Edible Events: Holiday Edition

Stuck for Christmas and New Year plans? Here's some suggestions.

Now that we’re at the end of the third week in December, I’m so burned out on weekend shopping, crooned classics, and marathons of Elf , that it’s going to take a lot more than spiked eggnog to get me excited about the holidays. Fortunately, we’ve accumulated a number of great culinary escapes that will coax you out of your stupor and into a frame of mind capable of handling plastic flutes of cheap bubbles and the cheery cadence of Ryan Seacrest.

Other than Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, there isn’t a more striking Christmas visual than Scrooge donning a top hat, with Tiny Tim perched on his shoulder and a goose in hand. Cambridge’s Upstairs on the Square celebrates this archetype of good cheer with three evenings of strolling carolers and geese-related fare. Indulge in Roasted Radicchio and Geese Confit; Brandy-Basted Goose Breast with Whipped Chestnut puree; and candied chestnuts in syrup over vanilla ice cream.
$58 per person, tonight, 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge, (617) 864-1933, www.upstairsonthesquare.com.

Of all the classic moments in Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, my favorite has to be Ralphie and his family eating at Chop Suey Palace after Bumpus’ hounds devour the holiday bird. Perhaps no one appreciates this unconventional approach to Christmas  better than the Jewish families who have embraced Chow Mein and Chinese turkey (Peking Duck) in their holiday repertoire. Michael Leviton, chef/owner of Lumiere , will pay homage on Christmas Eve by featuring a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of classic Chinese takeout with a menu that includes: five spice pork tenderloin and crispy braised pork belly with Chinese greens and XO sauce; chow fun with Maine Shrimp and black vinegar; and Chinese black chicken soup with ginger, ginseng, and jujubes. He’ll also have Jewish specialties like potato latkes with smoked sable.
Pricing a la carte, December 24th 5:30pm-9:00pm, 1293 Washington Street, West Newton, (617) 244-9199, www.lumiererestaurant.com.

If you’ve ever renounced your holiday hosting duties, you know what a revelation it is to feast on the labor of others. For Christmas day, Chef Markus Ripperger has put together a celebratory prix fixe menu with upscale classics like: Pan-Seared New England Scallops with Saffron Risotto, Moroccan Spiced Rack of Lamb with sauteed Butternut Squash, and Boston Cream Pie. Relax alongside the beautiful view of Boston Harbor and distract a loved one long enough to steal a forkful of their Eggnog Cheesecake.
$45 per adult( does not include taxes, gratuity, or alcoholic beverages), December 25th , 5pm-12am, 220 Northern Ave., Boston, (617) 227-0754, www.75onlibertywharf.com.

Towne Stove & Spirits will be hearkening in the New Year with Prohibition-era attire, flapper girls, and a champagne toast. Enjoy classic hors d’oeuvres prepared by legendary Culinary Director Lydia Shire and experience live music in Towne’s swanky upstairs dining and lounge areas. Rekindle Jay Gatsby’s ceaseless West Egg jamboree and drink enough bubbly to forget that Baz Lurman ever got his hands on Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.
$80 per person, December 31st 9pm-2am, 900 Boylston St., Boston, (617) 247-0400, www.towneboston.com. For VIP tables, please email: kritter@towneboston.com.

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