Seasons Eatings: Dining out Christmas Eve through New Year's Day

A guide to holiday noshing.

click to enlarge Feeling naughty? Then try the Eggnog Mini Indulgence at Seasons 52. - Seasons 52
Seasons 52
Feeling naughty? Then try the Eggnog Mini Indulgence at Seasons 52.

Thinking of dining out on one of the upcoming holidays? Here's a list of places around Tampa Bay offering special menus for Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day or all of the above. Be sure to call ahead to make your reservations and visit their websites for menus and holiday hours.

BON APPETIT 150 Marina Plaza, Dunedin, 727-733-2151, bonappetitrestaurant.com. Serving a four-course Christmas Eve menu from 4-10 p.m. ($40). On Christmas Day, feast on Bon Appetit's holiday buffet ($39.95) from 12-6 p.m. or go for their festive, four-course dinner menu, served from 12-9 p.m. ($45).

CARMEL CAFE & WINE BAR 2548 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-724-4228; 14306 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-265-1415, carmelcafe.com. Enjoy a four-course dinner for two of Carmel's "Mod Med" cuisine paired with three wines while dining at either location on New Year's Eve for $75 (without wine pairings: $35 per couple). Their signature menu of Mediterranean-inspired small and large plates will also be available. Open 5 p.m. 'til midnight. Clearwater location open for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve brunch from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

CASSIS AMERICAN BRASSERIE 170 Beach Drive, St. Pete, 727-827-2927, cassisab.com. Have a joyeux noël at Cassis and dine here for brunch, lunch, or dinner on Christmas Eve whilst snow gently falls on Beach Drive.

COLUMBIA RESTAURANT 2117 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-248-4961; 800 Second Ave. NE (on the fourth floor of the Pier), St. Pete, 727-822-8000; 1241 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, 727-596-8400, columbiarestaurant.com. Open for Christmas Eve and Day, all Columbia restaurants will be serving up holiday specials, including the Cuban-inspired roasted Lecon Asado pork served with yuca, mojo, Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice) and plantains, and the more traditional baked Virgina ham with mashed potatoes, candied yams, fresh vegetables and orange sauce. Regular dinner menu also available. Check with locations for hours.

KITCHENBAR (at Knife & Co.) 912 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-374-4537. For version four of Jeanie Pierola's pop-up restaurant, KitchenBar, diners can partake in a culinary journey to Havana on Christmas Eve. The special "Noche Buena" tasting menu will feature modern twists on a traditional Cuban-American Christmas Eve meal. For New Year's Eve, KitchenBar will offer a five-course "exotic and Champagne-centric" menu, with a different bubbly pairing for each course.

PACKARDS AT INNISBROOK RESORT 36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, 727-942-5240, innisbrookgolfresort.com. Have an elegant, three-course prix fixe dinner at Packard's Steakhouse for Christmas dinner, with a choice of pork loin, turkey or fresh snapper ($36.95). For dinner on New Year's Eve, indulge in a sumptuous five-course meal, with choice of surf & turf, herb crusted wild boar chops, or halibut with Champagne buerre blanc ($79).

PALM RESTAURANT 205 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, 813-849-7256; thepalm.com/Tampa. Open Christmas Day and Eve, as well as New Year's Eve with holiday menu specials. Call for more information.

PELAGIA 2223 N. West Shore Blvd. (lobby level of the Renaissance International Plaza Tampa Hotel), 813-313-3235, pelagiatrattoria.com. Offering holiday specials for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, like seared sea scallops with crispy pancetta and sea beans, duck confit risotto and duo of eggnog panna cotta with cinnamon gelato. Regular menu will be available as well. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Dec. 24 and from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 25. Also offering dinner on New Year's Eve.

THE RUSTY PELICAN 2425 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, 813-281-1943, therustypelican.com. Dine here on Christmas Eve or the following day for their famous holiday brunch. Christmas Day buffet ($44) will feature a raw bar, carving station, made-to-order omelets and pasta dishes, housemade pastries, chocolate fountain and more. Call for hours of operation.

SEASONS 52 204 N. Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, 813-286-1152, seasons52.com. Open for Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Patrons can try one of the many guilt-free (at 475 calories or less), seasonally-inspired dishes that Seasons 52 has to offer. If you're feeling a little naughty, try the Eggnog Mini Indulgence for dessert.

SHEPARD'S BEACH RESORT 601 South Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater, 727-441-6875, shephards.com. If it's a holiday, then you know Shepard's will be offering one of their renown buffets. Serving breakfast and lunch buffets, plus a seafood and prime rib buffet ($25.95) on Christmas Eve. For Christmas Day, they're throwing out all the stops with their all-day holiday buffet from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. ($28.95 adults, $13.95 kids 3-10), featuring seafood and raw bars, tons of sides and desserts, and chef's specials, like lobster crepes, "lacquered duck", seafood gumbo and much, much more.

SHOR AMERICAN SEAFOOD GRILL 301 Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-373-4780, shorclearwater.com. Another great spot to celebrate on Clearwater Beach, Shor will be offering a "bountiful" buffet on Christmas Day ($44 adults, $21 kids), from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., which include live music by Ron Reinhart and our bountiful buffet. Ring in the new year at Shor with their four-couse, prix fixe dinner menu and after-party ($75) on Dec. 31, which will include party favors, access to an exclusive countdown party in the Belleair Room and Beach Club and a Champagne toast at midnight.

SHULA'S STEAK HOUSE 4860 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-286-4366, donshula.com. Steak lovers will be able to dine on Shula's dinner menu on Christmas Eve from 3:30-9 p.m., Christmas Day from 2:30-8 p.m., and on New Year's Eve from 5:30-11 p.m.

TRADEWINDS ISLAND RESORTS 6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach; 877-300-5522, tradewindsresort.com. For Christmas Eve, enjoy a prix fixe holiday meal with loved ones at the Tradewinds' Bermudas Steak & Seafood. After unwrapping gifts, head over to The Tradewinds to pig out on a Christmas Day buffet. This all-you-can-eat feast will feature traditional holiday fare and a dazzling array of desserts. $39.95, seniors $36.95, children $18.95; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

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