7 Philly Restaurants Serving the Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Italian-American seafood extravaganza is a Christmas Eve tradition. Here's who's cooking it up this year.
If you celebrate Christmas, you’re probably familiar with some iconic holiday foods: candy canes, cookies and milk put out for Santa, eggnog, maybe oranges and nuts in your stocking.
But in many Italian-American households, Christmas Eve means seafood — specifically, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a meal that celebrates the season while adhering to the Catholic tradition of avoiding meat on certain days of the year. Here’s a list of Philly restaurants that are serving their take on this traditional Christmas Eve meal this weekend.
Res Ipsa, Center City
Our Best New Italian Restaurant of 2017 has a late Seven Fishes dinner planned for Saturday, December 23rd, a day earlier than the typical Christmas Eve. Chef Michael Vincent Ferreri — not coincidentally our Best Chef of 2017 — has a six-course feast in the works, featuring hot and cold mezze, four (!) pasta dishes, a seafood stew, and cannoli for dessert. The 6 p.m. seating is already sold out, but there are still spots open for the 9 p.m. dinner. Tickets are $100 per person, and you can get yours here.
Amis, Midtown Village
This year at Amis, chefs Brad Spence and Drew DiTomo are offering seven fish dishes over four courses, plus dessert, for $75 per person; add $35 for an optional wine pairing. Selections include crab and mascarpone bruschetta, octopus salad with roasted peppers, and fettucine with tuna bolognese. It’ll be the only thing on the menu on Saturday, December 23rd from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. (they’re closed on Christmas Eve). Reserve your table here.
Fork, Old City
Chef John Patterson has an epic farm-to-table seafood menu planned, with courses like Barnegat Light scallop crudo with grapefruit and sorrel and red wine gnoccheti with braised octopus and tomato, plus sides like sweet and sour winter squash and citrus sorbet with honey granola and sesame for dessert. The menu is being offered on Sunday, December 24th between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. for $85 per person. Make a reservation here.
Gran Caffe l’Aquila, Center City
Culinary and wine director Riccardo Longo is offering a classic Seven Fishes dinner menu every night through December 24th. Tickets are $55 per person. Check out the full menu and get yours here.
Le Virtù, East Passyunk
South Philly’s destination for Abruzzese cuisine has a five-course Seven Fishes menu planned for Christmas Eve, with dishes like Nantucket bay scallop crudo, New Jersey lobster with mascarpone agnolotti and scungilli brodetto, or seafood stew plus dessert. Note that your whole party must choose the Seven Fishes menu. The dinner is $55 per person, and you can make your reservation here.
Paradiso, East Passyunk
Chef Lynn Rinaldi’s “La Vigilia de Natale” — as the feast is known in parts of Italy — is serving a four-course menu of dishes like fritto misto, skate stuffed with crabmeat and black garlic, Scottish salmon with lentils, and risotto with seared scallops and wild mushrooms on December 24th. It’s $75 per person, with optional wine pairings for an additional $55. Make your reservation here.
The northern Italian steakhouse is serving up their three-course take on the Seven Fishes experience on Christmas Eve starting at 5 p.m. for $75 per person. Their menu includes lobster bisque and an insalata di mare featuring grilled octopus, shrimp, calamari, and mussels, plus black sea bass with jumbo crab-spinach risotto. Make your reservation here.