What It’s Like To Spend Christmas Eve In A New York Restaurant (Instead Of At Home)

Romans Christmas Eve FeastChristmas Eve is the day that everyone in your life assumes you will spend at home with your family. By November, people will eagerly begin asking you what your “plans for the holidays” are, confident they’ll hear about a long flight itinerary and some heartwarming family traditions. But sometimes, that kind of traditional Christmas just isn’t in the cards. Things are particularly complicated for my family right now, and aside from the cost of a cross-country flight, the emotional toll of going home wasn’t something any of us could handle.

So, with my sister safely nestled away in Long Island with her boyfriend, my brother and I decided to find somewhere in Brooklyn to spend the eve of Christmas. We could’ve cooked, sure, but considering I spend all my energy creating content for this very website, and he runs a small but blossoming bookstore in the heart of Red Hook, neither of us had time or energy for that.

Last week, I stumbled upon our list of places to eat on the holiday, and quickly settled on Roman’s, a Fort Greene staple that’s part of Andrew Tarlow’s restaurant empire (a list that also includes Marlow & Sons, Diner, Reynard & more). I’d been to Roman’s once before, ate alone at the bar, and received such outstanding service that I’ve been harboring a desire to go to back for the last few years. My brother hadn’t been yet, and after perusing their four-course Feast Of the Seven Fishes menu, we were in. The whole thing was a cool prix-fixe of $95 — not including drinks — but if there’s ever a time to splurge, it’s Christmas.

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