By Michelle Mathews, Special Contributor
Have you been naughty this month, procrastinating on your holiday menu planning? Or have you been nice, overextending yourself with baking and shopping? Either way, give yourself a break. We've rounded up dining options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so you can skip the oven shuffle and let someone else do the dishes. Keep in mind that Christmas Eve falls on Sunday this year, so brunch options abound. Reservations are encouraged and sometimes required; check with the restaurant for availability and details.
Christmas Eve specials
Crú Food and Wine Bar
Guarantee a good Eve's sleep with a few glasses of wine and a three-course prix fixe dinner at Crú. Choose from appetizers such as pumpkin mascarpone ravioli or crab and asparagus bruschetta, entrees such as filet mignon or pan-roasted chicken piccata, and a dessert such as the eggnog crème brûlée. Additional choices are available for the prix fixe ($40), or you can choose any of the dishes a la carte (entrees from $20). Dec. 24 from noon to 10 p.m. 3699 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 214-526-9463; 7201 Bishop Road, Plano, 972-312-9463; and 842 Market St., Allen, 972-908-2532. cruawinebar.com.
For one night only, taste a speciali di natale ("Christmas special") that's truly Italian. Feast on pan-seared scallops with sesame seeds, langoustine ravioli or almond-crusted veal filet. Finish with a peach semifreddo (a sort of frozen mousse). Delizioso. Dec. 24 from 5 to 11 p.m. 2950 N. Harwood St., Dallas. 469-458-6623. dolceriviera.com.
The much-lauded Fearing's promises to dazzle Dallas diners with Christmas Eve brunch and a three-course Christmas Eve dinner. For the evening meal, lavish appetizers (Texas Wagyu beef tartare with Osetra caviar, jalapeño/egg custard, gaufrette potatoes and horseradish crème fraîche -- to name just one) will be followed by your choice of Saint Pierre, Australian lamb, filet mignon or Heritage Farms pork chop and a trio of desserts. Fearing's will even give you cookies to leave out for Santa (or, you know, eat on the drive home). Brunch is $65 for adults, $35 for children 12 and younger. Dinner is $100 for adults, $35 for children 12 and younger. Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 9 p.m. (dinner). 2121 McKinney Ave., Dallas. 214-922-4848. fearingsrestaurant.com.
Mudhen Meat and Greens
No need for a necktie or pearls at Mudhen -- in fact, you can score a free beverage by wearing a less-than-tasteful ensemble to the Tacky Sweater Christmas Eve Brunch. This farm-to-table eatery will feature a holiday ham supper that includes honey-baked ham, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato mash, served with an egg sunny side up for $18. Don't miss the pasture-raised eggnog. Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 900 S. Harwood St. (in the Dallas Farmers Market), Dallas. 214-698-7000. mudheninthe.net.
Fungus lovers will not want to miss the final night of Princi Italia's truffle festival, a selection of dishes that highlight rare Alba white truffles. For Christmas Eve, enjoy a one-night-only a la carte menu that pairs the truffles with lobster in such dishes as roasted lobster bisque, tortellini fonduta with roasted Maine lobster and filet mignon and lobster with truffle potato gratin. Dec. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m. The regular menu is available Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (brunch) and 3:30 to 9 p.m. (dinner). 3300 Dallas Parkway, Plano, 972-378-9463, and 5959 Royal Lane, Dallas, 214-739-5959. princiitalia.com.
Texas de Brazil
Texans have always appreciated a restaurant that continues piling meat on your plate until you tell the servers to stop. Meat lovers can enjoy this rodízio-style dining at Texas de Brazil on Christmas Eve, with dinner favorites such as bacon-wrapped chicken, lamb and filet mignon. To celebrate the holiday, servers will also be carving up horseradish-crusted rib-eye. $45.99 per person. Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 15101 Addison Road, Addison, 972-385-1000; 2727 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 214-720-1414; and 101 N. Houston St., Fort Worth, 817-882-9500. texasdebrazil.com.
Need a respite from red meat? Urban Crust offers its Feast of Seven Fishes, a four-course seafood feast based on La Vigila, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve celebration. Each course includes optional wine pairings. $44.90 per person. Dec. 24 from 4 p.m. till the food runs out. Regular menu available Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 1006 E. 15th St., Plano. 972-509-1400. urbancrust.com.
Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Diners on the west side of D-FW can enjoy mouthwatering entree specials at Bird Cafe. Choose from honey-glazed duck with a celery root puree, a bone-in pork chop with yellow corn grits and spiced apple compote, venison loin with Brussels sprouts and bourbon-poached pears, or a 12-ounce, dry-aged bone-in rib-eye with broccolini and mushrooms. Wash it down with a selection from the extensive beer and wine list. Dec. 24 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Dec. 25 from 5 p.m. to midnight. 155 E. 4th St., Fort Worth. 817-332-2473. birdinthe.net.
Front Room Tavern
On Christmas Eve, enjoy an all-day brunch menu plus a luxe dessert buffet. On Christmas Day, choose from the regular dinner menu or featured holiday dishes, such as Waldorf salad and prime rib, plus the dessert buffet. Dec. 24 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Dec. 25 from 3 to 9 p.m. 6101 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas. 214-219-8282. frontroomdallas.com.
Lark on the Park
Chef Ryan Barnett, the Stephan Pyles veteran who joined the Lark on the Park staff in July, will offer Christmas favorites such as roast goose and baked ham, along with grilled venison loin and grilled salmon. The regular a la carte menu will also be available. Dec. 24-25 from 5 to 9 p.m. 2015 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas. 214-855-5275. larkonthepark.com.
The restaurant at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas adds a Lone Star State twist to the Christmas Eve prix fixe menu with dishes such as Texas whiskey-cured salmon gravlax and venison with toasted pecan granola. Christmas Day brings a buffet with a raw bar, sushi station, carving stations and much more. A kid-friendly buffet is also available for picky palates. Dec. 24 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for $88 per person. Dec. 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for $95 for adults, $45 for children under 12. 4150 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. 972-717-2420. lawrestaurant.com.
Located inside the stately Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Mansion Restaurant promises an opulent Christmas setting with festive decor. Enjoy traditional holiday entrees and decadent desserts as part of a multi-course meal. Reservations are $130 per adult and $60 per child 12 or younger. Dec. 24-25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 8 p.m. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas. 214-443-4747. rosewoodhotels.com/mansion.
Morton's the Steakhouse
Famished from shopping? Indulge in Morton's côte de boeuf, 36 meaty ounces of bone-in USDA prime rib-eye brushed with garlic-herb butter, for $110. More modest appetites may enjoy the steak and lobster special for $56. For a sippable holiday treat, ask for the Partridge in a Pear Tree cocktail. Dec. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Dec. 25 from 2 to 9 p.m. 2222 McKinney Ave., Dallas. 214-741-2277. mortons.com/dallas.
Pick your favorite from the regular menu or choose from three combo platters ($42.99 and up), each with a mix of crab and boiled shrimp (plus catfish and fried shrimp on the massive Heavyweight platter) to share or gorge yourself on. All platters include corn, potatoes, sausages, fries and hush puppies. Each platter purchase also includes dessert, if you're still hungry. On Christmas Day, Shell Shack invites you to "come as you are" to the Onesie and PJ Party. Now that's casual dining. Dec. 24-25 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. 2916 McKinney Ave., Dallas; 1855 Dallas Parkway, Plano; 770 E. Road to Six Flags, Arlington; and 1335 N. Peachtree Road, Mesquite. 844-588-2722. shellshack.com.
If you crave something more eclectic than a Christmas roast, Steel offers an Asian prix fixe menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Start with shrimp steamed buns or escolar tataki, and then savor an entree such as crispy beef, sea bass, Vietnamese "shaken" beef or Steel's signature steamed mussels. Finish with a delectable brandy fruit foster or chocolate ganache cake. Your meal includes a house drink of your choice. $78 per person. Dec. 24-25 from 5 to 10 p.m. 3180 Welborn St., Dallas. 214-219-9908. steelsushi.com.
Open Christmas Day
While most Humperdinks are closed on Christmas Eve (the Arlington location will be open), all locations are open Christmas Day for brunch and a holiday feast. The $14.99 brunch special features chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, made-to-order omelets and your choice of a Bloody Mary or mimosa. The family-style Christmas feast includes turkey with traditional sides and dessert for $21.99 per adult, $11.99 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and younger. Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 6050 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214-368-6597, and 2208 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, 214-358-4159. Dec. 24-25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 700 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, 817-640-8553. humperdinks.com.
Brunch with Santa at the Hotel Intercontinental's Crystal Ballroom, and enjoy live music while you refill your plate from the all-you-can-eat buffet. From Niçoise salad to pepper-crusted beef tenderloin, pan-seared sea bass, Cajun pasta, eggs Benedict and more, there's something to please every diner, including the kids. $83 for adults, $30 for children ages 6-12, free for children ages 5 and younger. Active military receive a 50 percent discount. Dec. 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 15201 Dallas Parkway, Addison. 972-386-6000. icdallas.com.
RJ Mexican Cuisine
This upscale Mexican restaurant will offer a diverse menu for Christmas Day, including steaks ($28 and up), tilapia margarita ($19), pot roast ($24) and a fajita and nacho bar ($24). Dessert -- chocolate brownies or white chocolate truffle brownies -- is included with your entree purchase. Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1701 N. Market St., Dallas. 214-744-1420. rjmexicancuisine.com.
Second Floor Regionally Inspired Kitchen
It's refreshing to see that "prix fixe" doesn't have to come with a $$$$ price tag. Second Floor presents a three-course Christmas meal featuring either honey-cured ham or prime rib, soup or salad, plus your choice of eggnog cheesecake, strawberry compote or chocolate peppermint cake -- a steal at $28-$32. Dec. 25 from 3 to 10 p.m. Or enjoy brunch from the usual regionally inspired menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 13340 Dallas Parkway (inside the Westin Galleria), Dallas. 972-450-2978. thewestingalleriadallas.com.
Ser Steak and Spirits
Imagine yourself gazing out at the Dallas skyline from the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole while W.T. Greer tickles the ivories and you sip Champagne. If you make reservations now, this dream could be your Christmas brunch. SER Steak and Spirits will feature brunch stations throughout the dining room so you can stuff yourself with holiday delights. $78 for adults (add $10 for Champagne brunch), $39 for children ages 5-12, free for children 4 and younger. Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. 214-761-7470. sersteak.com.
More holiday dining
'Tis the season to be well-fed at these other Dallas favorites. Hours and menus may be limited; call for details.
Open Christmas Eve
Bonnie Ruth's Allen 916 Garden Park Drive, Allen. 214-383-6777. bonnieruthsallen.com.
Bonnie Ruth's Frisco 6959 Lebanon Road, Frisco. 214-705-7775. bonnieruthsfrisco.com.
Boulevardier 410 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas. 214-942-1828. dallasboulevardier.com.
Dakota's Steakhouse 600 N. Akard St., Dallas. 214-740-4001. dakotasrestaurant.com.
Dish 8611 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas. 214-363-3474. dish-dallas.com.
Gemma 2323 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas. 214-370-9426. gemmadallas.com.
Oak 1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas. 214-712-9700. oakdallas.com.
Urban Rio 1000 14th St., Plano. 972-422-4466. urbanrio.com.
Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
India Palace 12817 Preston Road, Dallas. 972-392-0190. indiapalacedallas.com.
Jeng Chi 400 N. Greenville Ave., Richardson. 972-669-9094. jengchirestaurant.com.
Knife 5680 N. Central Expressway, Dallas. 214-443-9339. knifedallas.com.
Meddlesome Moth 1621 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas. 214-628-7900. mothinthe.net.
The Rustic 3656 Howell St., Dallas. 214-730-0596. therustic.com.
Michelle Mathews is a Dallas freelance writer.