When it comes to holiday get-togethers this year, don’t settle for the same-old reunions and parties. This is your year to be totally fabulous while making the seasonal party rounds and Restaurant.com is here to show you how!
Instead of heading out for another boring dinner, try spicing up your time together with a menu that offers a little more flair. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions!
Japanese Steakhouse/Hibachi – Equal parts delicious and exciting, you’re in for a tasty show when you satisfy your hunger Hibachi-style. What we refer to as Hibachi style in the U.S. is actually a form of Japanese cooking known as teppanyaki. Teppanyaki chefs use dramatic knife work and lively tricks to engage diners as they cook on a metal grill built into the table where you dine. Hibachi is great for moderate size groups (4-8), but be sure to make a reservation as they’ll need to seat you all at the same grill/table and tables fill up quickly.
Brunch – What could possibly better than a meal that combines bacon and a totally legitimate excuse to drink before noon? Pretty much nothing. (Unless you’re a vegetarian; in which case we recommend a hearty helping of smoked seitan.) And that’s why we’re recommending brunch as a great alternative option for your holiday festivities. Catch up with old friends over a mile-high stack of pancakes. Hear the latest “Crazy Uncle Al” shenanigans while you dig into a delicious frittata. With brunch you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the company and still hit all those last minute weekend errands you’re putting off. Want more brunch tips? Check out our FirstBites-Brunch article for some extra deliciousness.
Tea – If you’ve never had High Tea, you’ve been missing out. We’re not talking your typical soggy bag in the bottom of the mug home brew experience here. Think grandeur, think delicate cups of perfectly brewed tea, think pretty sandwiches, delicious cakes and a room fit for a queen. And while many of our favorite guys might not be totally down with this get together locale, a great afternoon tea location is perfect for catching up with gal pals, moms, aunts, daughters, nieces; you get the picture. Many higher end hotels in major metropolitan areas (The Drake in Chicago, the Ritz in NYC, The Palace or Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, etc.) will offer High Tea sittings for groups of 2 or more. Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as these tea rooms tend to get packed especially around the holidays.
Sushi – A great sushi experience is equal parts presentation and flavor; and when the two come together, it’s a totally delicious ride. If you’re dining with a group of four or less, we recommend sitting at the bar when possible so you can actually watch your rolls being prepared. If you’re new to sushi, don’t worry, it’s not all about the raw fish all the time. There are lots of different fillings, flavors, colors and textures that even noobies can love. Check out our Sushi FirstBites for more tips on how to have a great sushi night out!
Wine Tasting – For a holiday gatherings that are lighter on the food and heavy on the flavor, consider a group wine tasting. Many restaurants with moderate to robust wine selections offer seasonal tasting flights, pairing menus or tasting events that allow you to sample some new varietals and learn a thing or two about what pleases your palate. If you don’t see any pre-packaged offerings for a group tasting, call ahead and ask the manager or bartender if they’d be willing to put something together for your group.
Plan a Mystery Dinner Night – Take a page out of our playbook and plan a Mystery Dinner. Get a group of people together and let one person or couple pick and adventurous restaurant. Then, let the fun begin. Check out our guide to a fabulous Mystery Dinner party and add your own twist this season. Try sitting by someone new while you’re out. Or make it your goal to learn one new thing about everyone you’re visiting with. The more engaged you can be with your company, the more fun you’ll have.
Do you have an idea for putting the pizzazz back in your holiday get-togethers? Share it below!