Are all your presents wrapped and lights on your tree? It's hard to get everything done in time to actually enjoy Christmas. There is one chore you can leave to the pros: dinner. Letting someone else do the cooking won’t land you on the naughty list.
For many Italians Christmas Eve means the Feast of Seven Fishes, a celebration in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. But doing seven different dishes at home is a ton of work. For $80 per person you'll share assorted pizzas and antipastos and then have a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts – if everyone orders something different, you can taste many "fishes." There are non-seafood dishes on the menu as well, and kids 12 and under are $45 per person.34 E. 52nd St.
The cozy brick interior and friendly staff will make you feel right at home. I am in love with the jumbo meatballs and brick oven pizzas. It's nice to start with a pizza as an appetizer and then order an entrée. The wine list starts at $32. The homemade pastas are wonderful and the fish dishes like grilled branzino are a good choice. Think of them as an extension of your living room. Go prix-fixe for about $50 or a la carte, with pastas starting at $15.206 W. 79th St., 378 Third Ave.
This place feels like dining in an Italian villa. For $72 per person I Trulli is offering a traditional Italian menu that includes four courses, each with several different seafood choices like pasta with lobster sauce and wood-oven roasted oysters. An assortment of desserts for the entire table will complete your meal. If seasfood isn’t your thing, there’s a special a la carte menu.122 E. 27th St.
Monica DiNatale is a deals expert, food host and author of “365 Guide New York City,” a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and Craft Beer Week festivals. She dines out eight days a week in search of the best deals in the Big Apple. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.