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Still time to reserve a table for Christmas Eve dinner

Surprisingly, Christmas Eve is a busy restaurant night. For some it’s a special night out (especially those not waiting for Santa!) while other enjoy a reprieve from cooking one more holiday meal.

Below are some local places serving on Christmas Eve (and some on Christmas Day). Reservations are highly recommended (verging on required) for most restaurants.

Buffalo Proper (333 Franklin St., buffaloproper.com) will serve a Christmas Eve dinner that includes a choice of salad, entree, dessert and glass of wine ($60 per person). The 31 Club (31 North Johnson Park, the31club.com) will open for dinner at 4 p.m. The Buffalo Chop House (282 Franklin St., buffalochophouse.com) will serve dinner from 2 to 9 p.m. on both Dec. 24 and 25.

Gigi’s Cucina Povera (981 Kenmore Ave., gigiscucinapovera.com) will serve a modern version of a Christmas Eve La Vigilia (Feast of the Seven Fishes) from  4 to 9 p.m. The $50 tasting menu ($40 optional wine pairing) includes seafood like baccala crostini linguine con vongole and lobster mascarpone polenta. An a la carte menu will also be available with non-seafood items.

If you want to try something new (and swanky), SEAR Steakhouse in the Avant Building (200 Delaware Ave., searbuffalo.com) is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24 and from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 25. Patina 250 (250 Delaware Ave., patinagroup.com) is open from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 24 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dec 25.

Most chains at the centrally located Walden Galleria will be open on Dec. 24. Bravo! Cucina Italiana (bravoitalian.com) opens at 11:30 a.m.,with the last reservation at 8 p.m. Gordon Biersch (gordonbiersch.com) is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Melting Pot (meltingpot.com) from noon to 7 p.m. and Bar Louie (barlouie.com) from 11 a.m. to midnight Dec. 24 and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 25.

In the Northtowns, the Creekview (5629 Main St., Williamsville, creekviewrestaurant.com) is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and serves a delicious Tom & Jerry cocktail. Down the street, the Eagle House (5578 Main St., Williamsville, eaglehouseonline.com) serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., then dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. The Scotch N Sirloin (3999 Maple Ave., Amherst, scotchnsirloinrestaurant.net) will serve from 4 to 9 p.m. and Black & Blue Steak & Crab (5493 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, blackandbluesteakandcrab.com) from 3 to 9 p.m.

In Niagara Falls, N.Y., Bella Vista Ristorante (Four Points By Sheraton, 7001 Buffalo Ave., bvniagara.com) opens at 5 p.m. both Dec. 24 and 25 for dinner.

Along the Route 5 corridor, Mulberry Italian Ristorante (64 Jackson St., Lackawanna, mulberryitalianristorante.com) will serve an abbreviated Christmas Eve menu from noon to 3 p.m., followed by a full dinner menu until 7:30 p.m. Curly’s Bar & Grille (647 Ridge Rd., Lackawanna, curlysgrille.com) will be open 4 to 8 p.m., and Lucia’s on the Lake (4151 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg, luciasonthelake.com) has regular hours from 4 to 10 p.m.

In the Southtowns, Ilio DiPaolo’s (3735 South Park Ave., Blasdell, iliodipaolos.com) serves from 3 to 8 p.m. (reservations required). If you cannot make Christmas Eve, go Dec. 26 for the final December “Good Fellas” Monday dinner (also Dec. 19). Meal includes soup or salad and clever entrées — Pork DeNiro, Chicken Sorvino, Shrimp Pesci and Filet Mignon Scorsese — plus dessert ($20.16 per person).

Daniel’s (174 Buffalo St., Hamburg, daniels-restaurant.com) opens at 4 p.m. and will serve a special Christmas Eve menu along with some surf and turf specials. The new Carte Blanche (61 Buffalo St., Hamburg, carteblanchehamburg.com) will be open regular dinner hours, 4 to 11 p.m.

In East Aurora, Rick’s On Main (687 Main St., East Aurora, ricksonmain.com) serves an abbreviated Christmas Eve menu, starting at 4:30 p.m., last seating at 6:30 p.m. The Old Orchard 2095 Blakely Corners Road, oldorchardny.com), will serve from 3 to 9 p.m. The American Grille (7901 Seneca St., americangrille.net) will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Dec. 24 and 25, serving a limited menu Christmas Eve and on Christmas, ham, roast beef and turkey dinners with all the trimmings ($20). The Roycroft Inn (40 South Grove St., roycroftinn.com) is booked for both Dec. 24 and 25, but call to see if there are cancellations.

You can also check Open Table (opentable.com). While not all restaurants utilize the reservation site, it’s a good place to search by location. Popular time slots might show a place being full, but call because you never know (and technology isn’t always right). Ask to be put on a wait list in the event of a cancellation.

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