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Where to Enjoy the Feast of the Seven Fishes in Westchester

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Photo courtesy of L’inizio

Make your reservations and to-go orders with these Westchester restaurants for the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

Additional reporting by Melissa Kagan 

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.

Agostino’s

335 Pelham Rd, New Rochelle; 914-235-6019

Restaurant owner Anna Catalano will hand-pick the Christmas Eve fish-centered menu at this unassuming neighborhood restaurant. It will reflect current a la carte favorites as well as special offerings, including zuppa de pesce, stuffed calamari, crab cakes, fried shrimp, and seafood salad, just to name a few.

The Greekish

273 Halstead Ave, Harrison; 914.732.3333

Small plates and stiff drinks are the thing at this hip and cozy meze and ouzo eatery where Chef Constantine Kalandranis puts together an in-house, four-course, seven-fish-inspired dinner featuring a chef’s selection of crudo meze, mussels or calamari, octopus, grilled jumbo shrimp or branzino, and a meal-ending sweet for $75 pp. Don’t feel like eating out? Enjoy a takeout feast at home which includes branzino, red caviar taramasolata, tzatziki, hummus, pita, Cyprian ceviche, seasonal salad, stuffed grape leaves, and a sweet treat. The box is priced at $125 and feeds four.

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 offer seven fishes seafood pappardelle for takeout only. It will feed four and costs $150. For a dine-in experience on Christmas Eve, the chefs are offering a la carte specials like octopus, hamachi crudo, butterflied prawns, and whole branzino in addition to their regular menu.

 

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Mamma Francesca

414 Pelham Rd, New Rochelle; 914.636.1229

Located along New Rochelle’s shoreline, this purveyor of classic and contemporary Italian cuisine has been delighting regulars and newcomers alike, and will aim to do the same on Christmas Eve with a celebratory menu of seven fish.

Mima Vinoteca

63 Main St, Irvington; 914.591.1300

Northern and southern Italy are in the house at this Rivertown fave where Genoa’s Arturo Marrou and Dominic Russo from low down on “the boot” lure diners this Christmas Eve with a range of à la carte offerings from under the sea. The menu can be enjoyed a la carte or family-style for both in-house dining or takeout.

ODO

72 Main St, Tuckahoe; 914.222.9248

At this intimate, downtown newcomer, where the emphasis is on quality ingredients and Old World Abruzzese cooking, the evening feast begins with a baccala salad, followed by fried calamari, shrimp fra diavolo, and zuppa di pesce. Grilled veggies and eggplant caponata will be thrown in for good measure (and good eatin’, in our opinion), and tiramisu will usher a sweet end to the traditional, celebratory festivities. ($85 pp)

 

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Pizza & Brew

851 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale; 914.472.1032

This Scarsdale establishment heads into the holidays with a four-course seven fishes meal on Christmas Eve, which can also be enjoyed at sister restaurants Via Forno (also in Scarsdale) and Public Pizza Italian Restaurant in Ridge Hill. Menu highlights for the dine-in or takeout feast include a whole lobster, baccala, clams, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and octopus over pasta in a spicy marinara sauce. The spread feeds two and costs $100.

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 makes waves with an extensive prix-fixe menu that showcases seven fish and begins with family-style-antipasti to share, and then moves to hot and cold appetizers like big eye tuna ceviche, smoked salmon rillettes, chilled Florida shrimp, lobster and fennel empanadas, crab spring rolls, and PEI mussels. Entrees include a choice of dishes like Chilean sea bass with roasted farm carrots and crispy sticky rice in a lemongrass emulsion, wild striped bass with sun chokes and celery root from the farm in a truffle and sherry reduction, or Maine lobster and Icelandic cod with chanterelle and potato gnudi in a saffron and shellfish broth. Dessert choices include sticky toffee pudding, a holiday sundae, or seven-layer chocolate cake.

$95 pp for adults; $59 for kids 12 and under.

Toscana Ristorante

214 Main St, Eastchester; 914.361.1119

At least seven different fish will come to the table at this old-world Italian mainstay, and if this year is anything like years past, diners can expect infinitely more marine delights expertly plated and prepared with classic Italian flair.

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 more than seven à la carte underwater delights including sushi-grade tuna tartare, fried shrimp, crab cakes, baked clams with oregano from his garden, the freshest whole fish he can hook that day, and seafood salad, which he says will be a standout. “In a typical Italian family, one just throws all the fish in one pot so it ends up tasting all the same. But at Tredici, it’s all about the prep. You will taste every fish based on [each] being cooked separately.” The menu will be available for dining in or taking out.


Read More: Westchester Restaurants Open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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