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Dec 13, 2008 05:29 PM

Seven Fishes??

Any recommendations for places that do the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Philadelphia?

Family-style preferred, not required.


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  1. Paradiso is doing Seven Fishes for $60/pp (which I think is a pretty good price).

    Looks like apps, dessert, and sides are served for the table, but each person gets to choose their own first and second course. But if you have enough people, I guess you can all order something different and share.

    Or, you can just come to my house. I'm hosting my family's Seven Fishes dinner for the first time this year (no pressure). I'll even give you a break...only $50 per person, lol.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      good luck! i hope you have assistance. it is always a group effort in my family, though i think each one of the helpers could probably manage it on their own after all these years (as long as they had two ovens). that is an excellent price for paradiso's spread, just the thought of that fritto misto has me salivating.

      1. re: mazza3

        Thanks for the encouragement.

        My dad (the Jedi Master) will be handling the cold salads. He'll be making bacala salad, Sicilian olive salad, and a marinated mozzarella salad.

        I'm making peel and eat shrimp, baked clams, and clams casino for appetizers. The main course is a frutte di mare that will include mussels, shrimp, scallops, and calamari.

        If you've been counting, that's only 6 fish. The seventh will be some baked tilapia for the 7 year old that is not as adventurous and the 2 year old (my daughter) that is not eating shellfish...yet.

        1. re: Philly Ray

          What time should we be there? I'm headed downstairs to pick out a couple of nice wines.

          1. re: Philly Ray

            that is exactly the kind of assistance you will need, clams casino sound heavenly right now! grandmom does the cold baccala and tuna salad, the baccala soup and the spinach pie with anchovies. my mom does the pasta and clams and the pizzas and i do everything else (changes each year, but we usually end up with 9 fish, as long as it's odd right? :) ). a neighbor fries the smelts since only she, my boyfriend and i eat them (her family is goofy. so is mine i suppose...). and we do a baked tilapia or flounder (tilapia = better for th ocean, so tilapia wins out these days) every year too.

            1. re: Philly Ray

              Awesome! I was freaking out the first coupla times I did the 7 fishes dinner and it's so so worth it ... and easier than I thought. Have fun & Buon Festa di Natale!

        2. I believe Chick;s Cafe in Bella Vista is also doing it this year. not sure if things are served family style there...

          1. and just in today's inquirer, davio's throws its hat into the rink:

            * Davio's (111 S. 17th St., 215-563-4810) will serve the traditional Italian Christmas Eve Seven Fish Dinner from 5-11 p.m. Wednesday. On the menu are Taylor Bay scallops and mussels in tomato ragu, Maine Lobster Bisque, branzino, Shrimp Butternut Crab Risotto and Coffee-Crusted Tuna, plus side dishes and a dessert cart for $75 per person. The full a la carte menu also will be available.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mazza3

              Not to be picky, but I don't believe that Shrimp Butternut Crab Risotto and Coffee Crusted Tuna are "traditional".

              1. re: Philly Ray

                tis true. i was just posting a new option in case the original poster changed their mind, or in case someone else was investigating alternative options.

                1. re: Philly Ray

                  Ha true, but I have to say coffee crusted tuna sounds good enough to become a tradition! :)

              2. I just saw that Maia is doing it too, for $75 a person:


                It says they are offering it to go with a minimum order of four people, which (to me) implies that they are ONLY doing it for takeout, not in the restaurant.

                1. I have never been out for Christmas Eve, so I can't help ya with a rec...but you can swing by my parents in South Philly whee I will spend most of the day cooking!

                  1. Shrimp Cocktail
                  2. Stuffed calamari in red gravey
                  3. Clams and Spaghetti
                  4. Scallops and Spahetti
                  5. bacala salad
                  6. fried Smelts
                  7. tilapia - quick saute in butter andd finished in the oven with a dollop of mayo, garlic, lemon and red peper flake

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: GDFLS

                    It's certainly not traditional in any sense of the word, but my wife and I started a new tradition a few years ago by doing sushi for Xmas eve. We definitely get at least 7 different fishes! :)

                    Happy Holidays.

                    1. re: GDFLS

                      sounds great. Outside my summertime BBQ addiction, the Seven Fishes are something I gear up for all year long. I think we have close to 15 fishes on the menu for this year in some form or another. Not ever being able to stay away from the grill for too long, I am doing some grilled octopus and fennel. As for where to go for the dinner, I think the Lamberti's people do a seven fishes dinner.

                      1. re: Gorp512

                        Hey Mitchh, I like the sushi idea! If some of my cousins go off and do thier own thing, I am sure I could talk my sister into a sushi christmas Eve.

                        Gorp, capital idea to inlist the use of the grill, sounds great to me! And 15 fish are fine, if I remember right so long as it is an odd number of fish my grandmother wouldn't complain...much...:)

                        Happy Holidays to everyone.