Lupa Osteria Romana
170 Thompson St., nr. Houston St.; 212-982-5089
Leave it to Italians to make the most of a pre-holiday meat fast by coming up with the Feast of the Seven Fishes, traditionally packed with fried foods. Crispy octopus makes an appearance on Lupa's annual multi-course meal that also includes spaghetti Misto di Mare, turbot cooked with black truffles, and chocolate pudding. The meal is reservation-only but served from noon to 10 p.m. Price: $85; $120 with wine pairing.
80 Spring St., at Crosby St.; 212-965-1414
With green garlands strung with soft lights and ribbons, Balthazar features one of the most tasteful holiday settings in town. The McNally restaurants close on Christmas Day, unfortunately, but you can stop here the night before for a tower of shellfish and classic bistro staples. Price: à la carte.
Park Avenue Winter
100 E. 63rd St., at Park Ave.; 212-644-1900
AvroKO designed the holiday-season space (the décor here changes quarterly) to recall a winter wonderland. Cold-weather-appropriate fare makes a fitting Christmas feast served from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Price: à la carte.
10 E. 60th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 646-237-8977
With local ingredients and healthy doses of flavor (read: not much fat), Rouge Tomate does festive dishes you won't feel guilty consuming. On the menu: Fluke seviche with blood orange, local venison over braised red cabbage and squash, plus a chocolate pudding cake with banana-walnut ice cream to finish. Price:Three courses, $55.
1 E. 15th St., at Fifth Ave.; 212-647-1515
Truffles, foie gras, and house-cured bacon (for an extra cost) gild an extravagant menu rooted in seasonal produce, like a farmhouse Cheddar salad brightened by shaved fennel and sweetened with roasted Bosc pear, and poached Maine lobster over sweet-potato gnocchi. Price: Three courses, $ 75; $48 for children under 10.