While its exact origins and the specifics of its history are not clear, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American tradition that takes place in many homes on Christmas Eve. The reason, for many, is that the Vigil consists of fasting from red meats on Christmas Eve, which results in an abundance of seafood as the grand meal. But for some, there’s really no need for a reason to enjoy an amazing and elaborate seafood meal! Either way, if you’re looking to enjoy this tradition in New Jersey, check out the restaurants below.
The Bonney Read offers a feast of seafood options throughout December. Check out the Feast of the 7 Sustainable Fishes, where guests can choose from a menu including diver scallop crudo, pane con sardine, fritelle di baccala, spicy clam stew, lobster fra diavlo, pesce espada, and whole Atlantic bream. Dishes are individually priced. View the menu here. Reservations: 732-455-3352 or online. 525 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park.
Girasole is offering a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Menu selections include polipo (grilled octopus), tagliolini, ippoglosso (Atlantic halibut baked in a banana leaf, with artichokes, mushrooms, olives, thyme, sundried tomatoes) and more. View the menu here. This three course tasting menu is $65 per person. Each dish can be purchased separately. Reservations: 609-345-5554 or online. 3108 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City.
Nonno’s Italian Bistro will be open on Christmas Eve, serving a Feast of the Seven Fishes. The menu will include seafood salad, whipped baccala, octopus, stuffed calamari, pan fried clams, shrimp cocktail and limoncello cured salmon. Includes dessert and coffee. $30 per person. Click here for the menu. Reservations: 732-455-3778. 401 Main Street, Bradley Beach.
Spuntino Wine Bar serves its Feast of the Seven Fishes tasting menu through December 24. Enjoy selections like grappa cured salmon, squid ink campanelle con ragu di mare, prosciutto-wrapped monkfish and more. Tasting menu is $55 per person, or $75 per person when pairing wine with each course. View the menu here. Reservations: 973-661-2435 or online. 70 Kingsland Road, Clifton.
For its first Christmas since opening (in August), Viaggio serves its Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve with a four course menu that includes baccala fritti, crab ravioli, Barnegat Bay sea scallops and more. View the menu here. $85 per person. Reservations: 973-706-7277 or online. 1055 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne.
Molos Restaurant offers a special three-course menu on Christmas Eve, featuring seven fish dishes. Guests can enjoy Alaskan king crab legs, scallops, Alaskan cod, yiouvetsi and more. View the menu here. $65 per person. Reservations: 201-223-1200. 1 Pershing Road, Weehawken.