By Gillian BurdettHoliday celebrations and food go hand in hand. Who doesn’t look forward to Christmas dinner with family and friends? Yet, preparing a feast for a crowd is a lot of work. It takes planning and many trips to the grocery store. Hours are spent in the kitchen preparing the meal, and when it is done, there is a stack of dishes to wash and pots and pans to scrub. You can avoid the work and still enjoy feasting with your family by picking up the phone and making reservations for that special dinner. Between the Litchfield Hills and the shore, there are several fine Connecticut restaurants serving on Christmas Day. Here is our roundup of the best options.

Morgan’s Restaurant at Interlaken Inn
74 Interlaken Road
Lakeville, CT 06039
(800) 222-2909
www.interlakeninn.com

Interlaken is a classic New England lakefront country inn. Morgan’s is a true farm-to-table restaurant that builds its menu with fresh, local ingredients. Christmas dinner 2016 is a prime rib buffet. There will be two seatings on Christmas Day – 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations for the Christmas Day buffet is limited to 50 people, so it is wise to confirm your spot early.

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point
2 Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 896-5139
www.saybrook.com

Where the Connecticut Rivers flows into Long Island Sound you will enjoy the elegant, yet casual, dining at the Saybrook Pont Inn. The Inn features beautiful ocean views and an attentive staff. The Christmas Day Dinner Buffet is served 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. The extensive buffet includes a Yule Tide Harvest Table with cured and smoked meats, imported cheeses, marinated vegetables and artisan breads.  The inn is renowned for its seafood, and Christmas Day diners will be treated to a seafood sampler. Other buffet items include a carving station, soups, salads and gourmet entrees such as seared pork tenderloin and burrata cheese stuffed shells marinara. Adults – $69.95, Children – $36.95. Younger than 4-years-old – free.

Kensington’s at Norwich Inn
607 W. Thames St.
Norwich, CT 06360
(800) 275-4772
www.thespaatnorwichinn.com/kensingtons

Dinner at the Norwich Inn is served in the classic elegance of a colonial parlor. For Christmas Day, Kensington’s is serving its regular menu complemented with specials of the day. Their offerings lean towards New American cuisine and updated takes on classic comfort foods with some continental dishes added into the mix. Vegetarian and gluten-free entrees are available. Dinner is served 6 – 9 p.m.

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Dattilo Fine Italian at Water’s Edge Resort
1525 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
(860) 399-5901
www.watersedgeresortandspa.com

The sprawling hotel and spa is one of New England’s premier oceanfront resorts. Dattilo Fine Italian offers a menu of authentic Italian cuisine, an extensive wine list and a dramatically appointed dining room with plush carpeting and soaring cathedral ceilings. A wall of floor to ceiling windows provides a spectacular view of Long Island Sound.  They are offering an a la carte menu in the main dining room on Christmas day, 3 – 8 p.m.

Roger Sherman Inn
195 Oenoke Ridge
New Cannan, CT 06840
(203) 966-4541
www.rogershermaninn.com

You will find true elegance in this 18th Century inn, one of the nation’s oldest historical landmarks. The upscale setting and gourmet menu may not be the best for families with young children, but dinner at this colonial-era inn is a luxurious splurge for a party of adults. The Roger Sherman Inn will offer a fixed price menu for Christmas Day 2016. For a traditional Christmas in Connecticut, this is the place.

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