Reserve Now For These Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinners in Westchester

More restaurants than ever will honor the Italian American tradition on Christmas Eve — and tables are filling up fast.



Although Christmas Eve is when children ’round the world wait for the big guy in red to freefall down the chimney, back in the days of old in Southern Italy, December 24 was a time of commemorative waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ.

This more holy vigil, or La Vigilia, was observed by abstaining from meat and indulging in what was plentiful in the mostly poor region: fish. Today, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, historically starring dried, salted cod, or baccalà, prevails, and Westchester’s seafoodies are giddy over the number of restaurants recognizing the tradition. But, here’s the catch: Reel in a reservation now, or you’ll have to wait until next year.

 

Bread and Brine

19 Main St, Hastings-on-Hudson; 914.479.5243

Just one seating accommodating of 45 diners will make the party at this casual-chic fish house where the five-course meal ($85 pp) will be served family-style and include two under-the-sea varieties per course, ranging from oysters on the half shell and mussels in scapece as appetizers to entrées of grilled branzino and lobster scampi.

 

Fin & Brew

5 John Walsh Blvd, Peekskill; 914.788.4555

CIA-trained Chef Jan Michael Anastacio intends to “celebrate Catholics from not just Italy, but all over the world,” when he rolls out The Vigil, his annual four-course tasting menu ($70 pp) that includes chili-lime shrimp, New Orleans-style salt-cod beignets, a bouillabaisse salad of marinated shellfish with fennel cream, and lobster fra diavolo. Wines can be paired for $20 pp.


Photo by Jan Michael Anastacio

 

L’inizio

698 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley; 914.693.5400

Husband and wife chefs Heather and Scott Fratangelo cook with sustainable, artisanal, farm-to-table ingredients, including on Christmas Eve, when they’ll serve an à la carte array of mixed-fish fra diavolo toast, crispy calamari with a graham cracker crust, and Faroe Island salmon, along with holiday-inspired sweets like gingerbread cake pudding with tiramisù cream.


Photo courtesy of L’inizio

 

Mima Vinoteca

63 Main St, Irvington; 914.591.1300

Northern and Southern Italy are in the house at this local fave where Genoa’s Arturo Marrou and Dominic Russo from low down on “the boot” lure diners with à la carte offerings of baked clams with pancetta and homemade breadcrumbs, calamari and shrimp fritto misto, linguine with fresh clams, lobster ravioli, and baccalà with baby kale.

 

Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill

49 N Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson; 914.271.0702

Just 30 chairs scrape the floors at this casual, New England-style eatery, and on Christmas Eve, there’s only one seating for the prix-fixe menu ($70 pp) by owners Paula and Brian Galvin that includes fritto misto with anchovy aioli, fluke crudo, and squid-ink risotto, as well as panettone bread pudding and an ornament for the tree.

 

Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish

100 Titicus Rd, North Salem; 914.617.8380

After nearly a decade of night-before-Christmas fish fests, this northerly bastion of farm-to-table eating is switching up its four-course prix-fixe ($95 pp) to make waves with 11 or so Pacific Rim-flavored dishes like scallop wonton soup, Montauk squid tempura, and General Tso’s whole snapper. The pièce de résistance will be a family-style pu pu platter of miso-glazed octopus, Georgia blue crab toast, crispy Maine lobster gyoza, and more.      


Photo courtesy of Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish

 

Spadaro Roman Kitchen

211 Main St, New Rochelle; 914.235.4595

Way more than seven delicacies from il mare will grace the menu at this family-run establishment where “farm to table isn’t a trend, it’s just what comes naturally,” according to the website. Selections will be à la carte, consisting of seafood salad with traditional scungille, fried baccalà, scallops, lobster tails, and risotto with shrimp scampi, to name a few.

 

Toscana Ristorante

214 Main St, Eastchester; 914.361.1119

Nearly a dozen different fish will come to the table at this old-world Italian mainstay, with seven marine treasures in one Mediterranean-style bouillabaisse alone. Additional offerings run the gamut from baccalà fritto and calamari and mussels arrabbiata, to branzino with shrimp and scallops, baccalà puttanesca, and squid-ink risotto with scallops.

 

tredici NORTH

578 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase; 914.997.4113

Christmas Eve dinner will be “as classic as classic can be,” says Chef Giuseppe Fanelli who will whip up at least eight à la carte underwater delights — the menu is also planned for Bronxville’s tredici SOCIAL — including tuna tartare, seafood salad, pasta with baccalà, baked clams, and the freshest whole fish he can hook that day.

 

Curious for more insight into everything from weddings and local business happenings to golf and hearty Westchester eating? Surf through all of our daily blogs

 

 

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