holidays

Photo: Allison Jones.

Whether the holidays mean luxury gift giving, snow sports, Norman Rockwellian family gatherings, or flipping latkes in your bubbe’s cast iron pan, Portland’s restaurants have you covered.

Here’s a helpful guide to holiday dinners this December, with each meal matched to those seasonal tunes you just can’t escape this time of year:

I’ll Be Home For Christmas
For you, Christmas is about family, friends, and a big table of food. Head to Simpatica for a traditional take on Christmas Eve brunch and dinner. Think long tables of cozy conversation, new friends, and plenty of comforting dishes. Dinner will be full of flavors like French onion soup, pecan-smoked prime rib, and apple tarts with salted caramel ice cream. Call 503-235-1600 for reservations, this one’s sure to sell out soon! A hearty brunch will be served from 9 am to 2 pm, and the $45 dinner begins at 7 pm.

Simpatica Dining Hall
828 SE Ash Street; 503-235-1600

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
Gather around the fire (the wood-fired oven, that is) at Ned Ludd for their Christmas Eve Very Merry Dickens Christmas Dinner. You’ll get your roasted chestnuts (complete with bacon and Brussels sprouts), along with oven-smoked salmon, goose confit salad, fig pudding-stuffed pork loin, and apple spice cake with port sauce. This is Portland, after all, so you can count on folks dressed up like eskimos, but I’m not making any promises about mistletoe. The five-course meal is $65 per person with wine pairings available for an additional $25, and seatings are available at 5:30 and 8.

Ned Ludd
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; For reservations, call 503-288-6900.

Santa Baby
Sure, family and tradition and love and all that jazz are great, but what you really love about the holidays are the presents. If you’re dreaming of yachts, diamond rings, and decorations bought at Tiffany’s this Christmas eve, visit Metrovino for a night of upscale dishes for just $50. This prix fixe meal from Chef Greg Denton includes luxury bites like black truffle risotto, golden potato soup, foie gras torchon with smoked peanut brittle, truffled beef tenderloin, and a chocolate souffle for two. Think of all the fun you’ve missed this year and make that reservation!

1139 NW 11th Ave. For reservations, call 503-517-7778 or visit the Metrovino website.

White Christmas
If it just isn’t Christmas without a healthy serving of snow, spend the holiday on Mt. Hood! Work up an appetite on the slopes, then Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow as you dig into a Christmas Eve buffet at Altitude, the restaurant at Resort at the Mountain. Gaze out at the moonlit snow as you sample Christmas goose, honey-cured ham, slow-roasted NY strip loin, and all the classic sides from 4 to 8 pm on the 24th. Check out the full menu here. (Adults $38, Seniors $29, Kids 5 to 16 $1 per year of age, kids under 5 eat free.)

Altitude
68010 East Fairway Ave. in Welches, OR; For reservations, call 503-622-2220.

Ma’oz Tzur (Rock of Ages)
Gear up for the Festival of Lights (and fried foods) with Kenny & Zuke’s take-out Hanukkah offerings. Enjoy the tasty treats of the holiday—starting at sundown on December 20—without getting your kitchen splattered in hot oil. This year’s menu includes latkes (mini and regular), Kenny & Zuke’s Pastrami hash, salmon strudel, Middle Eastern tips with pita chips for 10, challah dinner rolls, and an epic platter of smoked and pickled fish. Don’t forget dessert! Pick up a "Sweet Tooth Sampler" with the deli’s signature rugelach, brownies, pecan squares, lemon bars, and chocolate chip cookies, all for $30. See the full menu here.

Kenny & Zuke’s 1038 SW Stark St
48 hour notice for all holiday orders, pick up available December 21 – January 1.
To place order call 503-222-3354 or email catering@kennyandzukes.com.

I don’t like holiday songs, and I don’t like the holidays.
If your Christmas isn’t complete without begrudgingly recounting the hard-earned lessons of Ebenezer Scrooge (and maybe sympathizing with his distaste for caroling), Gilt Club’s Spirits of Christmas Eve Dinner will surely keep the bah, humbug’s away. Chef Chris Carriker will be dishing up dishes from traditional, current, and futuristic cuisines (the "Ghosts" of Christmases past, present, and future), with old school prawn cocktails and Roman-style tripe stew, modern flavors like confit pork cheeks and olive oil-poached cod, and a futuristic "Apocalypse" cake (a warm chocolate cake with nutella “dirt”, strawberry puree, olive oil gelato, and crushed almonds). Even better, the $35 price tag will have any Scrooge smiling.

Gilt Club
306 Northwest Broadway; For reservations, call 503-222-4458

Need more options? Check out the holiday menus (and some Christmas Day hours) at Castagna, The Heathman, Portland City Grill, The Country Cat, and Henry’s Tavern.