Take a break from holiday cooking and dine at one of the area restaurants open for Christmas Eve and offering holiday specials. There are even a few spots open on Christmas Day.
1., 20 W. Algonquin Road in Algonquin, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for traditional lunch menu and dinner seating is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. offering an all-you-can-eat international sushi and seafood buffet. It is decorated for the holidays with red and green tablecloths and lights. Reservations are recommended to allow for adequate time and seating.
"Walk-ins are welcome, but there is occasionally a short wait time, especially early in the evening," said Port Edward's Director Bob Sandidge. Port Edward was not open last year for Christmas Eve, but expects plenty of traffic this year. For reservations, call 847-658-5960.
2. Located at 2160 Lake Cook Road in Algonquin, is fully decorated both in and out for the holidays. Dinner seating is available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and reservations are recommended. The regular menu will be available in addition to lamb racks, veal chops, seafood risotto, and a variety of other options. Owner Michael Mandile said
"This will be our 12th annual Christmas Eve dinner." They expect many customers. "The return of the customers is high. Over half have been coming for 12 years straight and consider dinner with us a tradition," Mandile said. For reservations, visit www.mandilesrestaurant.com or call 847-458-4000.
3. Montarra Grill, 1491 South Randall Road, Algonquin, is also open and seats from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It offers a variety of steaks and seafood with popular dishes such as Chateaubriand of Prime Beef Tenderloin with Scampi Lobster, Whipped Yukon Potato and Sauch Au Poivre. Reservations are highly recommended.
"We have always been open Christmas Eve and we expect to be at the capacity the entire evening," said David Perlick, head chef. For reservations, call 847-458-0505.
4. Golden Corral, 1591 S. Randall Road in Algonquin, is also open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. It offers its traditional buffet at $11.99 for all-you-can-eat. General Manager Ziya Senturk said, "We've been open the last two years on Christmas Eve. It is about 30 percent more [busy] than a normal day." Reservations are not required. For more information, call 847-658-8899.
5. , 8 S. Main St. in Algonquin, is open beginning at 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. or later, depending on how busy the restaurant is. Reservations are recommended and special menu items include seafood risotto, surf and turf, as well as stuffed duck breast. A variety of holiday drinks and desserts are also available including red velvet cake. "Last year was our first in business and we were open the 24th," said Manager Klara Cukova. For reservations, call 847-658-5600.
6. Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria, 220 N. Randall Road in Lake in the Hills, is open regular hours of 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and reservations are not required. Standard menu is available. The club portion of the restaurant is also open at 10 p.m. Christmas Day for those looking to go out after the holiday.
7. , 1604 Randall Rd. in Algonquin, is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. offering special drinks and menu items like Waygu beef and Spinach Bacon Gorgonzola Norwegian Salmon, amongst other entrees. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Sarah Bender, MSL representative on behalf of Bonefish, said "[We] keep holiday hours consistent every year. Christmas Eve tends to be very busy." For reservations, call 847-658-9268.
8. , in Algonquin at 1508 S. Randall Road is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The menu is standard, and reservations are recommended. "We were open last year and not very busy, but we have a lot of reservations this year," said Manager Joe Dydio. For reservations, call 847-658-4560.
9. , 1524 S. Randall Road, is open from 11:30 a.m. and seats until 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Specials include Gnocchi Papata Rossa, a fresh chicken featuring roasted portabella mushrooms and other sides with red sauce and Saith Alla Sardinia, a seared fillet with sautéed shrimp and more.
"We've been open on Christmas Eve for six years and have been very busy," Manager Jason Chablani said. For reservations, call 847-658-5040.
10. , 1130 S. Main St. in Algonquin, is open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve offers standard menu and kitchen hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day offers a $20 dynamite buffet with seating from noon to 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended and buffet items include oysters, shrimp, prime rib, beef, ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and more.
"We've been open for 22 years on Christmas Day and it's our busiest day of the year," said Owner John Wesolowski. For reservations, call 847-658-7641.