These North Jersey restaurants are open for Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly — and what's jollier than the seemingly never ending list of things to get done between now and Christmas? Between standing in massive lines at department stores, wrapping gifts until your fingers hurt and making sure everyone is smiling in the annual family Christmas card, there's a lot to get done before Santa shimmies down the chimney.

There's no need to add preparing a huge Christmas dinner to that list, especially when local restaurants can likely do it better. Here are some North Jersey restaurants eager to host your family's holiday dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Open on Christmas Day

Sofia, Englewood

The garden room in Sofia in Englewood is a lovely spot for a party.

It's business as usual at Sofia this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While this year's menu isn't finalized yet, the stylish, fine-dine restaurant offer its regular menu of pastas, prime ribs and small plates, along with a few holiday specials for last year's festivities. Spend your evening with friends in one of its leather banquettes or sidle up to the green tile bar to take full advantage of the creative cocktails. Behind the bar, there are so many liquor bottles, their shelves reach the ceiling.

When: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. both days with the bar open until 1 a.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 36 Engle St., Englewood; 201-541-8530,

David Burke Orange Lawn, South Orange

The dining room at David Burke at Orange Lawn.

Open presents then head to David Burke Orange Lawn for a three-course feast. Start off your holiday dinner with dishes such as pomegranate barbecue quail, pastrami salmon layer cake and tuna poke. The second course features options like roasted branzino, dry-aged prime rib or a classic holiday goose with citrus glaze. Save room for the best part of any meal: dessert choices include chocolate hazelnut crunch cake, egg nog panna cotta and pecan pie.

When: Noon to 8 p.m.

Cost: $65 per person, $35 for children.

Go: 305 N. Ridgewood Road, South Orange; 973-552-2280,

Ventanas, Fort Lee

Ventanas at the Modern in Fort Lee on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Join Ventanas for its first Christmas (it opened earlier this year). A prix-fixe menu will be served, and for an extra $25 adults can get bottomless mimosas. Ventanas will also be open on Christmas Eve from 3 p.m. to midnight, serving its regular menu.

When: Noon to 9 p.m.

Cost: $49 for adults; $24 for kids 10 and under.

Go: 200 Park Ave., Fort Lee; 201-583-4777,

Nanni Ristorante, Rochelle Park

Interior photo at Nanni Ristorante  in Rochelle Park on 10/17/18.

What would the holidays be without tradition? Nanni Ristorante owner Lino Queirolo stands by tradition, previously telling that  “We do things the traditional way, and that never changes. Garlic, oil and tomato: three simple ingredients. If it’s not done right, it’s not Italian.” Head to Nanni's for Italian staples like hearty pastas or delicious seafood, all of which pair nicely with a glass of wine for a classy Christmas meal.

When: Christmas Eve from noon to 7:30 p.m.; Christmas Day from 1 to 6 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 53 W. Passaic St., Rochelle Park; 201-843-1250,

Blue Morel, Morristown

The interior Blue Morel

After enjoying the holiday lights and festive decorations in downtown Morristown, settle in for a three-course meal with your family at Blue Morel. Start off the holiday with appetizers like squid in lobster ravolini, mushroom risotto or jumbo lump crab cake. Main course options include chili cinnamon-glazed Chilean seabass, vegan coconut curry and braised lamb shank.  Finish your meal on a sweet note with panettone bread pudding topped with maple bourbon ice cream or a slice of pecan cheesecake with maple whipped cream. 

When: 12:30 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $75 per person,  $38 for children 11 and under.

Go: 2 Whippany Road, Morristown; 973-451-2619;

Rosa Mexicano, Hackensack

Rosa Mexicano serves Mexican fare in a festive atmosphere at four New York City locations (and in nine other cities around the country).

There's never a bad day for Mexican food and Christmas Day is no exception. Rosa Mexicano is ready to host your Christmas dinner, and there's no better way to start it than with the specialty cocktail — a blood orange-cranberry margarita. Choose from either braised pork pozole or crispy white fish mini tacos for an appetizer or skip right to your entreé of pan-seared red snapper and chile-glazed shrimp, grilled filet mignon and chorizo or a seared duck breast with agave roasted sweet potatoes. If you have room for dessert, indulge in a slice of warm bread pudding with Mexican chocolate. Who knows, Mexican food on Christmas could be your family's newest, and tastiest, tradition!

When: Noon to 9 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 60 Riverside Square Mall, Hackensack; 201-489-9100;

City Perch, Fort Lee

The interior of City Perch in Fort Lee, NJ on Friday February 01, 2019.

City Perch will be serving dishes from its usual dinner menu, but has added four specials for the holiday: roasted beet and citrus salad, butternut squash gnudi, herb-crusted prime rib and concord chocolate cake. The Fort Lee restaurant is also offering Piper-Heidsieck champagne ($15/glass, $65/bottle) to go with specials to make for an elegant meal this Christmas. 

When: 4 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte

Go: 2023 Hudson St., Fort Lee; 201-582-7101,

Open on Christmas Eve

The Hill, Closter

The Hill has had a major facelift, now that it is owned by chef Ben Pollinger

For a classic Italian Christmas dinner, look no further than The Hill. The Closter restaurant will feature dishes inspired by the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes like seafood salad with shrimp, lobster, octopus, scallops, calamari, lemon, olives and fresh herbs. If you're not looking for seafood this holiday, The Hill will also be serving a roast Christmas goose as part of a holiday special. 

When: 4 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 252 Schraalenburgh Rd, Closter, 201-899-4700;

Madeleine’s Petit Paris, Northvale

Madeleine's Petit Paris in Northvale.

Celebrate Pere Noël the French way at Madeleine’s Petit Paris on Christmas Eve. Nab a seat near the fireplace, and dig into the night's special meal comprised of old-school French dishes. On the menu: wild mushrooms and asparagus Napoleon and a salade de Noël; a choice of entrée including magret de canard à l’orange, red snapper Dijonnais and filet mignon. And for dessert? The classic French log-like cake called bûche de Noël, as well as petit fours, coffee and tea.

When: Seatings at 5:30, 6, 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $70 per person.

Go: 416 Tappan Road, Northvale; 201-767-0063,

Osteria Crescendo, Westwood

Interior photo of Osteria Crescendo in Westwood on Thursday July 18, 2019.

You don't need to travel to Italy to have an authentic Italian Christmas. The new Westwood restaurant is celebrating its first Christmas Eve and are going all out on festive dishes this holiday season. From starters like white truffle arancini and New Jersey oysters to entrées such as white truffle ravioli and bone-in short rib, you'll be thankful you trusted them with your holiday dinner this year.

When: 3-9 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 36 Jefferson Ave., Westwood; 201-722-1900,

Restaurant Serenade, Chatham

Restaurant Serenade

The contemporary French cuisine of Restaurant Serenade will be on full display this Christmas Eve. The special menu for the holiday begins with a choice of appetizers such as grilled octopus, Pemaquid Bay oysters or crab cakes. Entrée options include sea bass, vegetable panache and filet mignon. Dessert will round out the meal, with a choice of lemon tart, warm chocolate tart or crème brûlée.

When: 4 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $89 per person; $40 per child 10 and under.

Go: 6 Roosevelt Ave., Chatham; 973-701-0303,

Summit House, Summit

Dining room of the Summit House

The Summit House will have its jolly red doors open (proverbially, of course, they would never let in a chill) on Christmas Eve. A three-course prix-fixe meal will be waiting for you, with main course dishes that include Barnegat scallops in a butternut squash puree, Wester Ross salmon, or veal with farro stuffing. Enjoy a family-style dessert with sweet options such as ricotta cheesecake, toffee crumble with chocolate ganache or cookies and cocoa. 

When: 2 to 7 p.m.

Cost: $85 per person with an optional $45 or $65 wine pairing; $30 for kids

Go: 395 Springfield Ave, Summit; 908-273-6000,

Viaggio, Wayne

Chef's table at Viaggio Ristorante.

Revered for its fine Italian food, Viaggio in Wayne will offer a four-course, holiday dinner on Christmas Eve. Begin your meal with such options as New Jersey black bass crudo and calamari fritti; and segue into your pasta course — perhaps you'd like a butternut squash mezzalune, chef Robbie Felice's spaghettini or maybe his cavatelli. Then go onto your third course with dishes such as wild boar osso buco or herb butter poached monkfish among other hefty dishes. And finish your feast with a heady sweet: chocolate budino, pine nut crostata, pecan torte or mascarpone cheesecake.

When: 3 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $79 per person, $35 for kids 10 and under.

Go: 1055 Hamburg Tpk., Wayne; 973-706-7277,

Ho-Ho-Kus Inn, Ho-Ho-Kus

The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn is located at 1 East Franklin Turnpike.  The structure is believed to have been built in the 1790's. Monday, February 18, 2019

Dining in a 19th-century inn with a slew of lovely fireplaces is a treat all its own, but the Christmas Eve specials are a nice added bonus. With options like New England clam chowder, butternut squash ravioli and seared Alaskan halibut, the toughest decision you'll make this holiday is which dish to choose. Check out the delightful holiday decor at the Inn on the 24th.

When: 4 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 1 E. Franklin Tpk., Ho-Ho-Kus; 201-445-4115,

McLoone’s Boathouse, West Orange

McLoone's Boathouse is hosting a very nautical Christmas Eve dinner this year, with an a la carte menu featuring dishes from both land and sea. Gather the family together for the McLoone's Tower, which includes eight chilled shrimp, a dozen clams, eight oysters on the half shell, and a whole lobster. If the raw bar isn't filling enough, feast on plates like lobster mac and cheese, center cut salmon, braised short rib, or classic filet mignon to celebrate the holiday. 

When: 11:30 a.m to 10 p.m.

Cost: Order a la carte.

Go: 9 Cherry Lane, West Orange; 862-252-7108,

Need more options?

These restaurants will be open on Christmas Eve, serving the regular menus.

The Shannon Rose Irish Pub: 98 Kingsland Road, Clifton; 973-284-0200,

The Office Tavern Grill: 34 Chestnut St., Ridgewood, 201-652-1070, Open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 3 South St., Morristown, 973-285-0220, Open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 61 Union Place, Summit, 908-522-0550, Open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.;

George + Martha’s American Grille: 71 Morris St., Morristown; 973-267-4700, Open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Piattino: 67 Union Place, Summit, 908-219-4801; 88 E. Main St., Mendham, 973-543-0025; Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Black Horse Tavern & Pub: 1 W. Main St., Mendham; 973-543-7300, Open from 3 to 9 p.m.

Grant Street Café: 25 Grant Av., Dumont; 201-385-1705, Open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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