Santa is a busy man, no wonder he and his reindeer always look so hungry. Maybe it’s all that holiday travel or just the last-minute shopping that works up his appetite.
Whatever it is that makes you hungry for the holidays, local restaurants will give you the chance to eat breakfast, brunch or even dinner with the jolly man himself. Don’t forget dessert — Santa always eats his dessert first.
E.M. Hemingway’s, located in the Grand Hotel, 1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-5611. Serving Christmas Eve Seven Fishes buffet 4 to 8 p.m. Menu includes Sicilian fish stew, baccala salad, scungilli salad, Caesar salad, linguine with white clam sauce, fried local calamari with long hot peppers, mussels fra diavolo, seafood cannelloni, stewed baccala with soft polenta, shrimp and scallops with broccoli rabe, cannellini beans, and bucatini pasta, branzino with orange and fennel salad. Asparagus, fingerling potatoes, carved turkey and prime rib. Assorted desserts. $29.95 adults; $13.95 children 12 and under. Christmas Day menu 2 to 7 p.m. will include Italian sausage and chicken soup with escarole, grand garden greens salad, cous cous salad. Chicken paillard with rainbow chard, herb demiglace and blue cheese polenta, seared beef tenderloin, shiitake mushrooms, cippolini onions and truffled mashed potatoes, fresh local scallops, carving station with turkey and prime rib, brown sugar and hazelnut baked acorn squash, sweet potatoes and more. Dessert table includes candy cane mousse cups. $29.95 adults; $13.95 kids.
The Palm, 2801 Pacific Ave. at the Quarter in Tropicana Casino and Resort, Atlantic City, 609-344-7256. The Palm will maintain regular dinner hours from 5 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with its regular menu available.
Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar, 900 Shore Road, Somers Point, 609-927-6665. Christmas Eve food service 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with sandwiches and specials in bar only. Bar open 11 a.m. until midnight. Christmas Day food service 5 p.m. to midnight with full menu and special dinner entrees served in dining room and bar. Bar open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Phillips Seafood, The Pier Shops at Caesars, Atlantic City, 609-348-2273. Open Christmas Eve noon to 6 p.m. and Christmas Day noon to 8 p.m., serving its popular seafood menu.
Souzai Sushi & Sake, Level 3, Pier Shops at Caesars, One Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, 609-348-4443. Offering its regular menu on Christmas Eve from noon to 6 p.m. and Christmas Day from noon to 8 p.m.
Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, 401 S. New York Road, Galloway, 609-748-7625. Christmas Eve seatings 6 to 9 p.m. Lobster bisque, Tuscan bean and pancetta, baby spinach salad, herb-roasted golden beet salad, sweet potato, onion, and lobster salad, orzo pasta, calamari and baby shrimp ceviche, cous cous. Artisan breads, imported and domestic cheese and cured meats. Raw bar. Sautéed Atlantic salmon, lemon and olive oil roasted chicken breast, grilled flatiron steak, paella. Carving station: slow roasted prime rib au jus, roasted bone-in ham, Dijon and honey glaze. Sweet temptations. Reservations recommended. $46.95 per person, $18.95 children 6 to 12 years, 5 years and under free. Christmas brunch seating’s hourly noon to 3 p.m. Chef’s omelet station. Salads. New England clam chowder and escarole, white bean, chicken, and local Italian sausage. Artisan breads, imported and domestic cheese and cured meats. Raw bar. Fluffy scrambled eggs, pork and chicken apple sausage, crispy bacon, red bliss O’Brian potatoes. Smoked chicken breast, flounder Francaise, tournedos of beef. Carving station: whole roasted turkey and bone-in honey glazed ham. Holiday dessert selection. Reservations recommended. $46.95 per person; $18.95 children 6 to 12 years; 5 years and under free.
The Blue Pig Tavern, 200 Congress Place, Cape May, 609-884-8422. Christmas dinner served 1 to 7 p.m. Entrée price includes choice of first course and choice of dessert. First course: cauliflower bisque, Congressional Caesar salad or root vegetable salad. Entrees: roast tenderloin of beef ($38) with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, green peppercorn demiglace, glazed carrots, parsnips and Brussel sprouts; roast duck breast ($34), duck confit and pumpkin hash, melted leeks, Brussel sprouts and blackberry coulis; maple-cured ham ($26) potato gratin, glazed carrots, parsnips and Brussels sprouts with cranberry-apple chutney; grilled chicken breast ($27) wild mushroom and brioche stuffing, root vegetable fricassee with herb jus; pan-roasted cod ($32), braised bean medley, cippolini onion confit, crispy pancetta, chervil beurre blanc; winter vegetable risotto ($25), creamy risotto, roasted root vegetables, wild mushrooms with port wine reduction. Desserts: cranberry lime tart, chocolate bread pudding, signature apple pie.
EastWind, Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 800-772-9000. Open Christmas Eve from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Christmas Day noon to 1 a.m. Specials: XO lobster ($33), half Peking duck for two ($32), chicken & cashews ($17).
Buffet, Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 800-772-9000. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, noon to 8 p.m. Carved prime rib, carved Virginia baked ham, carved roasted turkey, all-you-can-eat u-peel shrimp, candied yams, steamed broccoli rabe, lasagna Bolognese, braised Brussel sprouts, scalloped potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, eggnog, apple and pumpkin pies, poached pears, Christmas cookies. $19.95 per person.
Mussel Bar, 500 Boardwalk, Revel, Atlantic City, 855-348-0500. Serving its regular menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day noon to 5 p.m. lunch and happy hour, 5 to 9:30 p.m. dinner menu.
Ram’s Head Inn, 609-652-1700. Fou- course Christmas Day prix-fixe dinner based on entrée selection served noon to 8 p.m. Limited seating. Appetizer selections: tuna tartar with watermelon gazpacho and goat cheese ribbons, house-smoked salmon, traditional jumbo shrimp cocktail ($6), colossal lump crabmeat cocktail ($6), crab brulee, lamb loin chop au jus, lobster bisque, cream of asparagus, steamed littleneck clams with chopped chorizo, crab cake. Ram’s Head Inn mixed green salad or Caesar salad. Roasted turkey ($43), holiday stuffed Cornish hen ($46), pan seared filet of salmon ($48), pork tenderloin ($46), crab meat imperial ($51), prime rib ($49), rack of lamb ($58), veal scaloppini ($54), filet mignon ($56). Also available upon request; beef Wellington ($56) or chicken pot pie ($43). Dessert. Some items available in children’s portions. 12 andunder $29. Under 3 at no charge.
The Windjammer Diner Bar Grille, 18 MacArthur Blvd., Somers Point, 609-365-8056. On Saturday, Dec. 21, a breakfast with Santa 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa will arrive on a fire truck. Four-course meal starts at $14.99.
Rio Station, Grande Center Shopping Mall, Rio Grande, 609-889-2000. Serving dinner on Christmas 4 to 8 p.m. The menu offers holiday specials and Rio favorites.
Atlantic City Country Club, 1 Leo Fraser Drive, Northfield, 609-236-4465. Brunch with Santa Sunday, Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Traditional Sunday Brunch with Old Saint Nick. Adults $29.95, Children 5 to 12 $14.95 and 4 and under eat free.
Chart House, Golden Nugget, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Blvd., Atlantic City, 609-340-5030. Serving Feast of the Fishes on Christmas Eve 4 to 9:30 p.m. Bacala salad, fried calamari, coconut crunchy shrimp, baked stuffed shrimp, red snapper Livornese, sole Venetian-style, spaghetti with white clam sauce, cannoli. $49 per person. Signature menu served Christmas Day from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Latz’s by the Bay, 801 Bay Ave., Somers Point, 609-788-8838. Christmas Dinner served 5 to 10 p.m. Appetizers: shrimp cocktail ($14.95), fried calamari ($14.95), stuffed portabella mushroom ($12.95), gnocchi peas, prosciutto, & brown sugar ($12.95), Drew’s seafood chowder ($7.50). Entrees: Holiday surf and turf ($34.95), duck a l’orange $28, prime rib (Queen cut, $32), char-grilled salmon stuffed with crab meat ($35.95), shrimp, crab, & vegetable Primavera ($32). All entrees served with house salad, home baked bread & dipping oil.
Golden Inn Oceanfront Resort Hotel, 7849 Dune Drive, Avalon, 866-343-6111. Breakfast with Santa Sunday, Dec. 22, 8 a.m., with the last seating at 11 a.m. Scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, turkey sausage, fresh fruit blitz, build your own pancakes, fruit salad, Danish, pastries, cookies. $9.95 for kids 12 & under; $14.95 for adults.
Fiesta Buffet, Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 1-800-THE TROP. Serving Christmas day 1 to 8 p.m. Buffet includes prime rib, roast turkey, baked ham, crab legs, and regular Surf and Turf offerings. $27.95 per person.
Fin, Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 800-345-8767. Christmas day three-course dinner served 5 to 10 p.m. First course: traditional Caesar salad, Fin’s House salad, Maine lobster bisque. Entrée: 28-day-aged, mustard-herb-crusted, bone-in prime rib au jus with grilled asparagus and buttermilk mashed potatoes. Dessert: Meyer lemon cheesecake, banana chocolate torte. $58 per person plus tax & gratuity.
Gallagher’s Steak House, Resort’s Casino, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-340-6555. Christmas Eve menu: Parsnip and leek soup ($8.95), arugula and poached pear salad ($14), horseradish and peppercorn crusted prime rib ($48), baked salmon ($36), Beluim chocolate mousse cake ($8.50). Christmas dinner: roasted sweet potato soup ($8.95), pickled beet & orange salad ($14), coriander crusted, bone-in New York sirloin ($48), cioppino ($38), Belgium chocolate mousse cake ($8.50).
Girasole Ristorante & Lounge, 3108 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-345-5554. Christmas Eve 4 to 8 p.m. with its six of the seven fishes dinner. Regular menu and special seasonal additions also available.
The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel, 25 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-884-5700. Serving 2 to 7 p.m. Christmas Day. Reservations required. Amuse: spiced apple bisque, toasted pine nut brittle with shaved foie gras. First course: delicata squash tortellini with shortrib ragout and parmesan crisp, or roasted beet salad with dried cherries, candied pecans, smoky bleu cheese, lemon thyme vinaigrette or black truffle risotto with mascarpone and truffle sottocenere. Main Course: pork loin confit with roasted plum, toasted almond, curried parsnip puree; braised veal shank with saffron chestnut puree, black truffle gremolata, glazed root vegetable, beef marrow and red wine jus; pan roasted Dover sole with roasted lemon, braised endive, caper brown butter. Dessert: butternut squash panna cotta with gingersnap semifreddo, crispy goat cheese cake, cranberry gastrique or honeycrisp apple bread pudding with salted caramel Ice cream. Reservations required. $65 per person
Azure by Allegretti, Revel Resort, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-225-9870. Open Christmas Eve 5 to 10 p.m. serving their regular menu plus additional specials such as seared foie gras with apple-raisin compote and port wine reduction; parmesan risotto with shaved white truffle; and 24-ounce bone-in rib eye with roasted winter vegetables and black truffle sauce.
American Cut, Revel Resort, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-225-9860. Open Christmas Eve and Christmas 6 to 10 p.m. serving their a la carte menu with additional specials.
Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian Cooking, Central Square, 199 New Road, Linwood, 609-926-3030. Serving a five-course Vigilia di Natale from Friday, Dec. 20, through Christmas Eve, 5 to 9:30 p.m. First course: baccala mantecato, Venetian-style whipped con on grilled polenta. Second course: fritto misto di pesce, assorted fried baby fish, blood orange “maltese” aioli. Third course: cappellacci alla puttanesca, lobster ravioli, capers, Ligurian olives, roasted cherry tomato, toasted bread crumbs. Fourth course: branzino alla piastra, grilled branzino filet, ragu of clams, mussels, crab, pine nuts, currants, with crisp potato and leek tortino. Fifth course: assorted miniature desserts. $65 per person.
Arturo’s, Bally’s, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-340-2000. Seven fishes on Christmas Eve featuring fried shrimp and calamari ($18), lobster and shrimp bisque ($10), cavatelli with ricotta ($22), zuppa Livornese with shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, and lobster with spaghetti and pomodoro sauce.
6ix, A Bistro, Bally’s, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 877-346-4642. Christmas Day three-course dinner $18.99.
Nero’s, Caesars, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 877-346-4642. Christmas Eve Seven fishes. Clams with oregano and bread crumbs, marinated fresh anchovies, linguine with clams, spaghetti with mussels, salt cod with tomatoes and capers, jumbo shrimp Marsala house-wife style, eel with olives, broccoli sautéed in wine and garlic. $49 per person. Christmas Day three-courses for $49.99 per person.
Casa di Napoli, Showboat, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, Christmas Eve seven fishes. Fried calamari, crab cake, fried flounder. $17.95 per person.
Scarduzio’s Steak, Sushi & Lounge, Showboat, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 800-621-0200. Christmas Day, three-course menu $50 per person.
Assaggio!, 500 W. White Horse Pike, Egg Harbor City, 609-965-3303. 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. Dinner with Santa: appetizer choice of zuppa del giorno, classic Caesar, or eggplant rollatini. Entree choices: cheese ravioli, eggplant parmigiana, petite filet with truffle butter, or salmon, tomato coulis and cucumber salsa. Dessert: ricotta pie or assorted biscotti. $25 per person. Children’s menu: choice of homemade chicken fingers and fries, homemade spaghetti and meatballs, or pizza. $10 per child. Monday, Dec. 23, Feast of the Seven Fishes 4 to 9 p.m. Appetizer sampler; clams, mussels, stuffed calamari, shrimp, and tilapia in a white wine marinara with fresh basil. Spicy crab chowder or Caesar salad with crab meat. Entree: blackened salmon, broiled flounder stuffed with spinach and mozzarella, shrimp Diavolo, or shrimp scampi. Lobster Venetian Francaise (add $10). $45 per person plus tax and gratuity.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven, 9601 Third Ave., Stone harbor, 609-961-3010. Holiday dinner served Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 5 to 10 p.m. The prix-fixe menu includes salads: jumbo lump crab, spinach and frisee, or bistro beet. Entrees include pan-seared black bass with a saffron and lobster calasparra, 12-ounce grass fed sirloin with cafe de Paris butter, or a double-cut pork chop with rum raisin demi-glace. Desserts: egg nog profiteroles, flourless chocolate chestnut cake, or apple tart tatin. The three-course dinner includes your choice of salad, entree and dessert for $69. Reservations strongly suggested.
Mama Mia’s Ristorante, 2087 Shore Road (Route 9), Seaville, 609-624-9322. Feast of the fishes runs Christmas Eve, all day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fried seafood platter with crab cake, calamari, scallops, and shrimp. Seafood pasta with clams, mussels, scungilli marinara over linguine. Mixed green salad or Caesar. Baccala Livornese, cod sauteed in virgin olive oil, plum tomato sauce, black olives, capers, and a white wine sauce. $37 per person or a la carte. Reservations suggested.
Mama Mia’s, 6105 W. Jersey Ave., Egg Harbor Township, 609-484-8877. Christmas Eve Feast of the Fishes begins 4 p.m., last seating 8:30 p.m. Drunken escargot in puff pastry, lobster ravioli, autumn field greens with dried cranberry and balsamic reduction, crab cake with lobster sauce or slowly braised short rib over gorgonzola polenta. Dessert sampler of tiramisu and fruit tart. $42 per person or a la carte.
LP Steak, Plaza 9 Shopping Center, 1333 New Rd., Northfield, 609-646-8189. December 24 Christmas Eve special: Prime rib or lobster $29.99. Regular menu also available.
Luke Palladino, Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, 609-441-5576. Friday, Dec. 20, to Tuesday, Dec. 24, Feast of the Seven Fishes, five-course dinner. $65 per person. Regular menu also available 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Wolfgang Puck American Grille at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, 609-317-1000. Special menu available Christmas through New Year's. First courses: celery root soup with black truffles ($12); chicken & vegetable soup with chicken meatballs ($12); winter salad with mixed baby lettuces ($15); pink lady apple salad with spicy almonds ($15); roasted beet and goat cheese Napoleon ($16); hand cut linguine with wild mushrooms ($19); agnolotti pasta with Italian chestnut filling ($19); sautéed Maryland crab cakes ($21); seafood salad with Maine lobster, crab, & shrimp ($34). Main courses: steamed Atlantic salmon "Hong Kong" style ($36); sautéed wild Florida grouper with duck confit ($38); grilled whole lobster with spicy pad Thai noodles ($45); pan-roasted wild Atlantic swordfish "aqua pazza" ($39); risotto with shrimp and preserved lemon ($38); pan-roasted organic free-range chicken ($31); res wine braised beef short ribs with Romesco ($42); pan-roasted veal loin with wild mushrooms ($45): mesquite grilled prime bone-in New York steak ($56).