Ho ho ho, who wants to be in the kitchen on Christmas Day? Because after all that elf-ing, you deserve a break. But TV dinners are about as merry as traffic jam and leftovers just won’t cut it when your mother-in-law’s involved.
So, if you’re looking for a spot to indulge in some stress-free, kitchen-free dining, here are some best bets for Sonoma County restaurants that are open on Christmas Day 2012…
Brasserie at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek: Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Dinner specials include seafood chowder, Dungeness crab cakes, turkey pot pie, Maine lobster risotto, prime rib, butternut squash ravioli. Breakfast 6:30 to 11a.m, noon to 7p.m.. 170 Railroad Street Santa Rosa, 636-7388.
Cafe Europe: Open Christmas eve until 9p.m., Christmas day from noon to 6p.m.. Grilled Nuernberger sausage, beer steamed mussels, lobster, filet mignon, baked veal rib chop, lamb loin chops, wild boar ragout, veal schnitzel and more. A la carte menu Dec. 24, three or four course prix fixe ($38-42) on Christmas Day. 104 Calistoga Rd Santa Rosa, 538-5255.
Madrona Manor Inn & Restaurant: Two weeks of Dickens Dinner celebrations culminate on Christmas Day, with seatings at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Chef Jesse Mallgren’s holiday menus feature such dishes as seared foie gras with quince compote, lobster-inspired Shepherd’s Pie, Dungeness crab with Green Goddess dressing, beef Wellington and Christmas pudding. The five-course menu is $125 per person (all ages). Dickens carolers entertain throughout the meal. Reservations required, 1001 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, (707)433-4231, madronamanor.com.
Sante at Sonoma Mission Inn: Sante’s Christmas Grand Buffet, a true groaning board, is offered from 2 to 8 p.m. Highlights include charcuterie, salumi, antipasti, artisan cheeses, smoked and cured fish, caviar, salads, sweetbreads with black truffles, glazed ham, Coq au Vin, carving stations of Niman Ranch beef and roasted goose, artichoke raviolis with preserved lemon cream sauce, breads from a wood-fired oven and more than a dozen desserts, including English toffee and chocolate bread pudding and Buche de Noel. Cost is $99 for adults and $49.50 for kids aged 5 to 12; children 4 years old and younger are complimentary. Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations recommended, 939-2415. 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma. http://www.fairmont.com/sonoma/dining/santerestaurant/
The Lodge at Sonoma/Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar: Christmas dinner includes creamy cauliflower soup, coffee dusted filet of beef, Liberty Farm duck breast, egg nog creme brulee and a chocolate yule log. $55 per person, 2-8p.m.. 1325 Broadway, Sonoma. 707-931-2042.
Saddles Steakhouse: Filet mignon, shrimp bisque, prime rib, chocolate peppermint mousse. $52 per person from 3-7:30p.m., 29 East MacArthur Street, Sonoma, (707) 933-3191.
Pick It Up
Fresh By Lisa Hemenway: Complete Christmas Dinner to go (order in advance) at freshbylisahemenway.com. (Must be ordered in advance)
Dry Creek Kitchen: Four course menu includes Hawaiian ahi carpaccio, roasted chestnut soup, Wagu steak with brioche bread pudding, sticky toffee pudding. $57 per person with optional wine flight. Open 5:30 to 9pm., Hotel Healdsburg, 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.
Fu Zhou Super Buffet, 450 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, open 11am to 8pm
Adel’s Restaurant, 456 College Ave., Santa Rosa, 6am to midnight