean sea bass, lobster ravioli, New York strip, cioppino (fish stew) or surf and turf (a filet with three jumbo shrimp in a truffle bordelaise sauce). Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 904 Fifth Ave., San Diego. $54 per person for three-course menu; $69 per person for four-course menu. osetraseafoodandsteaks.com
Provisional Kitchen is serving a four-course menu Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Entrees like herb-crusted pork loin, mushroom gnocchi and 8-ounce prime rib will be served on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day the entrées include winter risotto, California seafood stew and pecan-baked brie. 4 p.m. to closing Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 425 Fifth Ave., San Diego. $80 per person; $25 per child ages 3-12. bit.ly/2zTb5fc
Route 29 offers a full three-course menu with entrée selections like pan-seared scallops, short ribs or rosemary chicken. End your holiday dinner with your choice of limoncello cake or chocolate mousse cake. Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 644 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Price based on entrée selection. (619) 235-8144. route29restaurant.com/christmas
The Marine Room’s Christmas Eve specials include the Spindrift trilogy of lobster tail and Colorado lamb osso buco. On Christmas Day, savor an à la carte menu that features Cervena Farm elk medallions and blackberry cider-brined Mary’s Farm turkey breast. Starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla. Prices vary. (858) 459-7222. marineroom.com
Veladora at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa is serving Christmas Eve Dinner and a Christmas Day Dinner Buffet. The three-course Christmas Eve dinner features dishes like Brandt beef short rib and Chilean sea bass and a selection of seasonal desserts, including vanilla pound cake. The Christmas Day dinner buffet offers slow-poached Baja white prawns, braised lamb and traditional sides, desserts and other fare. 5 to 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. 1 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe. $125 per person (Christmas Eve). $130 per person; $55 per child 11 and under; free to children under age 3. (Christmas Day). (858) 759-6246.
The Westgate Hotel will offer Christmas Eve and Christmas Day four-course prix fixe dinners. 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $69 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A Christmas Day buffet will be served in the Le Fontainebleau Room from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. $89 per person; $40 per child 4-12; free to children under age 3. 1055 Second Ave., San Diego. (619) 238-1818.
Catania is serving its Italian Egg Nog, a chai-infused vodka sipper mixed with cinnamon syrup, orange bitters, a whole egg and topped with grated nutmeg for a festive finish. Closed Tuesday, Dec. 25. 7863 Girard Ave., third floor, La Jolla. (858) 551-5105. cataniasd.com
Eureka! is whisking up some some holiday cheer with its Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned cocktail, a blend of Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, house-made gingerbread syrup, Douglas Fir Liqueur and chocolate and herbal bitters. The limited-time beverage is available through Jan. 1. Locations: 4353 La Jolla Village St., San Diego and 5140 College Ave., San Diego. eurekarestaurantgroup.com
Hundred Proof’s new holiday-themed libations include Cherry Cola Slushie, made with Bounty St. Lucia Spiced Rum, Amaro Montenegro, lime, Coca-Cola and cherry; Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian), made with Holiday Rum Blend, cold brew, passion fruit, coconut cream, lime, pineapple, cinnamon and white chocolate; and Ugly Sweater Party, made with Hamilton’s Jamaican Blonde Rum, Real McCoy 3-Year, butter and spices. Open Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day. 4130 Park Blvd., San Diego. (619) 501-6404. hundredproofsd.com
Madison on Park in University Heights has crafted new cocktails for the season: The Alpine Hunt Club ($13) is made with Future Gin, muddled spruce tips, Amaro Averna Liqueur, Madagascar Vanilla Liqueur and lemon; and the Orchard Thief ($13), is mixed with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, muddled red apple, Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar, allspice dram, lemon and Chimney Cinnamon Syrup. Closed Mondays. 4622 Park Blvd., San Diego. (619) 269-6566. madisononpark.com
Primavera Ristorante will serve two yuletide cocktails, each priced at $14. The Berry Merry Christmas is made with Ketel One Vodka, Chambord Liqueur and limoncello; and the Chocolate Peppermint Stick, is infused with white crème de cacao, peppermint schnapps and cream. 932 Orange Ave., Coronado. (619) 435-0454. primavera1st.com
Spiked at Harrah’s Resort Southern California is dreaming of a white Christmas with its White Christmas Martini ($9), made with white chocolate liqueur and Malibu Rum topped off with a peppermint candy rim. Warm up your holidays with an Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned ($11), mixed with Buffalo Trace Bourbon and finished with three dashes of Jerry Thomas Bitters. 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. (760) 751-3100. harrahssocal.com
Sycamore Den captures the aroma of the forest with its Spruce Moose, a bourbon-rum spruce infusion with cumin-vanilla and Angostura bitters. 3391 Adams Ave., San Diego. (619) 563-9019. sycamoreden.com
Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas will offer all-you-can-drink mimosas, plus special holiday-themed menu items, in addition to regular menu offerings. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. 1108 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. (760) 230-2337. localunion101.com
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