Growing up Jewish, the holiday season was always a bit of a letdown for us… not because we longed for carols and cookies and presents under the tree, particularly, but because we soon learned of the Italian tradition to eat shellfish—and lots of it—on Christmas Eve. Which is why, as adults, we’ve made a point of fostering close relationships with observant Italian families; i.e., the kind that prepares seven complete courses for The Feast, instead of simply cramming the requisite number of shellfish in a single dish. But if you’re not Italian (or haven’t managed to wrangle a holiday invite from a gracious famiglia), it’s still entirely possible to observe the Feast of the Seven Fishes this year, by booking a reservation at one of these top Brooklyn restaurants!
Roman’s: No cutting corners at our very favorite Andrew Tarlow joint; Roman’s is offering seven shellfish courses for $85 per person on Christmas Eve, including Crostini with marinated mussels, Skate in Saor, Carolina Shrimp with oranges and olives, Calamari and Bean Salad, Crab Soup with buckwheat tonarelli, Pasta con la Sarde, and Monkfish with potatoes and clams.
243 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene
Pacifico’s Fine Foods: You can’t afford not to spend the Feast of the Seven Fishes at Pacifico’s Fine Foods, which is offering three seafood-centric courses for only $45 per person on Christmas Eve, including Bacalhau (salt cod), Moqueca (Brazilian fish stew) and Bobo de Camaro; shrimp cooked with manioc and coconut milk.
798 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
Frankie’s 457 Spuntino: Get a jump start on your holiday celebrations by checking out Frankie’s Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner tonight (Dec. 22nd). For a highly reasonable price of $65 per person, you’ll enjoy Frito Misto with calamari, shrimp and smelt, Fluke Crudo drizzled with Frankie’s own “Olio Nuovo,” Mussel Frizelle, a Crab and Uni Crepe, Baccala Vesuvio with chicory, and a sweet spread of chestnuts, walnuts and almonds, struffeli cookies, and red wine-soaked dates with mascarpone.
457 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Saul: Serving the Feast of the Seven Fishes has long been an annual tradition at Saul, and thankfully, that hasn’t changed now that they’ve moved to the Brooklyn Museum. Granted, it’s not exactly cheap at $95 per person, but the menu sounds inarguably lovely, featuring an array of Antipasti, a Trio of Crudo, Zuppa di Bacalao a la Romana, Bucatini di Fruit di Mare, Smoked Local Swordfish with spicy collard greens, polenta and barolo sauce, and Argyle Farms Buttermilk Panna cotta with basil and borage flowers for dessert.
200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
Red Gravy: Dedicated to traditional, rib-sticking Italian fare, this Brooklyn Heights trattoria is a choice place to spend the Feast. For $85 per person, expect Mackerel Crudo with cactus pear, chestnuts and caviar, Frutta de Mare featuring mussels, scallops, octopus, radicchio and saffron, Fritto Misto with calamari, skate, smelts and lemon, a duo of pastas, including Busiate with shrimp scampi and meyer lemon breadcrumbs, Branzino with cardoons and bagna cauda, and Parrozzo (chocolate bread) with crunchy candied almonds.
151 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights
Tommaso’s: For a seriously old school experience, gather your family and friends for dinner at this neighborhood favorite at the edge of Bensonhurst. For a very wallet-friendly $59 per person, you’ll enjoy a host of appetizers, such as Fish Salad, Baked Clams, Mussels Marinara, Fried Whiting with Zucchini, and Baccala Balls, Linguine with mixed seafood or Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli, your choice of Baccala Napolitano, Red Snapper, Sole Francese, or Shrimp Americano, and Chocolate Mousse, Cannoli, or Italian Cheesecake for dessert.
1464 86th Street, Bensonhurst
Greenpoint Fish and Lobster: If you’d just as soon take on The Feast yourself this year, this Greenpoint market has got your shellfish needs covered. Stock up on a variety of oysters from throughout the Northeast, as well as hard shell clams, Rhode Island squid, Nantucket bay scallops, wild Cape Cod mussels, Boston mackerel, Long Island black sea bass, New Jersey porgy, New York flounder, Greek Branzino, and scrumptious Maine lobster.
114 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint