Skip to content

All articles

The Feast of the Seven Fishes Returns

By Sophie Brochu
Posted
Categories:Holidays 2021

The maritime Christmas Eve celebration is back. While the exact origins are up for debate, it’s believed that southern Italians laid the foundation for the Feast of the Seven Fishes upon immigrating to New York City in the late 1800s. Like most celebrations della famiglia, not all dinner tables look the same. Some call for seven fish, others call for seven courses. But all feasts of this variety involve one common denominator: seafood. Here are a few places to find a Festa dei Sette Pesci this year.

Cover Image for

Ivory Pearl

Brookline, MA

“We wanted to create a menu our guests could relate to and being inspired by the traditional format of the Feast of the Seven Fishes was a no brainer,” says chef Jacob MacGowen. “That being said, we definitely took liberties and combined flavors not very common in a traditional feast, but still evoked that richness and heartwarming sensation of being with friends and family. The swordfish schnitzel is most definitely the dish we are most excited about. Paired with a cranberry mostarda, hydrated wasabi, as well as dollops of caviar and ikura, it really represents our style of cooking. Seafood that is meant to be filling and give the guests’ that nostalgic experience.” The feast comes early. Book a spot for December 13th-17th.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Fiola

Washington, DC

“I love this predominately southern Italian (and now Italian-American) tradition of eating a grand meal of seafood before Midnight Mass,” says chef Fabio Trabocchi. “The origins of this feast are the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve, but our menu has nothing to do with fasting or abstinence. Revel in the bounty of the sea.”

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Itria

San Francisco, CA

“My personal background is not Italian, but the Feast of Seven Fishes is something I picked up during my time in New York,” says chef Daniel Evers. “Seafood has always been celebratory for me, something you go out for or get together for.” Evers is most excited about serving turbot roasted on the bone with gigante beans, soffrito, and smoked octopus. “It has all those smokey, rich qualities you might find in something like a classic meat cassoulet, but it is all seafood and really delicious. Not a classic dish by any stretch, but it brings out those food memories.”
Book on Tock
Cover Image for

avec west loop

Chicago, IL

Join avec at the original West Loop location on Dec. 22nd for a family-style 3-course Sicilian feast of hearth-baked squid, roasted prawns, steamed mussels, and wood-fired pizza. “Pizza has always been a staple here at avec, it’ll be fun to put a twist on a classic, using Sicilian pistachios, confit tuna loin, and grey mullet bottarga,” says chef Dylan Patel. A Sicilian wine pairing will be carefully curated by Eduard Seitan.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Cress Restaurant

DeLand, FL

Chef Phil Pierce is serving up a 5-course menu of seafood chowder, pan-roasted local jerk fish, and poached calamari salad, while owner Tom Brandt has curated the perfect wine pairing.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

avec river north

Chicago, IL

Celebrate early at avec river north. On December 14th and 15th, the team is offering a 7-course family-style feast of roasted swordfish, winter greens with calamari, risotto with mussels, and thoughtful wine pairings showcasing various regions throughout Italy.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

SPQR

San Francisco, CA

“The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a fun and very nostalgic theme,” says Chef Matthew Accarrino. “We look at it as something everyone can get excited about, a great meal to wind down the year with.” At SPQR, Accarino is serving seven courses of white sturgeon caviar, pasta, and a beloved octopus dish. “We are also excited about the wine pairings for the evening, focusing mainly on whites, and have some really interesting Italian selections from producers we have worked with for a long time.”

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Yolan

Nashville, TN

This 8-course seafood extravaganza will pay homage to the bountiful coastline of southern Italy. Expect luxurious ingredients, like butter poached lobster, caviar, and Santa Barbara uni, followed by traditional holiday sweets.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Frasca Food and Wine

Boulder, CO

“I’m excited to take part in my first Feast of the Seven Fishes at Frasca and create our version of such a beautiful Christmas Eve tradition,” says chef Rob Hurd. “One dish I’m particularly excited to prepare is Capesante, a diver scallop with butternut squash, pistachio and lingonberry. I love the juxtaposition of the seasonality of the scallops and squash with the brightness of the dish.” Book this festive 5-course meal in the dining room or outside in a private, heated Alpenglobe.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

Osteria Via Stato

Chicago, IL

“I have wonderful childhood memories of my grandfather preparing the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve,” says chef David DiGregorio. He has the intel on why the feast calls for seven fishes specifically. “Named for the seven hills of the eternal city, Rome, this abundant meal perfectly captures the spirit of Italy with dish after dish of incredible seafood from around the country. It was a holiday tradition, centered around food and family, that we celebrated and looked forward to every year. For me, it is all about nostalgia and family.” This feast is available for pickup or delivery in Chicago.

Order on Tock
Cover Image for

Il Ritorno

St. Petersburg, FL

Chef David Benstock is putting a contemporary twist on the classic Italian feast this Christmas Eve. This one will include four family style courses, offered one night only.

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

The Surf Club Restaurant

Surfside, FL

Join The Surf Club Restaurant on Christmas Eve for a decadent seafood prix fixe with a Continental twist. “We will be suggesting a number of exceptional champagnes which pair beautifully with the seafood prix fixe menu, says head sommelier Zach Gossard, “including Krug, Grande Cuvée, Reims MV, Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne 2018 or Domaine de Montille, Chassagne-Montrachet 2018.”

Book on Tock
Cover Image for

OMAGE

Lexington, KY

“I am most excited to be serving our housemade garganelli,” says chef Cameron Roszkowski, who, over the past year has become obsessed with both extruded and sheet pasta. “The dough is made with squid ink also called nero di seppia and is served with crab, garlic, Calabrian chili, colatura, vermouth, scallion and Parmigiano. It’s decadent, spicy, funky, and most importantly, delicious. The garganelli is especially time consuming. Several thousand are required for each night’s service, and there aren’t many restaurants that are willing to commit that much labor to a single dish, but I am elated to showcase it.”

Book on Tock
Find more holiday specials

More Stories