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Where to eat this holiday season

Photo courtesy of North Pond restaurant

Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry—and our guide to the best of holiday dining in the city will have you doing all three in style, from now until New Year’s Day. Please enjoy, and out of respect for your holiday—when we believe your inbox should only be filled with messages from friends and family—you won’t hear a peep from us until January 2015. Happy Holidays from everyone at BBE!

North Pond's stylish New Year's Eve feast
Trying to think of a way to go out on New Year’s Eve but still avoid crazy crowds, loud parties, and drunks? Or, at least want to be well fed before venturing to the party? Head to North Pond for their New Year’s Eve feast. They’ll be serving a seven-course tasting menu for $120 per person—a relative bargain,on a NYE filled with inflated prices. The meal will including lobster consommé with caviar, foie gras with chestnuts, and scallops with Brussels sprouts and apple-celeriac jam.

When: Wednesday, December 31
Where: North Pond, 2610 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago, IL 60614

Southern Christmas Eve at Big Jones
At Big Jones, they don’t mess around about holidays, and this December 24, they’re offering A Christmas Eve Reveillion. Be sure to get your tickets for this five-course treat for the senses, which will include antique dishes like oyster and Carolina Gold rice perlau, heritage American buff goose gumbo, creamed venison pie, and rum and nutmeg bread pudding. All this feasting is just $49 a person. Limited availability; for reservations, call 773-275-5725.

When: Wednesday, December 24, 4 PM–9 PM
Where: Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640

The Best Time to Dine at Eataly
Have you been dying to get into Eataly but dreading the crowds? Christmas Eve is the perfect time, as many of Eataly’s smaller restaurants will be taking reservations for one night only. Get perfect veggies at Le Verdure, some of the best beef in the city at La Carne, or fresh oysters, clams, and fish at La Pesce, all without fighting the tourists. They’re even dressing the place up for the occasion with tablecloths and candles.

When: Wednesday, December 24
Where: Eataly, 42 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611

Find out who is naughty or nice at Travelle
Skip slaving in the kitchen preparing your own holiday feast this year and head to Travelle for a glamorous “Naughty or Nice” family-style dinner celebration. On Christmas, they’ll be presenting two menus: Nice (featuring healthier vegetable and seafood dishes) and Naughty (with rich, rustic meat dishes). Guests can mix and match dishes like lobster bisque, duck leg confit with roasted apples, suckling pig with sweet potato and mustard, and dry-rubbed beef tenderloin with seared foie gras and roasted mushrooms. Either feast goes for $79 per person; call 312-923-7705 for reservations

When: Thursday, December 25
Where: Travelle, 330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

Lu’au-it-up at Mott Street
Maybe you’ve set your sights on having a more raucous NYE? Head to Mott Street and beat the cold with a tiki-themed Lu’au party, complete with torches, live calypso music, and tropical plants. They’re serving a 10-course Hawaiian feast, complete with roasted pig, and, of course, plenty of tiki cocktails to help you ring in the New Year. Two seatings are available at 5:30 and 8:30 PM.

When: Wednesday, December 31
Where: Mott Street, 1401 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60622

Slurp oysters in the New Year at Shaw’s
When you need to recover from the party, head to Shaw’s. They’re hosting a New Year’s Day Brunch from 10 AM to 2 PM that will include a full brunch buffet, seafood Benedicts, and more. The oyster bar opens at 11:30 AM, and their half-priced oysters start at 4 PM. Hang around all day—it’s a holiday, there’s nowhere else you need to be.

When: Thursday, January 1
Where: Shaw’s Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60611

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