Restaurant News

Ask the Editor: What Restaurants Have the Best Holiday Decorations?

These friends want to find the most festive dining room this season.


Welcome to Ask the Editor, Boston magazine’s dining advice column. Need a restaurant recommendation? Ask a pro.

Capo Restaurant holiday decorations

Holiday scenes at Capo. / Photos provided

Question:

What is the best holiday-decorated restaurant recommendation for a festive dinner? Thank you!

—H.M.

From rustic boughs of greenery to tacky tinsel, there is no shortage of seasonal beauty decorating dining rooms around the city. Boston even has a full-on Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar. Check out Maccabee Bar this week at Better Sorts Social Club, as well as the Christmas-themed Miracle Bar popping up at the Hotel Marlowe all season long. Also consider places that host festive holiday lunch, such as Grill 23 and Bar, and Yvonne’s. But in the spirit of spreading holiday cheer, I’ll pick different decked-out restaurants for your inquiry.

Cozy up at Capo, which has fancy evergreen wreaths, twinkling white lights, and stockings hung with care above a roaring fireplace. With hearty Italian fare like scallop saltimbocca, lobster gnocchi, and veal Milanese, dinner there is almost like Christmas Eve at Nonna’s house; and house-made desserts by pastry chef Kate Holowchik, such as olive oil cake with gingerbread crumble, will certainly get you in the holiday spirit. (443 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-993-8080, caposouthboston.com)

North Square Oyster also comes through with the vintage Italian Christmas vibes. The North End restaurant’s snug, side bar recently reopened, and the glittering lights reflecting off the tin ceiling add to the warm ambiance. (5 North Square, Boston, 617-829-4975, northsquareoyster.com)

The rustic, woodland-themed decor at Douzo Sushi is fantastical. Scenes featuring miniature deer, and owls nesting in fluffy snow, can be spotted through the windows from Dartmouth Street, while gold baubles adorn woven wreaths inside, and white twigs twinkle with lights. It’s tasteful, and a bit extra—just like this Back Bay restaurant’s innovative Japanese cuisine. (131 Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-859-8886, douzosushi.com)

If you’d rather pair sushi with kitsch, head to Hojoko. The retro-cute, rock ‘n’ roll-themed, Fenway neighborhood izakaya does it up with colorful lights, big red bows, and garlands of rainbow-white tinsel. With shareable plates like sashimi and maki rolls, potstickers, and robata-grilled chicken wings, it’s an instant holiday party. (1271 Boylston St., Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com)

And finally, head to any location of the Smoke Shop BBQ for good cheer and tender brisket. All three locations of Andy Husbands’s barbecue joint get into the spirit with red garland strung ’round stacks of wood headed for the smoker, and Christmas trees in candy-colored shades of tinsel. It’s a lovely setting in which to indulge in Andy’s Baller Flight of Pappy van Winkle bourbon. (1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-RIBS; 343 Congress St., Seaport, Boston, 617-261-RIBS; 325 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-623-RIBS; thesmokeshopbbq.com)

Have a merry and bright season dining out around Boston!

Hojoko holiday decorations

Holiday scenes at Hojoko. / Photos by Alyssa DiPasquale and Brian Samuels