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Cooking Christmas Eve and day dinner may be a cherished tradition in some homes, but having to cook a massive meal on Christmas Eve or day is a source of the Bah-humbugs for others. After all, who could blame you if you want to relax after a season full of parties and baking burnt-out. Or, perhaps you spent most of Dec. 24 at the mall because you procrastinated on shopping… again (hey, you were honoring your personal holiday tradition). 

Whatever the reason, many Hamptons restaurants have all the festive trimmings for Christmas Eve dinners — and some are gifting you a Christmas Day away from the stove with menus on Dec. 25. If that’s what you need this holiday season, Christmas is coming early, friends.

Lulu Kitchen & Bar, 126 Main St., Sag Harbor, 631-725-0900

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. But you don’t want to cook. Lulu Kitchen & Bar is offering the best of both worlds with its Eve-to-Eve catering menu. The restaurant isn’t kidding around when it calls its two celebration feast options “feasts.” One includes a cowboy ribeye, house foie gras torchon and truffle potato gratin. Seafaring types will adore the second, which includes lobster pasta, chef’s mussels and oysters (to name a few). Each serves black forest bûche de noël for dessert. Really want to dine out? The restaurant will be open from noon to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. 

Vine Street Café, South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, 631-749-3210

Lulu’s marvelous mussels are great anytime of year, but especially on Christmas Eve. (Photo credit: Carl Timpone)

Locals flock to Terry Harwood’s Vine Street for Christmas Eve dinner. Out-of-towners? You’re in for a treat. A 3-minute ferry ride away, a trip to Shelter Island will feel like you’ve taken a brief holiday getaway, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle the season brings. Vine Street Café is offering a pair of specials for the occasion. A chateaubriand with an elegant truffle mushroom sauce feeds two and is a lovely date-night dish. Meanwhile, a lobster bouillabaisse with rouille and bruschetta honors the idea that Christmas Eve is a day for seafood, particularly in Italian families. 

Cove Hollow Tavern, 85 Montauk Highway, East Hampton, 631-527-7131

Light walls, dark, soft lighting and dark wooden tables sans tablecloths give Cove Hollow Tavern (Harwood’s sister spot in East Hampton) a refined but approachable feel year-round. The happening happy hours are a favorite among locals. The restaurant’s Christmas Eve specials are likely to be as well. A grilled lamb burger tzatziki is right up the spot’s alley — a Mediterranean twist on a classic, comfort-food fare. Ditto for the lobster pot pie. 

Nick and Toni’s, 136 N. Main St., East Hampton, 631 324-3550

The Hamptons summer staple is always keen to open its doors on Dec. 24, and 2023 will be no exception. The eatery is loved by celebs and locals alike for its wood-fired Mediterranean fare that goes heavy on Italian influences. Festive offerings include a cheese pumpkin risotto made with a dreamy butter-poached lobster and a New York strip steak that hits all the savory notes. There’s also a kids’ menu that’ll make those tiny (and possibly picky) tots’, eyes glow with winning options like penne pasta, hand-cut French fries and sweet surprises. 

Baron’s Cove, 31 W. Water St, Sag Harbor, 844-227-6672

This waterfront hotel is ideal for a holiday staycation, vacation or Christmas dinner out. The restaurant is open for service from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. Twinkle lights, soft holiday music and a warm fireplace set the stage for an outing that would make Norman Rockwell swoon. As for the menu, it includes harbor clam chowder, prime rib or lobster ravioli and luxe-tasting desserts including vanilla bean cheesecake and a chocolate lava cake exploding with cocoa and vanilla flavors. Thinking of making it a getaway? A package includes an overnight stay with welcome drinks and dinner for two. 

Almond Restaurant, Almond Restaurant. 1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, 631-537-5665

Almond’s amazing pork roast is chef Jason Weiner’s culinary gift to you. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

A Hamptons holiday classic returns for a 23rd year. Almond’s Christmas Eve suckling pig roast will serve up some of the juiciest meat in town. The lively, approachable, upscale French bistro will also have its usual a la carte menu available for those who prefer not to dine on swine. Regardless of your dish, all guests will participate in a dinner that gives back just by ordering: a portion of the evening’s proceeds will go toward the Pajama Program, a non-profit that gives PJs to kids who need them.

Canoe Place Inn, 239 E. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, 631-736-6300

This intimate, restored inn is open on Christmas Eve and day. The menu is the same for both. Think baked oysters with Bayonne ham and caviar that’ll instantly warm you after the cold walk from the car to the dining room. A heritage turkey with stuffing is a quintessential choice, or sink your teeth into a gamey lamb dish served with roasted carrots. A triple chocolate cake for dessert begs to be tried. 

Gurney’s Resort, 290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, 631-668-2345

A trip to Gurney’s offers a jet-setting feel, minus the flight delay. The End’s luxury resort has been full of holiday cheer all December, with workshops full of crafts that rival Santa and special outdoor igloos for fun al fresco gathering. Christmas day dinner in the Scarpetta Beach dining room would also make the plump old elf jolly, indeed. The four-course prix fixe meal includes warm and cold starters like pork belly and scallops. An entrée list includes local lobster from Montauk served with creamy double butter-whipped potatoes and a caramel apple tart or eggnog crème brûlée for dessert.