On Christmas Day, as I wipe sweat from my brow while basting a turkey and multitasking pots of various accompaniments, I will exude holiday cheer. Inwardly, I will be silently envious of my friend’s family who, each year, relaxes at Great Taste restaurant, their Christmas mainstay, after getting the heavy lifting over with on Christmas Eve. For those of you who, after a full season of holiday festivities, choose to take it easy on Christmas Day, or who do not celebrate the holiday and are looking for a meal out, there are definitely some options in the greater Hartford area. If you like Asian fare, you can find several delicious choices at various price points. For more traditional holiday fare, you can find restaurants east and west of the river that offer a prix fixe menu. And if you care to travel, check out these restaurants that are open in Fairfield County. Happy holidays!
Mill on the River
For a rustic, New England atmosphere and traditional Christmas dinner, head to Mill on the River. They are offering a prix fixe dinner beginning at noon on Christmas Day. The meal includes choice of seasonal soup or salad, entree (choose from a large selection), and dessert. In addition, a large selection of appetizers are available for order. Call ahead for reservations.
Abigail's Grille and Wine Bar
This 220-year old tavern will be decked out for the holidays. Enjoy a cozy fire and all the trappings of Christmas without the fuss and clean-up. Abigail's is offering a special prixe fix holiday dinner including children. You may also order off of the regular dinner menu. Seatings begin at noon and reservations are strongly suggested.
Ichiro Hibachi and Sushi
In trendy West Hartford Center, Ichiro is a fun way to experience Japanese cuisine. Best known for providing an entertaining dining experience at the open hibachi grill, it also offers a full roll call of sushi and specialty rolls and a well-stocked bar and drink menu.
Blue Elephant Trail
Also in West Hartford Center, Blue Elephant Trail offers a fabulous Thai food experience. The owners make an effort to use local produce when possible and will customize meals to suit your tastes and dietary needs (including gluten-free fare). The restaurant has a small bar.
Great Taste has a loyal following of “Christmas Day-ers,” so go early or call for reservations. It has a large, comfortable dining area and a small bar. This restaurant is revered by many as the closest to authentic Chinese food in the area.
Sakura Garden Japanese Steakhouse
Sakura Garden, with locations in Glastonbury and at the Promenade Shoppes at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor , provides a modern dining experience. The fully stocked bar has two flat screen tvs; the sushi bar is lined with colorful fusion sushi and sashimi; and the dining booths are lined with windows that give you a peek at the hibachi shows offered all day. .
Butterfly Chinese Restaurant
Another popular area Chinese restaurant, Butterfly has a large bar and lounge area in addition to an ample seating area. It is well known for its live piano player and karaoke on weekends. The food is fresh and you will find familiar items on the menu.
Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan
Located in West Hartford Center, the Shish Kebab House offers comfortable, roomy seating with traditional Afghan decor, a quiet atmosphere, and delicious, authentic cuisine. They currently plan to be open Christmas Day if they receive reservations.