‘Tis the season of twinkling lights and overindulgent feasts. This year, Christmas falls on Wednesday, December 25. Bring along the gifts and snag a smooch under the mistletoe on your way over to these San Diego restaurants celebrating the special holiday.
Humphreys Restaurant: How sweet the holidays are when spent near sweeping views of the San Diego harbor. At Humphreys Restaurant, pair the backdrop with your buffet brunch on Christmas Day. The morning meal features a range of options, from Creekstone prime natural beef, Mary’s free range organic turkey and Hormel pit ham to chilled shrimp, sea bass ceviche, smoked salmon pizza, chicken Florentine, baby back ribs, pumpkin pies and more. Plus, relish in the free-flowing champagne and mimosas.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $59.95 per adult; $19.95 per child ages 4-12. 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. (619) 224-3577 or humphreysbythebay.com
Bertrand at Mister A’s: Dining out is not just an opportunity to feast on something new, but also a chance to see San Diego like never before. The iconic Bertrand at Mister A’s is celebrated for an unparalleled view of the city, making this Christmas morning and evening bright. Their three-course prix fixe menu features a few light items to start such as traditional lobster bisque and wild mushroom with asparagus risotto. Entrée selections range from pan sautéed diver sea scallops to a filet of Broken Arrow Ranch venison loin. Just save room for the pumpkin bread pudding, salted caramel chocolate bar, Julian apple crumble and more.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 4:30 to 9 p.m. $59.50 per person. 2550 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. (619) 239-1379 or bertrandatmisteras.com
AVANT at Rancho Bernardo Inn: There’s a warmth in the air at AVANT, which replaced the old El Bizcocho at Rancho Bernardo Inn to include more comfortable dining room seating and a spacious patio. On Christmas Day, partake in three-courses starting with the Dungeness crab beignet or AVANT winter salad, and then dig into rich entrees such as pan roasted halibut, sweet corn risotto or vintage beef tenderloin “Wellington.” Finish off the meal with a cranberry-orange spiced bread pudding or chestnut brûlée.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $65 per adult; $25 per child ages 4-12. 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, Rancho Bernardo. (888) 976-4417 or ranchobernardoinn.com/avant
BiCE Ristorante: Chef de Cuisine Francesca Penoncelli brings holiday-inspired dishes to the tables of BiCE Ristorante, as guests gather on Christmas evening. Four-courses on this menu includes a choice of family-style appetizers such as soft yellow corn polenta with porcini mushroom, calamari or a kale and farro salad; first course options of homemade gnocchi or leek and barley soup; entrées such as seafood spaghetti, slow braised lamb osso bucco, Mediterranean sea bass or saffron carnaroli risotto; and dessert to share like tiramisu, almond panna cotta and a traditional Christmas bread “Panettone” served with Nutella sauce and caramel ice cream.
4 to 9 p.m. $59 per adult; $21 per child. 425 Island Ave., downtown. (619) 239-2423 or bicesandiego.com
Amaya La Jolla: The first Christmas is always a memorable one. Join Amaya La Jolla for their inaugural holiday season as Executive Chef Camron Woods whips up a three-course prix fixe menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Slurp up the butternut squash soup to start, then choose your entrée of honey baked pork chop or seared sea bass with winter truffle risotto. Dessert presents a mini yule log with chocolate chartreuse and French macaron.
$65 per adult; $95 with wine pairings; $25 per child ages 6-12. 1205 Prospect St., La Jolla. (858) 750-3695 or AmayaLaJolla.com
Island Prime/C Level: You might not spot Santa surfing here, but you and your family can still savor the stunning views of the San Diego Bay at C Level. Begin the feast with a choice of salad or butternut squash soup as you prep for second course offerings like apple cider glazed organic chicken, prime rib, filet mignon and cedar plank roasted salmon. For dessert, find pumpkin goat cheesecake, Dutch apple pie or a chocolate pistachio torte.
1 to 7 p.m. $49.95 per adult; $12.95 per child. 880 Harbor Island Drive. (619) 298-6802 or dinecrg.com
Twenty/20: The weather outside may be a bit chilly, but Twenty/20, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, has just the thing to warm you up. Start your Christmas meal with a roasted-apple chestnut soup and then dig into an entrée choice of Diestel Farms turkey with mashed potatoes, green beans and orange cranberry chutney or the slow roasted prime rib with gratin dauphinois potatoes and pancetta. A gingerbread trifle or caramelized apples topped with whipped cream will finish off your meal.
12 to 8 p.m. $45 per adult; $15 per child 12 and under. 5480 Grand Pacific Dr., Carlsbad. (760) 827-2500 or twenty20grill.com
Baleen at Paradise Point: While Baleen touts itself as a seafood restaurant, Chef Amy DiBiase presents a prix fixe menu for Christmas with a mix of flavors such as chilled Maine lobster salad, house-made ricotta gnudi and pacific cod brandade crostini to start; braised lamb shank, wood-roasted whole fish, veal Bolognese and bourbon-brined pheasant breast for entrees; and chocolate yule log cake, cranberry upside-down cake and butternut squash crème brûlée for dessert.
3 to 8 p.m. $49 per adult; $20 per child. 1404 Vacation Road, San Diego. (858) 490-6363 or paradisepoint.com
Islands Sushi: Christmas morning is meant to be filled not only with presents and treats from Santa, but also with copious amounts of food and champagne. At Island’s, you and your family can feast on a variety of stations such as breakfast with scrambled eggs, home fried potatoes and muffins; seafood with snow crab, marinated cocktail claws, smoked salmon and hand rolled sushi; meats like roasted prime rib, oven roasted turkey; and pastas like bow tie and penne.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $39.95 per adult; $37.95 per senior; $19.95 per child ages 6-12. 2270 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley. (619) 297-1101 ext. 3150 or islandssushi.com
Café Sevilla: Bring your Christmas celebrations to experience a touch of Spain right here in San Diego. Café Sevilla’s three-course dinner will start with a choice of roasted butternut squash soup or wilted winter green salad; main course options of herb scented breast of turkey, sous vide tenderloin of beef or pan roasted Chinook salmon; and dessert choices of either Tahitian vanilla bean bread pudding or café ahogado. The meal will be paired with live entertainment.
4 to 10 p.m. $39.50 per person. 353 5th Ave., downtown. (619) 233-5979 or cafesevilla.com
Red Marlin: Begin your Christmas feast with a first course of butternut squash bisque, a second course duo of honey ham and sage-butter basted turkey, and a dessert dish of peppermint cheesecake. Located on Mission Bay, Red marlin boasts some of the most spectacular waterfront dining and views in San Diego.
$39 per person. 1441 Quivira Road, San Diego. (619) 224-1234 or missionbay.hyatt.com
Glass Door: Spend Christmas Day in Little Italy with a three-course meal replete with all the best fixings of the season. Start with a farm green salad, or arugula and beet salad; then feast on the roasted turkey or baked ham with side offerings of sage stuffing, broccoli casserole, country mashed potatoes, candied yams and cranberry sauce. For dessert, dive into a pumpkin chai cream brulee or bourbon pecan tart.
1835 Columbia Street., Little Italy. (619) 564-3755 or glassdoorsd.com
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