The year was fantastic for the Chicago Cubs, and one local restaurant encourages diners to relish in their greatest season one more time during the holidays. Another wants guests to revel in the season by doing a bit of karaoke after some liquid courage. Some ethnic delights range from Feast of the Seven Fishes to a Cuban-themed Christmas Eve dinner. Of course, you'll also find plenty of dining destinations offering traditional celebrations for those looking for low-key evenings with the family.
Hanukkah (Dec. 24-Jan. 1)
Bistronomic. The sleek Gold Coast spot with Parisian flair offers a contemporary take on traditional Hanukkah dishes throughout the holiday. Chef Martial Noguier has created a three-course, prix-fixe feast with choices like prime beef short ribs, yellow Walleye Pike, and vegetarian entrees. For dessert, there are house-made "Kit Kat" bars--certain to get the kids excited. The menu is $65 per person ($20 for children). Dinner hours are 5-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 5-9 p.m. Sunday.
840 N. Wabash Ave., 312-944-8400
City Winery. The second outpost of the New York City-based urban winery is located in the West Loop neighborhood and will be open throughout the holidays. In addition to holding the title as the city’s only fully operational winery, the sprawling venue serves as a restaurant, live-music venue and retail store. Genres are all over the place as far as music; it ranges from folk to funk. Hours are 5 p.m.-midnight daily. 1200 W. Randolph St., 312-733-9463
The Walnut Room. Reservations are fully booked through the year, but it's always worth the wait to dine at this legendary restaurant in Macy's. After shopping, nosh on the famed chicken pot pies, plus sandwiches, soups and other bites. The addition of a clubby wine bar appeals to the area’s after-work crowd as well as tourists. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 111 N. State St., 312-781-3139
Feast of the Seven Fishes (Dec. 24)
Nico Osteria. Certain to be the most luxurious Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration in the city, Nico's five-course, family-style menu is $125 per person. It's an indulgence as guests will get to sample some of the best signature dishes at this top seafood restaurant. Get ready for the chef's selection of crudo, lobster spaghetti, oven-poached branzino and more. It's located on the first level of Thompson Chicago Hotel. Reservations are available 3-10 p.m. and the regular menu will also be offered.
1015 N. Rush St., 312-994-7100
Osteria Via Stato. Executive Chef David DiGregorio whips up a super supper inspired by his family's traditions from his homeland of Rome. The multi-course, holiday meal captures the spirit of Italy with an abundance of seafood dishes from around the country, plus dessert and sides. The cost is $59.95 per person. The regular menu will also be offered. Reservations are available 4-9:30 p.m. 620 N. State St., 312-642-8450
RPM Italian. Another modern version of the classic Italian celebration occurs, this time at River North hot spot RPM Italian. Guests will be greeted with an array of antipasti and traditional fare--think frutti di mare with artisanal pasta and roasted Maine lobster—before coming to a sweet ending. It is $75 per person (plus tax; gratuity not included). In addition to this feast, the RPM Italian dinner menu will also be available. Hours are 3-11 p.m. 52 W. Illinois St., 312-222-1888
Christmas Eve (Dec. 24)
Big Jones. Chef Paul Fehribach showcases his obsession with the rich, Southern Creole cuisine at his Andersonville gem with a four-course Réveillon dinner. It includes dishes such as heritage American buff goose gumbo, curried carrot bisque and creamed venison pie. It's $50 per person and $20 for children under 12. Reservations are strongly recommended, and the restaurant is open 4-9 p.m. 5347 N. Clark St., 773-275-5725
Bub City. Dig into hearty portions of some of the city's finest BBQ, then get ready for live band karaoke beginning at 10 p.m. Guests are encouraged to don their best "ugly" Christmas sweaters as they belt out their favorite holiday tunes onstage. The top three contestants with the loudest round of applause will duke it out for a chance to win two tickets to Bub City's annual New Year’s Eve party and $100 in Bub City certificates. 435 N. Clark St., 312-610-4200
Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse. Holidays at Harry Caray's are always a hoot as staffers try their very best to make you feel like you're at home. The Christmas Eve dinner menu will remind you of home cooking too: Some of the highlighted dishes for the evening include roasted lamb chops, sweet potato soup and scallop and short rib risotto. Harry Caray's was Cubs central during the World Series and it continues to be throughout the holidays. The restaurant has special hours for Christmas Eve: 11:30 a.m.– 7:30 p.m. in the bar and 4-7 p.m. in the dining room.
33 W. Kinzie St., 312-828-0966
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club. Diners who donate at least one non-perishable food item will receive 50 percent off the holiday prix-fixe dinner for Christmas Eve or Christmas (The menu is also available on Dec. 23). All donations benefit a local charity, and it'll be worth the effort as chef JoAnn Witherell's menu includes seasonal favorites such as herb-marinated roasted turkey breast served with stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans and pumpkin pie tart. That's $25 with the donation ($50 without) and includes one cocktail.
Live entertainment will be provided by female impersonators. 3700 N. Halsted St., 773-525-1111
Nacional 27. Spice up the season with a Cuban-themed Christmas Eve dinner at this long-time Latin-focused restaurant. For $45 per person, guests may dive into a four-course, prix-fixe menu that includes hearts of palm salad, ropa vieja, slow-roasted suckling pig Cubano and spice-rubbed jumbo prawns. Guests may add an optional ceviche course for $9, along with a mojito or margarita for $11. Reservations are available 5-10 p.m. 325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727
Ramen-san. How cozy is this? Generous bowls of piping hot noodles, authentic Asian beer and holiday classics like "Home Alone," "Jingle All The Way" and "The Santa Clause" play on the large screens as you settle in with family and/or friends. That's happening at the trendy River North ramen bar 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 59 W. Hubbard St., 312-377-9950
R.J. Grunts. The iconic, family-oriented restaurant offers one of the best brunch buffets in town--and it's affordable, too. For $15.95, diners may chow down on healthy portions of thick-cut bacon, mini-Belgian waffles, French toast and more. As always, the world famous salad bar will be available (and included in the price). The event occur 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 2056 North Lincoln Park West, 773-929-5363
Christmas (Dec. 25)
Cafe des Architectes. Reservations are highly recommended for the holiday dinner featured at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower's French-focused eatery. Guests may make reservations between 5 to 10 p.m. with a three-course, prix-fixe menu with offerings such as foie gras torchon, roasted goose breast, roasted pumpkin gnocchi and white chocolate caramel eggnog. It is $65 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Following dinner, guests are encouraged to wind down with cocktails near Le Bar's fireplace.
20 E. Chestnut St., 312-324-4063
Langham Chicago. The posh British hotel hosts a lavish Christmas Day buffet, featuring a full seafood buffet and chef action stations. It's served 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended. It's $135 per person ($20 unlimited Mimosa option available); $50 for children. 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-9988
Lockwood Restaurant. Located within Palmer House Hilton, the restaurant this year features an a la carte menu of updated holiday dishes like bourbon-planked duck breast, duck confit Wellington and sweet potato crème creme brulee. Reservations are required by calling 312-917-3404. 17 E. Monroe St.
Vermilion. Here's a holiday dinner with an Indian-Latin twist. Revel in the colorful vibe of this exotic eatery as you relish in a five-course menu. It's available on Dec. 24-25 with dishes like Latin roasted cumin sweet potato empanadas, Indian mango coriander ham, and garlic cilantro quinoa. One of the specialty cocktails is coconut saffron creme, a Latin-Indian version of eggnog. It's $50 per person. 10 W. Hubbard St., 312-527-4060