Where to Indulge in Special Holiday Lunch at Boston Restaurants This Season
Celebrate with a festive feast at Orfano, No. 9 Park, and more of Boston's finest restaurants.
Savor this busy season by making time for an indulgent lunch with colleagues, family and friends. Annual favorites like No. 9 Park return with weekday lunch on the Boston Common—perfect for an après-skating warm-up—and new spots, like Orfano, also make December days merry and bright. Check out the festive lunch offerings below, and happy holidays.
For its second holiday season on Lovejoy Wharf, Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli’s Farm Coast-inspired restaurant is feeling the spirit all season long with ultra-festive lunch and brunch specials. If your errands bring you near North Station, stop here for festive menu additions like Nantucket Bay scallop crudo with caviar and champagne soubise; Massachusetts steak frites with a Scituate lobster tail; personal tins of caviar; and bottles of Champagne in all sizes. Seasonal brunch on Saturdays and Sundays also continues until the New Year.
Thursday, Nov. 28-Tuesday, Dec. 31, Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sundays 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com.
The talented team around bartender and restaurateur Ran Duan serves up weekday lunch all year long, but for the first time this season, his Brookline spot is going all out ahead of Hanukkah and Christmas. Alongside the regular menu of excellent cocktails and Sichuan fare like spicy pork dumplings, dan dan noodles, and Chongqing chicken, look out for a special holiday cocktail menu available during lunch hours from Monday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Dec. 20. Reservations are available that week for both the bar and tables.
Monday, Dec. 16-Friday, Dec. 20, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 295 Washington St., Brookline, 617-734-1870, blossombarbrookline.com.
Grill 23 & Bar
The halls at this incomparable steakhouse are decked in twinkling lights and greenery for holiday lunch to return for the season on December 11. Cozy up by the fireplace for an indulgent 100-day dry-aged steak, a big bowl of rigatoni bolognese with hand-dipped ricotta, and more from executive chef Peter Agostinelli and team. It’s all paired with the exemplary wine program led by sommelier Brahm Callahan.
Weekdays, December 11-20, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 161 Berkeley St., Boston, 617-542-2255, grill23.com.
Island Creek Oyster Bar
For the second annual season, chef Jeremy Sewall and his team at Kenmore Square’s oyster bar are hosting a special Friday lunch series in December. The a la carte menu features Island Creek favorites alongside seasonal specials like blue crab cacio e pepe, and fried clam bao buns with habanero remoulade, plus caviar additions, a robust raw bar, magnums of Champagne, and sparkling cocktails.
Fridays, December 6, 13, 20, and 27, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-532-5300, islandcreekoysterbar.com.
For a few days between Christmas and New Year’s, Somerville café Juliet will serve high tea inspired by the pastoral world of Wind in the Willows. The Mole’s Basic Basket is full of simple pleasures from chef Joshua Lewin, like radishes and butter with watercress on brioche, lemon-chicken salad, and scones; then there are add-ons like “OK, Toad!” which comes with an ounce of caviar, blini, and scrambled eggs. Each option is complete with the party’s choice of tea.
December 27-29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 257 Washington St., Somerville, 617-718-0958, julietsomerville.com.
No. 9 Park
Holiday lunch at this Beacon Hill spot is an annual tradition—preceded by a skate around the Frog Pond, it’s a surefire way to create lasting memories. Warm up with Barbara Lynch Collective classics like onion soup, a duet of goose, and the cookie cart during an a la carte feast, or linger over a five-course tasting menu ($75). There is an optional wine pairing, and guest bartenders will join the fun throughout the season.
Weekdays, December 2-20 plus Saturday, Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 9 Park St., Boston, 617-742-9991, no9park.com.
Tiffani Faison’s glamorous new spot has been serving up soul-warming Italian cuisine, whimsical desserts, and ice cold martinis during dinner hours for the past three months. To celebrate its first holiday season, the Fenway hotspot is adding an elevated lunch service, featuring four- and six-course menus and exemplary drinks from wine director Charlie Gaeta, beverage director Brian Callahan, and expert guests. Alongside new dishes like gnocchi with candied hazelnuts, truffle and chive; stuffed quail with a Brussels sprout wreath; and uni service with sparkling wines, say hello to visiting sommeliers and bartenders, including master sommelier candidate Lauren Daddona (Dec. 17), and Ryan Lotz of Shore Leave (Dec. 19). Different wine pros and drink-makers will be on hand each day for lunch, and next-door sister bar Fool’s Errand will open early at 3 p.m. throughout the season to keep spirits bright.
Weekdays, December 9-20, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., 1391 Boylston St., Boston, 617-916-9600, orfanoboston.com.
Swing into the season with a three-course lunch at the swanky, Las Vegas-style Italian joint at the new Encore Boston Harbor casino. For $29 per person, chef TJ Ricciardi is offering the likes of grilled octopus and Maine lobster hush puppies with espelette butter; chicken picatta; and a wood-grilled Mediterranean sea bass with citrus-braised fennel for his first holiday lunch series. It’s happening the first three Thursdays and Fridays in December, beginning Friday, Dec. 6.
Thursdays and Fridays, December 6-20, noon-2:30 p.m., Encore Boston Harbor, One Broadway, Everett, 857-770-3310, encorebostonharbor.com.
This coastally inspired Harvard Square restaurant is always open for weekday lunch, but for the month of December, it features a prix-fixe menu option riffing on the Feast of Seven Fishes. Chef Michael Scelfo grew up celebrating this Italian Christmas tradition, and he’s bringing those memories to each course, from garlic-roasted clams tossed with parsley cavatelli pasta and a citrus gremolata, to the holiday cookie plate for dessert. The $45 menu ($65 with wines) joins the regular lunch menu through December 23.
Weekdays, December 2-23, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 1030 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-864-2300, waypointharvard.com.
Some long lost holiday traditions, like the Jordan Marsh Enchanted Village, are gone from Downtown Crossing. But extravagant lunch at Locke-Ober continues every Friday this season at its successor, Yvonne’s. Culinary director Tom Berry pays homage to the past with recipes straight from Locke-Ober menus—think: baked lobster Thermidor, and a huge and indulgent dessert trifle.
Fridays, November 29-December 20, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 2 Winter Place, Boston, 617-267-0047, yvonnesboston.com.