O' CHRISTMAS TREATS
One of the best revelations of adulthood is figuring out that you steer the ship. That’s especially true during the holidays, when an onslaught of decorating, cooking, hosting, and gift-buying can turn the jolliest ho-ho-ho into a grumpy bah humbug. It’s easier to take on tradition when it’s á la carte instead of prix fixe.
This year, take the fuss out of the festive by entrusting the city’s culinary whizzes with the annual feast. Plenty of San Antonio restaurants are open on Christmas Day to make celebrating as delightful as ever. Skip the grocery shopping, clean-up, and prep work and eke out time for some new traditions. In the long run, being together is what counts.
Boudro’s Texas Bistro
Toast the upcoming year with a sparkling French 75 at one of Alamo City’s favorite yuletide destinations. Then, splurge on beef tenderloin with grilled jumbo shrimp or blackened prime rib. The entire Texas-tinged menu will be available for the big day — along with a few seasonal specials. 11 am-10:30 pm.
Dashi Sichuan Kitchen + Bar
Born out of the American immigrant experience, eating Chinese food on Christmas Day is now a tradition shared by millions. Instead of ordering takeout, get dressed up and sup at this chic local favorite. The Mala Spicy “Dry” Pot, spiced with xiao mi chilis and serranos, is sure to warm cockles on a nippy day. Noon-8 pm.
This upscale chain is flexing its creativity on Christmas Day with dishes like macadamia-crusted turkey with miso mashed potatoes and a filet slathered in lobster cream. The regular menu is available too, so kick off dinner with calamari and the aptly named Helluvah Martini. 11 am-11 pm.
Watch Bing Crosby croon in White Christmas, then keep the old Hollywood vibe going at this downtown staple. The $99 prix fixe is anchored by a luscious pastrami-crusted prime rib with side choices like grilled asparagus and creamed spinach. For dessert, opt for the zeppoles, but be careful not to drop powdered sugar on the tuxedo. 11:30 am-8 pm.
Stop by this family fun zone if the brood needs to work off some energy after opening Santa’s haul. Let them romp through bumper cars, a ropes course, and hundreds of video games, then refuel with kid-friendly fare like chicken tenders and pizza. Adults won’t mind the beeps and boops while sipping on 24 draft beers or an espresso martini. 2 pm-midnight.
This modern steakhouse hasn’t yet posted the menu for its Christmas prix fixe, but whatever chef Jason Dady whips up will surely be a safe bet. Besides, the restaurant’s enviable downtown location is just steps from the River Walk. Work off the massive feast by strolling through the dazzling light display. Noon-8 pm.
Scuzzi’s Italian Restaurant
From the Feast of the Seven Fishes to limoncello, Italian-Americans know how to celebrate the season right. This Shavano Park spot shares the amore with dishes like veal Marsala, seabass piccata, and a mile-long list of carbs. 11 am-9 pm.
Sylver Spoon Dinner Theateron Dinner Theater
‘Tis the season for nostalgia, and this New Braunfels dinner theater has it by the spoonful. Still, its Christmas menu is decidedly modern-minded, with globally inspired dishes like king crab Rangoon and braised short rib risotto with wild mushrooms. The $60 prix fixe comes with a show, the suitably frothy confection Love Birds. Seatings between 5-8:30 pm.
Texas de Brazil
Say Feliz Natal by taking the family to this crowd-pleaser. This Brazilian steakhouse’s menu is always festive, with a butcher’s shop full of meat, plentiful sides, and a massive salad bar. Perfect for the sweetest season, the desserts are no afterthought with heavy hitters like crème brûlée, chocolate mousse cake, and Bananas Foster pie. 11 am-9 pm.