To-do lists abound during the holiday season, especially when it comes to holiday gift shopping and grocery shopping but fret not — this list is all about savoring the special things that only happen during this time of year. It’s all about celebrating the season and making the very most of it, something you should definitely do here in Boston.
From seasonal cocktails and fancy lunches to the best desserts and taking time out to be a tourist in your own town, here are a few of our favorite suggestions for how to best celebrate the season.
1. Get a seasonally minded cocktail.
Whether it’s a boozy hot number or simply a celebratory martini, drink specials abound this time of year, and you’d be wise to take advantage.
- Black Lamb is your best bet for a proper Tom & Jerry. Just keep in mind that it’s only offered on snow days.
2. Find the most festive holiday décor.
Some restaurants go all-out when it comes to the decorations:
- Consider the halls at Shore Leave thoroughly decked, as the underground cocktail lair has switched its theme from the tropics to the North Pole, with model train sets, thousands of strung lights, and even an animatronic Santa Claus (who has some questionable dance moves).
3. Be a tourist in your own town.
While a dinner out is entertainment in itself, there are lots of festive happenings that pair beautifully with your Resy. Spring for dinner and a holiday show:
- Few dining rooms can compete with the panoramic city views provided by Contessa’s rooftop location at the Newbury Hotel. And afterward, you can take a walk down Newbury Street to admire the holiday splendor — and maybe even get a little last-minute shopping done.
4. Have a fancy Friday lunch.
Because one of life’s great luxuries is a special lunch on a wintry Friday. Whether it’s dim sum shared with friends or a classic destination with a long-lost friend, now is the perfect time to plan a long lunch.
- Repair to Aquitaine Bar à Vin Bistrot for a lingering afternoon of bone broth French onion soup with aged sherry, followed by steak frites in shallot sauce and Perigord truffles.
5. Take advantage of all those holiday specials.
Whether it’s seasonal menu specials (latkes! tamales! crabs!) or a special holiday pop-up, now is the time to seize the day.
- Shore Leave‘s Sippin’ Santa pop-up has swapped out the usual cocktail list for a menu of tropically tinged festive fare — like the Island of Misfit Toys, made with aged Jamaican rum, chai tea, cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and lemon.
6. Slow down.
The holiday season is always a whirlwind. Whether solo or with a loved one, take time to slow down, and have a quiet dinner in a cozy, candlelit restaurant. Maybe even without cell phones.
- The distinct, antique-filled rooms of 1928 Beacon Hill practically beg you to stop and appreciate the surroundings — and that stuffed veal chop with sweet béarnaise that just came out of the kitchen.
7. And whatever you do, don’t skip dessert.
Actually, maybe go out of your way to get some holiday desserts.
- After dispensing with the charred-just-right pies at Picco, consider bringing home a pint or two of the pizza maker’s justly famous homemade ice cream to accompany your annual viewing of “Elf.”