Christmas at a Restaurant: Five Deals in Fort Lauderdale / Aventura

Categories: Food Holidays
Nina Matthews Photography

Sure it's traditional to have Christmas dinner at home. Holiday movies and television practically make it mandatory to have a huge tableful of adoring friends and family gather around for Christmas dinner. Even The Who's from How The Grinch Stole Christmas shared a "roast beast" with The Grinch on Christmas day.

But the harsh reality is that you'll wind up spending hundreds of dollars at the market and hours in the kitchen, only to be faced with mountains of dirty dishes to clean while everyone else is watching It's a Wonderful Life. This year, boycott your kitchen and let some of South Florida's best restaurants serve up the holiday meal. These restaurants offer delicious Christmas Day menus, none of which offer roast beast.

Chef Allen's , 19088 NE 29 Ave, Aventura, FL 33186, (305) 935-2900. Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 6-11pm. Reservations recommended. Chef Allen Susser combines his award-winning mix of Caribbean, Latin and America fare to create a special three course Christmas menu. Selections include roasted Cornish hen with fig jam, seared jumbo scallops with pumpkin risotto and wood-grilled lamb chops with root vegetables. Three course Christmas Eve or Christmas Day menu is $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).

Old Heidelberg, 900 State Road 84, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315, (954) 463-6747. Open Christmas Day from noon-9:00pm. If you're a fan of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", you're probably wondering where you can get a good Christmas Goose in South Florida. Old Heidelberg is serving up a special Christmas menu that includes Christmas Goose with potato dumplings ($26.95), German Duck with stuffing ($20.95). Freak out the kiddies and order the pecan-encrusted venison ($26.95) and tell them it's one of Santa's reindeers that were too slow transporting him from the North Pole. All dinners come with a choice of soup or salad.

China Grill at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, 1881 SE 17 Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316, (954) 759-9950. Open Christmas Day from 6-11pm. Bar opens at 5pm. If you're looking for a Christmas dinner with some exotic influences, China Grill is offering some holiday favorites with a distinct Asian flair. Roast Christmas Goose "Mu-shu" is served with a duck comfit and ginger plum jus ($56) and their China Grill "Surf & Turf" is a 10oz grilled filet mignon and half Maine lobster served with baby bok choy and morel and shiitake mushroom sauté ($85). Regular ala carte menu will be offered, as well.

Shooter's Cafe, 3033 NE 32nd Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308, (954) 566-2855. Open Christmas Day from 11:30am-7:30pm with dinner seatings every two hours, starting at 11:30. Call for reservations. Shooter's is offering something for everyone this Christmas with a Christmas Buffet featuring roast chicken, ham, turkey and a prime rib carving station. A dessert buffet is included, as is a house salad, fruit platter and non-alcoholic drinks. Adults $28.95, Children under 10 $14.95. Added bonus - Shooter's famous Hot Body bikini contest will still be held Christmas afternoon and their daily In The Biz discount (20% at the bar with paystub and ID) will be honored!

Market 17, 1850 SE 17th St Suite 109, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316, (954) 835-5507, Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 4-10pm. Market 17 is a farm-to-table restaurant, utilizing the freshest organic ingredients free from unnecessary chemicals or pesticides. Market 17 will be serving a special 4 course ($55) and 6 course ($75) tasting menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in addition to their regular ala carte menu. Since Market 17 uses only the freshest ingredients, the menu has not been finalized, so call for updates.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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