HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Feast of the Seven Fishes

Anyone know who is doing them this year? I realize that it might be too late but if there is somewhere still doing it that would be great. I think that neptune had it somewhat late last year.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Per an email I got yesterday:
    "Grotto and Marliave will begin serving The Feast of Seven Fishes at 5:00 p.m. starting Friday December 21st until Christmas Eve. Reservations are required."

    1 Reply
    1. re: Allstonian

      Have been to Grotto's for Xmas eve years ago and enjoyed it.

    2. Avila is also doing the Feast. Their email response said that it is possible for some parties at the table to do the feast and some to order from the regular menu. We have a couple of non-shellfish eaters in our family, so that works perfectly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bear

        have you been there and enjoyed it, bear? you never see it discussed (allston>your cue)here except a few yrs ago i remember asking about it and getting some negs.

        Il Casale (and Dante) is doing an abbreviated one. Neptune Oyster did a REAL one (7 courses) last yr that we attended; excellent, w/ some unusual seafoods(i did a long post on it.)

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          No, oc. We've never been to Avila. We were going to go to Teatro for our annual Xmas Eve family outing, but they don't appear to be open this year.

          We were looking for a place that has more than the token goat cheese vegetarian offering for one son, and I noticed that Avila had a few veggie plates and was doing the Feast. When I contacted them to see if the whole table had to participate, they were as responsive and flexible as can be so I figured we'd give them a try. I'll definitely post to help out next year's feasters.

          1. re: bear

            Avila's feast was very good. An amuse of smooth corn soup with a hint of coriander seed and some tender lobster was delicious, and they nicely gave some to the non-feast eaters, too. Next were perfectly fried oysters with uni aioli. Delicious. The third course was a fabulous angel hair pasta in lemon cream with seared local bay scallops. I'm still thinking about that dish. The main was probably my least favorite, although still very good. It was crab-stuffed sole with clam, squid ink and calamari risotto. The sole was well-cooked and very fresh, but the risotto was a little salty and overwhelming. The rice sort of got lost and it was hard to recognize as risotto.

            There were several pasta choices for the vegetarian, and my husband's short ribs were excellent. Dessert was a choice of any of the night's selections. Nice cheese plate among them.

            It was a pretty pricey evening, and the room has sort of a corporate feel. Service was a little odd, too. Our server didn't really check in with us and sort of avoided eye contact. Bussers and runners were great, though. We had a great time, but I don't think I'd go back.

        1. My Fresh & Local newspaper column was on this topic this week. Grotto, Marliave, Dante, Davio have them scheduled. Neptune is doing theirs tonight. Legal Harborside has a version on their menu through the season.


          1. Canary Square is doing it, started a few nights ago and I think goes for another night or two. I had it tonight. A la carte with elements priced from ~$9 to ~$22, or tasting menu for 1 for $45, or family style for $80 (not sure how many that feeds). I did the tasting menu for one. The food was very good and the preparations interesting, and it was served in seven distinct courses. I thought the pacing was odd (with a few very long delays between courses and others that came a bit too fast) but that seemed to be waitress error, and the order of the dishes was not quite what I would have preferred. I'll try to remember it here:

            -Clams Casino - traditional preparation, with 3 small clams.

            -Bacala salad, which was a mix of escarole, garlic, red pepper flake, white bean, and flakes of bacala. Quite a large portion, so big that they automatically brought plates for sharing with my dining companions. Very tasty, with the garlic and red pepper giving the dish most of its flavor.

            -Stuffed squid. Small slices of squid stuffed with what I think was a mortadella, served with artichoke / tomato / eggplant caponata. This was probably the best-prepared and tastiest dish of the planned menu.

            -Baby eggplant. This was the only dish I really didn't like, and ate just a few bites. The preparation included potatoes and pesto. I thought the flavors were off and the baby eggplant actually undercooked. I like tender eggplant, but this texture just wasn't right.

            -Lobster fettuccini. Delicous and simple. A bit too salty but still great.

            -Eel, served roasted/baked with olives and peppers. Very tender and delicous.

            -Grilled Sardines with a tomato relish. 2 large sardines, simply grilled. This to me was a very strange dish to end on. I would have preferred something lighter. Either the eel or the lobster would have been a great finish.

            Extra course at end: scallop crudo. This was the best of the night. Simply done with some citrus + basil. This made me feel better about just having eaten the sardine...

            This was my first time experiencing the tradition. I really enjoyed it and was happy to have 7 actual courses.

            Great concept, interesting preparations, good execution, and a waitress who was very nice and seemed to be trying hard but not getting it quite right. All in all, a very good experience.

            1 Reply
            1. Also, Tavolo is doing it tomorrow night. I don't know the details.

              1. Neptune's was last night. It was amazing.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Beachowolfe

                  please say more! and how did you know about it..do they have a mailing list?

                  1. re: Madrid

                    madrid, they typically let their frequent customers know, but no mailing because it's so tiny.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      I spoke with someone there a few weeks ago and was put on the waiting list for until early last week.

                      Legal's menu looks great. I wish I was the guy who would take pictures but I can't ever bring myself to do it.

                      Here's the Neptune rundown:

                      Vongole & Ostriche - cherrystone and Island Creek

                      Frutti di Mare - "antipasto" plate of white anchovies, octopus salad, crab, and sea urchin

                      Tonno Conservato - poached w/ olives and celery salad

                      Baccala - whipped salt cod w/ toast

                      livornese - crispy eel, sugo, polenta verde

                      brodetto - clams, mussles, calamaaaahh and shrimp over pearl barley

                      Lobster spaghettini

                      1. re: Beachowolfe

                        wow, sounds great. maybe one of these years I'll have the money and time to become a regular!

                    1. re: BostonZest

                      zest, thanks to you,we really enjoyed ourselves at Coppa's Xmas Eve Dinner. 7PM and the South End was QUIET. I've never seen so many unused meters there in my life! "Everybody must go away for Xmas"?
                      What a truly robust welcome we received at Coppa; all three servers could not have been nicer; made us feel right at home. The menu we had is below. We enjoyed almost every single course and our favs are starred below. Portions were generous, seasoning was robust and reliably spot-on; no need for salt,pepper, or even lemon. And while many of the dishes shared some elements (tomato, garlic, citrus, capers, certain herbs) they each tasted distinctly different.

                      Our only losers were our first (extra) dish and our last. I always have to try arancini if they're on a menu. Here, they were decidedly inferior to La Morra's and, the best I've yet found- Il Casale's (with the rich beef stock and tomato in their rice.)The rice of Coppa's arancini was just one solid glutinous mass> a real shame; you couldn't even see the rice grains. I really liked the broccoli dish but I have to guess that botarga's expense is in the truffle stratosphere because when I had it at Neptune Oyster last year, and Coppa this time, its presence was that of a mote. Maybe if I am ever served enough to be able to taste it, i will find it delicious. The churros dessert was an embarassment to be on the menu at all, but the subpar chocolate used- made it especially disappointing.

                      The churros was one of 2 dishes that was , in actuality, completely different from the advertised menu. And particularly in the case of the dessert, the actual was a disappointment. I think that Jamie Bissonette's style may be that he aims high with his enthusiasm, but reality's time constraints leave his last arrows falling short of their mark. We saw this a few yrs ago at a tapas competition at Tremont 647 where Jamie's first dish was the stellar plate of the night, but his last dish was the worst blow- off of the night.
                      But there' no doubt he has a lot of talent, and it was a real treat to enjoy the successes of his enthusuasm.

                      Coppa's Christmas Eve Dinner $45
                      (We ordered an extra dish- arancini :-{ )

                      Insalata di Frutti di Mare
                      Marinated octopus, squid, shrimp, potatoes, fennel, celery

                      Crostini with Tonno Conserve /

                      Cured tuna belly with anchovy parmesan vinaigrette***


                      Sunchoke /

                      Crostini with sunchokes, mascarpone, Meyer lemon and hazelnuts****

                      Vongole Oranata (Tiny stuffed clams)
                      Roasted Woodbury clams, oregano, garlic bread crumbs

                      Broccoli con Bottarga
                      Sautéed broccoli, chili, bottarga, shallots

                      Spaghetti con Polpette di Pesce
                      Hand made pasta, swordfish meatballs, tomato, pine nuts, cherry peppers

                      Squid Ink pasta w/ eel, crab in Putanesca sauce(spicy marnara with capers and chili flakes)***

                      Churros w/ chocolate sauce and toasted hazelnuts :-{

                      The reds by the glass were noteworthy and enjoyable.

                    2. For those on the Cape, Nauset Beach Club in Orleans offers this.

                      1. We just got back from Legal Harborside Floor 2's Feast of the Seven Fishes which runs through Christmas night I believe. Really excellent meal with 7 different fish courses. The only dish I really didn't love was the monkfish overpowered with salty prosciutto and not my favorite fish to begin with (hard when comparing it to the other dishes served).

                        So many stand out dishes, everything complemented each other well and sauces paired with the food were excellent. In particular I loved the sablefish, seared perfectly on top, and wonderfully juicy. Loved the pickled quince mignonette on the huge merry oysters. Crab claws and scallops were just as excellent. Menu also included lobster and arctic char. There were also a few complimentary amuse bouche sized dishes. This was a true feast with wonderful seafood. Service and atmosphere match the food. Manager stopped by and talked to us about our meal which was very nice. He told us about how the chef went through a trial and error process to come up with the menu and it showed with the final product. Harborside (floor 1 and 2) is easily one of my favorites around.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AaronInBoston

                          Prosciutto during the Feast of Seven Fishes?! WTF! The whole point is that the meal is supposed to be meatless.