The holidays are a joyous time ... unless you are the one cooking. It's a lot less fun if you're hustling in the kitchen while the rest of the family is celebrating.
If you’d rather enjoy a meal out than spend hours preparing one, some Long Island restaurants are open to serve dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some even have kid-friendly menus. So take a look at this list to see which spots have the right menu for you. Call ahead for reservations, and for more seasonal activities and events this month, check out our holiday guide and December GoList.
Atlantica at The Allegria — Long Beach
80 West Broadway
Atlantica is serving on Christmas Day from 11am to 5pm. The menu features entrees such as filet of sole, butternut squash ravioli, and black pepper-crusted prime rib.
The Carltun — East Meadow
The Carltun is hosting a “Dinner With Santa” on Christmas Eve from 3 to 8 pm. Join Santa, Christmas carolers, and singer Johnny Avino. Dinner is $85, $35 for children 3 to 10.
RELATED: Where kids can dine with Santa on LI
Eric's Italian Bistro offers signature specialties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Eric's Italian Bistro — Mineola
70 Old Country Road
Eric's serves modern and classical Italian cuisine. Christmas dinner starts at noon with an a la carte menu that includes such entrees as chianti-braised lamb steak, an 8-ounce Brazilian lobster tail and boneless chicken Scarpariello. The kids menu features three $9.95 options: chicken fingers with fries, linguine with meatballs or penne in butter. The restaurant is also open on Christmas Eve.
Morton's — Great Neck
777 Northern Boulevard
Celebrate Christmas Eve and Day at Morton's, a legendary national steakhouse chain.
Prime — Huntington
117 New York Avenue
The restaurant's regular menu is available on Christmas Eve, as well as specials to be announced.
Jewel — Melville
400 Broadhollow Road (Route 110)
Enjoy a prix fixe dinner (price to be announced) on Christmas Eve.
RELATED: A dozen great things to do with kids on Long Island during the holidays
Verace offers a traditional Italian menu in an inviting setting in downtown Islip.
Verace — Islip
599 Main Street
The regular menu is available on Christmas Eve at this Italian restaurant, as well as specials to be announced.
Wave Seafood Kitchen at Danford's Hotel and Marina — Port Jefferson
25 East Broadway
Visit Wave on Christmas Eve for an a la carte menu, plus some special items that also will be available. The Christmas Day buffet is $56.95 for adults, $24.95 for children 4 to 12. Children 3 and younger are free. Call ahead for one of five seating times.
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Kid-friendly 110 Japan Sushi Lounge offers steak with a Japanese twist.
110 Japan Sushi Lounge — Huntington Station
179 Walt Whitman Road
This Japanese steakhouse is taking reservations for Christmas Day for its hibachi grills, table seating, and sushi bar. It is kid-friendly and perfect for large groups.
aMano brings a hint of the Tuscan countryside to Mattituck, using ingredients sourced from local farms.
aMano — Mattituck
13550 Main Road
aMano brings Tuscan tradition to the North Fork, and is open Christmas Eve from 4 to 8pm. The regular menu is served, as well as a “Feast of the Seven Fishes” menu, which features monkfish, branzino, squid-ink linguine, and butter-poached lobster. Reservations are required.
The Inn Spot on The Bay— Hampton Bays
32 Lighthouse Road
A beautiful Victorian on the water, The Inn is open on Christmas Eve beginning at 5pm, and on Christmas Day, serving dinner from 2 to 7pm.
RELATED: Long Island homes decorated for the holidays
The 1770 House serves up sophisticated American cuisine in a holiday atmosphere.
1770 House — East Hampton
143 Main Street
The main dining room here features a sophisticated fine dining menu. Downstairs, the Tavern is more casual and offers traditional pub fare. The final seating is at 8pm.
This article was originally published in 2012. It was updated in December 2017
Top photo via Bigstock
All other photos courtesy of the restaurants