by Nancy Stiles
Christmas will be here before you know it, but there are several options for a holiday out on the town in St. Louis. The Ritz-Carlton is going the traditional route, while Balaban's is a little more low key. And one of the best restaurants of the year, Three Flags Tavern, is totally doing its own thing.
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Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue; 314-669-9222)
Three Flags Tavern is serving a Chinese-inspired Christmas Eve dinner this year. The regular menu will be available as well, but this sounds pretty epic. The first course is a choice of pork dumplings in consommé or duck confit on flatbread. The main course is hot braised chicken bok choy with rice, curried shrimp and scallops with rice or steak with ginger and crispy noodles. For dessert, enjoy Chinese doughnuts with smoked cheddar. Dinner is available from 5 to 9 p.m. and is $35 per person. Call 314-669-9222 for reservations.
Balaban's (1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield; 636-449-6700)
The wine-centric restaurant helmed by the owner of the legendary Central West End iteration is open on Christmas Eve but not Christmas Day. Enjoy the full regular lunch and dinner menu at Balaban's. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 636-449-6700 for reservations or make them online.
The Grill at the Ritz-Carlton (100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-863-6300)
Chef Damien Faure has created a four-course, holiday-themed meal for tonight's dinner. Start with a choice of a winter greens salad with squash purée, cranberries, candied pecans, warm bacon vinaigrette and fried goat cheese or a butternut-squash bisque with candied pecan, apricot and vanilla foam. The seafood course is a choice of diver scallops with corn beignet, apple and parsnip purée, bacon relish, pomegranate gastrique and white micro-celery salad or pan-seared striped bass with apple-cider Swiss chard, glazed baby carrots and heirloom beans. The third course is a choice of slow-roasted prime rib Provençal with white truffle whipped potato, winter root vegetables, Yorkshire Pudding and natural jus or Heritage Farm organic turkey breast with slow-roasted Heritage Farm organic turkey breast and cornbread stuffing roulade, turkey leg Parmentier, winter root vegetables, pan gravy and kumquat-cranberry compote. For dessert, choose from a German chocolate torte with candied pecans and caramel ice cream or a traditional yule log with pistachio moss, meringue mushrooms and peppermint ice cream. Dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $99 per person and $49.50 for kids five to twelve years old. Call 314-863-6300 for reservations.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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