For those of us that celebrate the holiday, there's nothing quite like a Christmas dinner. Whether you're going for a traditional meal or something a bit more modern, there are a lot of restaurants offering dinner on Christmas or Christmas Eve. Here are nine of our favorite options.
Feast of the Seven Fishes
Several local restaurants will honor the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian celebration of Christmas Eve:
Bella Luna: This year is the last Feast for Bella Luna, whose owner, Harry Stephens, is retiring. Get a buffet with seven fish options (such as salmon, sole, prosciutto-wrapped monkfish and traditional Italian baccala), non-seafood choices, four kinds of pasta, sides and desserts such as Limoncello cookies and stuffoli. The menu is available Dec. 23-24 and is $34.99 for adults and $14.99 for children. Call 513-871-5862 for reservations. 4632 Eastern Ave., Linwood. bellalunacincy.com
Piccolo Casa: Piccolo Casa, the new incarnation of chef Mark Bodenstein's NuVo, is celebrating its first Feast of the Seven Fishes. For $55, get a four-course, all-seafood tasting menu; wine pairings are additional. Call 859-415-1308 for reservations. 308 Greenup St., Covington. www.piccolocovington.com
Lalo: Would you like to celebrate Christmas with a Latin-Asian fusion flair? Head to Court Street, where Lalo will be open for Christmas Eve dinner. Enjoy favorite Chinese specialities with a kick, such as chipotle chicken spring rolls and drunken brisket, and other delicious options. Lalo does takeout as well -- it’s perfect for noshing while wrapping last-minute Christmas gifts. 29 E. Court St., Downtown. 513-381-4848; www.facebook.com/lalocincinnati/
Metropole: For a traditional Christmas Eve dinner, chef Jared Bennett will smoke prime rib with a side of twice-baked potatoes. (Metropole also will offer its regular a la carte menu.) You also can celebrate the season with the restaurant’s extensive cocktail list: Try the Wise Words with prosecco, sage, apple and pear, or the Fire-Cide chat, with bourbon, fire cider, Cardamaro and Cabernet Sauvignon. 609 Walnut St., Downtown. 513-578-6660; www.metropoleonwalnut.com
Banana Leaf Modern Thai: There isn't a lot of chef-driven Thai, but chef Pom Tongdangjoue has a winter menu filled with Thai favorites and a few less-traditional items, such as wild boar, "Merry Berry" curry (with sweet potatoes, red apples and cranberries) and Thai-glazed grouper. 101 E. Main St., Mason. 513-234-0779; www.bananaleafmodernthai.com
BB Riverboats: The weather might be frightful outside, but the interior of a BB Riverboat is nice and toasty. There are lots of delicious options on BB’s Christmas buffet to eat while riding up and down the Ohio River, such as ham, turkey roulade, beef loin and a sweet potato and mashed potato bar (to customize your potatoes as you want). This is a fun way for out-of-town relatives to see our beautiful city and enjoy a meal at the same time. $50 adults, $30 children. Make reservations online: www.bbriverboats.com/christmas_eve_cruise or call 800-261-8586. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport.
The Celestial: If you're looking for a jazzy Christmas with a view, the Celestial is a great bet. Whether you're craving steak, a raw bar or something in between, this is a great dinner in plush surroundings. It's a little old-fashioned -- and a lot delicious. 1071 Celestial St., Mount Adams. 513-241-4455; thecelestial.com
Coppin's: Coppin's will feature a Christmas Day brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Think holiday favorites like turkey, prime rib and smoked fish. $55 adults, $45 seniors and $19 children. Call 859-905-6800 for reservations. 683 Madison Ave, Covington. 866-501-1700; hotelcovington.com/dining/coppins
King Wok: My traditional Christmas dinner if I'm in town? King Wok. You'll see international students who haven't gone home for Christmas break, as well as locals young and old, enjoying fish specials (from those tanks in the back), dim sum, traditional Chinese food and "Americanized" Chinese food. I order General Tso's and Lo Mein. The leftovers are great on Boxing Day or just late at night, cold out of the refrigerator. It's available for take-out or dine in. 203 W. McMillan St., CUF. 513-723-1999; www.kingwokcincinnati.com