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Fork Dork: Christmas Dining Options Abound for Eastsiders

With holiday season stress, check one item off your list: cooking Christmas dinner. Eat out at a local restaurant.

With all the other holiday responsibilities, sometimes it is best to leave the cooking to the pros. Christmas Eve is one of the busiest dining evenings of the year for many restaurants in the region, and this year, Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday—the busiest dining day of the week for the same restaurants. So, if you are planning to eat out, make reservations now.

For Christmas Day, the bounty of dining out options is ravaged like gift wrapping by children on Christmas morning. Many restaurants are regularly closed on Sundays, and some that are usually open will be closed to celebrate Christmas.

Worry not, here’s a handy guide to dining options on the Eastside on Christmas Day. Many hotel and resort restaurants, including casino resorts, will be open for dinner service as hotel resorts remain open 365 days a year. Chinese restaurants are another reliable option—many stay open on Christmas.

Other alternatives include  in Bellevue Square for steaks,  in Lincoln Square for contemporary American dishes and  in Bellevue for Italian fare.

 at Willows Lodge in Woodinville is taking reservations up to 9 p.m. on Christmas. Specials by Barking Frog Executive Chef Bobby Moore include buttermilk fried quail, steak tartare, oven roasted black cod, grilled Snake River Farms pork chop and Anderson Ranch rack of lamb. For more information or reservations call 425-424-2999 or click here.

The Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie will offer a special Christmas dinner menu from 2 to 8 p.m. For $95 for adults and $30 for children 6 to 12, guests can enjoy a four-course menu with options such as lobster and Dungeness Crab bisque, apple bisque, scallops with confit baby beets, pan roasted tenderloin beef, oven roasted grilled salmon or herbed gnocchi. For reservations or more information, call 800-2SALISH or click here.

 at the Bellevue Hilton is taking reservations until 9 p.m. on Christmas. The regular menu of Mediterranean inspired cuisine with local ingredients will be available all evening.

 at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland is offering a special Christmas brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. For $39 ($20 for children 5 to 12), guests can indulge in blackened cod, flat iron steak, omelets, maple glazed pit ham and other brunch specialties. The full menu will also be available until 9:30 p.m.

 at The Heathman Hotel in Kirkland is offering a three-course dinner for $59, $24 for children 12 and under. Entrée options include filet mignon, gnocchi in a pesto cream sauce, roasted free-range pheasant, roasted rack of lamb, Sonoma duck, pan seared salmon and squash ravioli. For reservations or more information, call the restaurant at 425-284-5900 or click here.

Terra Vista at Snoqualmie Casino and the Tulalip Resort Casino are two other hotel destinations that will be serving dinner during Christmas and open late.

Some Chinese restaurant options on the Eastside include  and  in Bellevue,  and  in Redmond, and  on Mercer Island.

Din Tai Fung is open 365 days a year, serving an array of dumplings. The Hong Kong-based dumpling house does the classics best, including pork shu mai, pork buns, xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and wontons. Fried rice and fried noodle dishes abound as well.

Facing East is hidden in the back corner of a strip mall on Bellevue Way in downtown Bellevue. It’s worth finding for its pork burger and other Chinese street food specialties. The burger in this case is more like a braised pork belly bun. The spiced pork stew, sweet potato flour oyster pancake, pickled-radish fried rice and soy-flavored chicken with basil are other recommended specialties.

As the name suggests, Spicy Talk Bistro serves spicy food, more specifically, specialty dishes with whole red Szechuan peppers. The husband and wife team of Cheng Biao Yang and Hoang Ngo have been serving spicy Szechuan cuisine in the Puget Sound area for more than 10 years at restaurants such as Seven Stars Pepper in the International District and Szechuan Chef in Bellevue. Specialties include green-onion pancakes, hand-shaved noodles, Mandarin crispy chicken and cumin lamb. There are ample choices for vegetarians as well. For reservations, call 425-558-7858.

Sichuanese Chinese Restaurant will be open until 8 p.m. on Christmas. When dining at this Redmond restaurant, be prepared for generous portions of Mongolian chicken over steamed rice, hot pot dishes (thinly sliced meats dipped tableside into a hot and spicy broth), curry prawns and chicken in black bean sauce.

The unlikely location of a strip mall on Mercer Island makes the chase worth the catch at Han’s Garden. With dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. on Christmas, what await are specialties such as garlic chicken, crispy chicken with sweet chili sauce, shredded beef Peking style and lemon prawns. If you are dining with a large group, try the Family Style Dinners ($14.95 per person) or Family Deluxe Dinners ($17.95 per person).

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