Christmas dinner is the focus of the festive season. Traditionally, it is turkey with all the trimmings - but does that mean vegetarians have only Brussels sprouts and glazed carrots to eat? Quite simply, no. Gone are the days when vegetarians spent more time pulling their cracker than they did on their Christmas dinner. While not all restaurants cater to non-meat eaters, there are enough that have devised special Christmas menus so that vegetarians have a wide variety to choose from. Some are truly inspired concoctions, making the most of winter vegetables and adding a suitably festive flair to the occasion. A nut roast is good alternative to turkey and this is the main course on Mad Dogs' set Christmas dinner. Served with mushroom sauce, herb roasted potatoes and buttered vegetables, it is neither bland nor dry - as the uninitiated often assume. For the starter there is creamy leek and potato soup, with Christmas pudding and brandy sauce for dessert. The set menu is reasonably priced, at $295 per person, and is available until January 3. (Reservations: 2810-1000). Probably the best-value dinner for vegetarians this Christmas is at the Avenue Restaurant and Bar in the Holiday Inn Golden Mile. After the vegetable broth or saute of wild mushrooms, there is a choice of three main courses. For pasta lovers there is penne with spiced bell peppers sauce, black olives and artichokes. Other choices are potato gnocchi with zucchini, garlic and goat's cheese or the tartlet of portobello mushrooms, with a wonderful gruyere and pine nut crust, accompanied by potatoes and spinach. There is a good selection of desserts. Two courses cost $198 and three courses are $248. (Reservations: 2315-1118). At Pomeroy's, the vegetarian options are not merely tacked on to the main menu as an afterthought, but presented on a separate menu. For $180 (plus 10 per cent), vegetarians have a choice of cream of mushroom soup or tomato and basil salad to start with. While the main courses aren't very Christmassy, they nevertheless sound interesting, with eggplant cannelloni or vegetable cutlets. Dessert is traditional pudding. (Reservations: 2523-4772 - vegetarians must book in advance). At the SoHo stalwart, Staunton's Wine Bar and Cafe, vegetarians can have their Christmas meal either at lunch or dinner. The menus are basically the same, but in the evening there's a choice of appetiser. You can start with creamy leek and potato soup and then move on to filo pastry stuffed with spinach, feta cheese and chestnut, served with salad. Two courses cost $148 at lunch and $168 at dinner - and for an additional $30, there is a seasonal dessert. (Tel: 2973-6611). Around the corner at the Bayou, Christmas dinner looks set to be a hearty affair. Vegetarians start off with a warm grilled pumpkin and sweet potato salad. Main course is roasted stuffed artichoke hearts, with red wine garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables and, a traditional favourite, cranberry relish. The cranberries make it to dessert as well, with a choice of cranberry plum bread pudding or Louisiana fig pecan pie. (Reservations: 2526-2118). The Mandarin offers vegetarians a sophisticated, albeit untraditional, menu in the Mandarin Grill, the Chinnery Bar and room service. The four-course meal starts with apple-barley salad. It is unlikely Santa will be tucking into a buckwheat pancake stuffed with truffled cottage cheese after he has done his rounds, but this is what you will be doing at the Mandarin Grill. The menu returns to more traditional fare for dessert all drenched in liqueur, as the season dictates, and ends with coffee and mini mince pies. At $626, it is not cheap, but you are paying for Mandarin service and style. (Reservations: 2825-4020). If you really want to do Christmas in style, head to Felix. There can be few better places to celebrate the season than at the top of the Peninsula, where you will have a wonderful view of the Christmas lights. The menu is eclectic, beginning with cauliflower panna cotta and grilled matsutake mushrooms, then moving on to Hawaiian heart of palm salad. The next course is grilled radicchio, asparagus and endive tart and the feast ends with chocolate truffle cake. This special menu is $1,680, and will be served only on Christmas Eve, so you are advised to book well in advance. (Tel: 2315-3155). Some restaurants offer these menus until the end of the month, which means that, if you are having trouble choosing, you could always have two - or half a dozen, in the run-up to Christmas. Make sure you book well in advance for Christmas day. Vegetarians need not fear being served a limp salad or a baked potato for their Christmas dinner. And do not forget to follow the season's motto: eat, drink and be merry!