Christmas Dining Chicago 2010: Ten Chicago-centric Celebrations from A (Aria) to Z (Zocalo).

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1.  The Scandinavian Julbord (Yule Table).

The Tre Kronor restaurant's Julbord is becoming a Chicago favorite.  A traditional Chicago copy of the original smorgasbord served at Christmas in Sweden will be available daily at Tre Kronor

Seatings at 5-5:30p.m. and 8p.m. (except Sundays) through December 23, 2010. 3258 W. Foster.  Reservations: 773 267 9888.

2.  The Mexican Los Posadas Celebration.

Zocalo, a Streeterville restaurant featuring regional cuisines of Mexico, will be celebrating the

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Mexican Los Posadas with a special menu.  From December 16 through Christmas Eve, the restaurant will be offering a
three-course prix fixe meal for $25 with items including roast turkey
with green pumpkin-seed mole.  358 W. Ontario.  312 302 9977.

3. The Traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Honoring his family's tradition, Executive Chef David DiGregorio of Osteria Via Stato creates an Italian feast this Christmas Eve--The Feast of Seven Fishes. Capturing the spirit of Italy, this abundant feast features a multitude of seafood highlighting various regions throughout Italy.  

The four-course meal, including dessert and sides, is available for $38.95.   620 N. State St.  For reservations and information call 312 642 8450. 

4.  A Jewish Christmas.

Traditionally, many Jewish people celebrate "Christmas" with Chinese food and a movie. Aria Restaurant, inside the Fairmont Hotel is right on track with their "Sticks and a Flick" three course Chinese menu and a ticket for each diner to the AMC River East Theater a block and a half from the restaurant.  $45.  11a.m. to 10p.m., December 25, 2010.  Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus Drive. Reservations 312 444 9494.  

5. Christmas With a French Twist.

It's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas at NoMI with their elegant holiday decor and a menu to match.  Diners can take part in the NoMI "T" afternoons from 2p.m. to 5p.m. daily. Priced at $55 per person, the "T" menu offers guests two glasses of Argyle Brut with a choice of tea infused syrups along with a selection of sweets and savories. The "T's" continue through December 23.   On December 25, NoMI is offering a Christmas Brunch buffet from 11:30a.m. to 8p.m. for $115 adult; $35 children 5 to 12.  All this and more from Chef Ryan LaRoche--the man named #1 for his burger at this summer's Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop.  800 N. Michigan Avenue.  312 239 4030. 

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6. A Rock and Roll Christmas.

Since 1934, Lottie's Pub, a Bucktown original, has been serving beer, spirits and pub food.  Lottie's has transitioned easily as has the neighborhood--from a local pub to a sports bar featuring hi-def flat-screens.   Lottie's is a piece of Chicago history.  They will be hosting their Annual Rock and Roll Christmas Party on Saturday, December 25.  The twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling and the rich woods create a festive atmosphere to gather after unwrapping presents.  The bash, beginning at 5p.m., features several special $7 warmer-uppers (including the Rumplestillsken, Rumple Minze and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream), dancing and a visit from Santa.  1925 W. Cortland Street, 773 489 0738.

7.  Celebrations in the Sky.

High above the maddening crowds, the Signature Room  on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center offers a host of holiday dining options.  On Wednesday, December 15 chocoholics and wine lovers are invited to join the festivities at the first gourmet Chocolate and Wine Reception.  6 to 8p.m. $50 per person includes tax and gratuity.  Last minute shoppers can take a break with a gourmet lunch buffet or the traditional a la carte lunch from the menu.   11a.m. to 2p.m. daily.  Christmas Eve offers live music and a classic a la carte menu from 5p.m. to 11p.m.  875 N. Michigan Avenue.  Reservations 312 787 9596.

8.  A Reveillon Dinner.                                                                      

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Derived from the French word for 'awakening,' reveillon originally was a meal served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve and is popular in New Orleans.  Chicago's Revellion Dinner will be served much earlier at Andersonville's answer to the French Quarter at Big Jones. The southern-style eatery is offering a traditional Christmas Eve dinner featuring goose gumbo, oyster stew and coconut-cream Italian wedding cake.  $40 four-course prix fixe menu.  Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark.  (773) 275 5725.

9.  Traditional Dining on Chestnut.

Cafe des Architectes Cafe is offering a four-course Christmas Eve dinner with a tenderloin or guinea hen and concluding with a traditional buche de Noel for $55.  On Christmas day their three-course special menu will feature butternut squash veloute, moulard duck breast, roasted venison and a chocolate snowball for $72 per person.  20 E. Chestnut, 312 324 4000.

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10. Dine Under the Giant Tree.

For generations, it has been a tradition for families to dine under the giant Christmas tree in The Walnut Room.  Since Macy's took over the former Marshall Field's in 2005, they have continued the tradition.  The Walnut Room is open during store hours and offers selections for children and adults.  There is also a wine bar adjoining the space with a view of the tree.  There are no reservations taken so if you don't like waiting in long lines your best bet is to go early in the day or late in afternoon.  111 N. State St., 7th Floor.

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