Chicago restaurants, bars, and hotels celebrate the season with festive menus, events, and other specials
About Last Knife (168 N. Michigan Ave.)
- About Last Knife (ALK), the modern steak bar on North Michigan Avenue, is offering its Beef Wellington Catering Package for the holiday season to allow guests to bring the restaurant’s signature dish, Beef Wellington by the Slice, into their homes and other celebrations. Full Wellington ($275) and Half Wellington ($150) options are offered alongside chef-curated sides and house-made red wine bordelaise sauce. The wellington is fully cooked to temperature to make holiday prep even easier so guests can reheat, slice, serve, and relax with family and friends. To order the Beef Wellington Catering package, contact ALK at email@example.com or 312.392.2440.
- ALK is also offering several holiday promotions for guests dining in at the restaurant. Millennium Park ice skaters can show their ticket to receive 10% of their bill as part of ALK’s Skate & Steak promotion. Guests can also look forward to a complimentary beverage (limited to one per person) at the restaurant by making a donation to the adjacent Hotel Julian’s Toys for Tots drive.
Feed the Family While Feeding Others
Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave.)
- Spread holiday cheer while indulging in a two Michelin-starred holiday brunch at the South Loop fine dining destination. Chef Ryan McCaskey opens his doors for one of the few daytime services of his lauded tasting menu restaurant with a sumptuous buffet and food drive benefitting the Great Chicago Food Depository. Guests are asked to bring non-perishable items for donation while partaking in a spread that includes an over-the-top raw bar, chef prepared egg station, and carved meats.
- The food drive brunch is Saturday, December 15 from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and is available for $85 per person, $45 kids under 12. Reservations can be made via OpenTable or by calling Acadia directly 312.360.9500.
Aster Hall (900 N. Michigan Ave.)
- This holiday season, guests can step into winter wonderland at Aster Hall, and partake in one of the many events the Magnificent Mile food hall is hosting. Holiday Cocktail Classes are available on December 14 and 19, where bartenders guide guests through a step-by-step of five holiday drink recipes, while sharing tips, techniques, and insights. Tickets are available for $59 per person and include a complimentary seasonal cocktail of their choice and the recipes for all five featured drinks. For family-friendly activities, Aster Hall is hosting a Gingerbread House Decorating event on December 21 and various Breakfast with Santa events, offering holiday fun for guests of all ages. Guest can also enjoy seasonal treats from The Chocolate Bar or sip on a seasonal cocktail in the upstairs Bar & Study while taking in sweeping views of snow falling over Michigan Ave.
Enchantment at the McCormick Mansion
Lawry’s The Prime Rib (100 E. Ontario St.)
- Lawry’s The Prime Rib invites guests to celebrate another holiday season with festive events, including its 3rd annual Lunch with Santa on Saturdays in December. From 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, 14, & 21, families can take a break from shopping on Michigan Avenue and bring kids wishing to talk with Santa to Lawry’s to take a photo with Ole St. Nick and drop their Christmas wish list in Santa’s mailbox. As carolers sing in the dining room, adults and kids enjoy a three-course lunch featuring prime rib, spinning bowl salad, and more. Adults’ lunch begins with Butternut Squash Soup and Lawry's Famous Spinning Bowl Salad, and a choice of California Cut Prime Rib with mashed potatoes and gravy and creamed corn or spinach, Salmon, or Vegetarian Risotto, with Peppermint Bark Cheesecake for dessert. Kids’ lunch features Santa's Lil Helper Salad, and a choice of 4 oz. cut of prime rib with mashed potatoes and gravy and creamed corn or spinach, or chicken tenders with mac and cheese. For dessert, kids get a mini C.C. Brown's Hot Fudge Sundae. Beverages also included.
- Lunch with Santa tickets are $40 per adult and $20 per child under age 12. To make reservations, or for more information, call Lawry’s at 312.787.5000. All pricing is inclusive of tax and gratuity.
- On Christmas Eve, prime rib lovers are invited to nosh on Lawry’s famous glistening prime rib served tableside while listening to the enchanting sounds of holiday carolers. Set inside the holly-adorned McCormick Mansion steps from Michigan Avenue, guests can enjoy a traditional prime rib dinner with all the fixings, the Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Corn and Spinach, Yorkshire Pudding, and more.
- Lawry’s is open from 12-8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. Reservations can be made online lawrysonline.com/lawrys-primerib/chicago.
Christmas Classics, Catalonia Style
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.)
- The South Loop Spanish restaurant is open on Christmas Eve from 5-9 p.m. and Christmas Day from 12-8 p.m., and is putting a Catalonian spin on classic holiday dishes. Guest can enjoy from a selection of specials including a Spanish take on figgy pudding and roasted goose while enjoying a drink from the expansive drink menu which features a curated selection of cava, sangria, wine and cocktail creations.
- The Christmas menus are available on Christmas Eve from 5-9 p.m. and Christmas Day from 12-8 p.m. Guests can make a reservation onlineor by calling the restaurant at 312.765.0524
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Friday the 13th
SafeHouse Chicago (60 E Ontario St.)
- Celebrate Christmas with a twist at SafeHouse’s Ugly Christmas sweater party on Friday, December 13. Beginning at 10:00 p.m., Spies disguised in ugly Christmas apparel can make their way into the SafeHouse for festive cocktails, dancing, and a live DJ. Guests can imbibe on a selection of “ugly” specialty cocktails, or other “Better Than Happy Hour” offerings like $3 domestic tap beer, $5 well cocktails, and $6 wine. While dancing the night away to holiday hits and other top songs, guests can explore the restaurant’s covert operations, riddles, and other hidden clues about the restaurant.
The Signature Room (875 N. Michigan Ave.)
- Open for Christmas Eve, The Signature Room captures the winter spirit from the vantage point of the 95th floor. Those seeking a festive dinner before the holiday can make their way up to the ‘elevated’ restaurant and lounge to enjoy refined American cuisine from Executive Chef Cardel Reid and seasonally-inspired craft cocktails. The newly launched winter menu features a variety of rich and warming dishes, including the Half Roasted Amish Chicken with grits, market carrots, pearl onions, roasted squash and zucchini, and natural jus, and the Roasted New Zealand Rack of Lamb with cassoulet, lamb Bolognese, fried kale, and lamb jus.
- The Signature Room is open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day. Reservations can be made by calling 312.787.9596 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travelle at The Langham (330 N. Wabash Ave.)
- Get in the holiday spirit at Travelle at The Langham this Christmas. The restaurant offers two options to eat, drink, and be merry: a festive brunch buffet and a dinner. The Christmas brunch buffet ($175 per person and $50 for children aged 5-12 years) offers Garlic Butter Tomahawk Ribeye Steaks, Pan Roasted Duck Breast, and Aligot Yukon Potatoes, in addition to a variety of Tacos and Quesadillas, Ramen, and bountiful ocean offerings such as Chilled Jumbo Shrimp, Alaskan Snow Crab, King Crab, and Seasonal Oysters.
- Additionally, Travelle offers an extraordinary four-course, prix-fixe dinner featuring luxe holiday favorites. Available for $100 per person, Chef Jeff Vucko and his culinary team present Winter Greens & Blue Crab with quail egg, citrus sabayon, asparagus, and marigold;Pumpkin & Fontina Gnudi with prosciutto brodo, chanterelle, brussels sprouts, and balsamic vinegar; and Roasted Beef Tenderloin with oxtail & mushroom tartelette, parsnip puree, and bordelaise. For dessert, Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli showcases her Chocolate Hazelnut Roulademade with hazelnut cream, praline brittle, and chocolate espresso ice cream.
- Travelle is offering their Christmas Day brunch buffet on Wednesday, December 25 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and dinner that day from 5 until 10 p.m.
- Reservations can be made online at www.travellechicago.com or by calling 312.923.7705.
Festive Feast on Christmas Eve
WoodWind (259 E. Erie St., 18th Floor)
- Located 18 floors above the Streeterville neighborhood, the recently opened contemporary American restaurant offers an elevated dining experience this Christmas Eve. The regionally-focused menu divides into spirited sections including Snacks, Mostly Vegetables, From The Sea, Fields and Ranches, and A Little Larger with added elements of whimsical tableside presentations. Perfect for the occasion, WoodWind offers a playful twist on the traditional holiday roast with its Whole-Roasted Dry-Aged Duck Tacos accompanied by mezcal pineapple salsa, charred pineapple mole, radish, and tortillas. Guests can stop in for dinner with a view or warm up with a festive craft cocktail like the Cranberry Swizzle with Rittenhouse rye, maple, and cranberry liqueur.
- WoodWind is open on Christmas Eve from 5-10 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day. For reservations, please call 312.283.4270 or visit www.woodwindchicago.com.
HOLIDAY HOTEL PROGRAMMING
125 Reasons to Celebrate the Season
The Blackstone (636 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL)
- Even when the weather is frightful in Chicago, The Blackstone hotel has 125 reasons to make a winter getaway so delightful. Guests can stay in this historic hotel with a lake view room overlooking snowy Grant Park and Lake Michigan this season and receive a list of activities to enjoy during their time in Chicago. Check off at least 25 or more items on the 125-item list and show the front desk to receive two complimentary drink vouchers to Mercat a la Planxa. Activities may include writing a letter to the North Pole on the hotel’s vintage typewriter located in the lobby; taking a selfie at The Bean just steps away from the hotel’s front door; or gliding on the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon.
- For more information on these packages and other unique experiences at The Blackstone hotel, please visitwww.theblackstonehotel.com or call the hotel directly, 312.447.0955.
Cocoa, Cocktails, and The Claus
I|O Godfrey (127 W. Huron St.)
- On Christmas Eve, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago welcomes guests to its rooftop Winter Wonderland to enjoy the spirit of the season amongst holiday décor, heated, clear-domed igloos, firepits, and more. Live holiday jazz will play while kids and their families visit with Santa Claus himself. Hot cocoa and s’mores kits are available for purchase, while adults can enjoy winter cocktails like a Godfrey Toddy or Snowflake Sangria.
- The night before Christmas celebrations begin at 2 p.m. on December 24. Tables are available for reservation via OpenTable and igloos can be reserved by emailing email@example.com or calling 312.374.1830.
Celebrate the Magic of the Season with Nutcracker Afternoon Tea and a Show
JW Marriott Chicago(151 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL)
- The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker, a must-see tradition boldly reimagined for a new generation returns to Chicago for the holiday season. Official partner, JW Marriott Chicago, welcomes guests and locals to join in on the festive happenings by experiencing high tea with the seasonal Nutcracker Afternoon High Tea menu. Executive Chef Michael Reich crafts a menu with menu items inspired by the production and enhancements including champagne and cocktails. Following the deliciously themed afternoon high tea, experience the Joffrey Ballet’s acclaimed turn-of-the-century tale, The Nutcracker, which is set during the time of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
- For more information and Nutcracker Afternoon High Tea reservations, please visit www.jwmarriottchicago.com or call the hotel directly, 312.660.8200.
LondonHouse Chicago (85 E. Upper Wacker Dr.)
- LondonHouse adds a festive touch to afternoon tea service around Christmastime. The holiday tea – served at Bridges lobby lounge on the hotel’s second floor overlooking the Chicago River – allows guests to embrace the spirit of the season with themed tea treats, both savory and sweet, and live carolers serenading guests with holiday tunes amongst the hotel’s sparkling seasonal décor, which includes an upside-down Christmas tree.
- Reservations for holiday tea service at LondonHouse are available daily (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 1-4 p.m. beginning November 11. Carolers will be a part of the tea service Friday through Sunday, 2-4 p.m. starting November 29 and running through December. Guests can reserve a tea table via Tock or by calling 312.253.2317.
SEASONAL POP-UPS & EVENTS
Put Your Eyes on the Fries this Holiday Season
The Portillo’s Experience (5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL)
- Through December 31, customers can interact with Portillo’s brand through its immersive, photo-worthy Portillo’s Experience: a pop-up shop featuring delectable exhibits. After spending the day holiday shopping around the mall, stop by to experience the Onion Ring tire swing, French Fry room, Hot Dog couch, and Scratch and Sniff Wallpaper. Guests can also pose as their favorite food order with life-size photo booths of Portillo’s eats. Tickets are complimentary and available on Tock.
- At the center of all the activity sits the Portillo’s Catering Lounge—a station for shoppers to meet with catering concierge and plan their ideal holiday catering spread of Portillo’s eats. Visitors can also purchase whole Chocolate Cakes, grab-and-go Italian Beef packs (to ease the stress of holiday shopping).
- What’s more, holiday shoppers can stop by the pop-up for the best Chicago-style gifts and apparel. Families, kids, and babies can sport their taste with the realistic Hot Dog Hoodie, or share their obsession for all of Portillo’s favorite dishes with a patterned tee. What’s more, Portillo’s can outfit families, kids, and babies with its foodie-fueled apparel like the Italian Beef baby swaddle or the Family First line of Chocolate Cake t-shirts.
North Pole in the South Loop
Roosevelt Collection (150 W. Roosevelt Rd.)
- Fight off the cold with a blazing fire and plenty of cheer at Roosevelt Collection’s “North Pole in the South Loop” event on Sunday, December 15. Starting at 2 p.m., guests to the center will be able to mingle with Santa Claus and his (live) reindeer and even take a few photos with the holiday celebs. The evening festivities will also include caroling from the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, warming up by the outdoor fire pits, enjoying complimentary hot chocolate from Bridgeport Coffee and delicious treats from local vendor, and taking in the splendor of Roosevelt Collection’s holiday lighting and statement Christmas tree.
- For more information and soon-to-be-announced partners and activities, visit the Roosevelt Collection Facebook page or Instagram.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACTJESSICA LEVINE AT WAGSTAFF firstname.lastname@example.org | 312.471.6737