Traditional (and International!) Holiday Meals


The aftermath from my family’s Feast of Seven Fishes. Photo: ©

So many choices for special, once-a-year feasts that pay homage to holiday traditions from around the world; don’t miss out on these international holiday meals.

The Old World Food Truck is presenting a special Hanukkah-themed five-course feast at La Victoria on December 20th and 21st (the first two nights of Hanukkah), complete with dreidel, menorah, and lots of latkes (via Eater). The menu includes matzah ball soup, corned beef and fixins’, and sufganiyot-Hanukkah doughnuts. Mmm, doughnuts and latkes…. 5:30pm and 8:15pm seatings; BYOB. Tickets and more info online; $40/adult, $20/child 13 and under (5:30 seating only). 2937 24th St. at Alabama.

This year ~BAKER & BANKER~ is introducing a four-course Hanukkah menu—inspired by holiday dishes from Jeff Banker’s mother—including chicken soup, trout latke, brisket, and apple cake. December 20th-28th. $65.

There’s lots of options to partake in the southern Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. You could join ~A16~ on Christmas Eve, where they’ll be serving a four-course seafood feast with classics like baccalà alla napoletana, and original dishes like scallops with roasted fennel and Neapolitan chiles. $75, plus $55 for optional wine pairings. Email for resos.

~DELFINA~ will be open on Christmas Eve, 5pm-9pm, with their take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The kitchen will be adding lots of à la carte seafood dishes to their menu. And throughout the week of Hanukkah, they’re adding some traditional and not-so-traditional Hanukkah dishes, like duck fat-fried latkes with quince marmalata and crème fraîche, beef brisket dolce fuerte, cured salmon with sesame and caraway carta di musica, and Hanukkah donuts. More latkes and donuts, yay!

~INCANTO~ is also celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Xmas Eve. Their three-course menu starts with insalata di mare, then choice of cod and potatoes or eel spaghettini entrée, and finish with dessert, such as chocolate cake with olive oil ice cream. $49, excluding beverages, gratuity, tax.

Another choice is ~PALIO D’ASTI~, where you can order from the regular à la carte menu, or try their version of the Seven Fishes, which includes items like crab-stuffed deviled eggs; pan-roasted day boat scallops, lemon, escarole, sea urchin, toasted sesame seeds; steamed Manila clams with garlic, parsley, white wine, and Calabrese chiles; a wedge of baked swordfish with a trinity of sauces; a traditional Christmas brioche bread pudding; and more. December 22nd-24th, 6pm-9pm; $75.

~FLOUR + WATER~ is serving a Sicilian-style Seven Fishes at 7pm on the 24th in the Dough Room. Eight courses for $265, inclusive of wine pairings and gratuity. There are only 12 seats at the chef’s table; get ‘em quick. Tickets online.

Now through December 27th, get a taste of a German Christmas at ~SCHMIDT’S~, where they’re offering a prix-fixe Christmas dinner ($30) with karotten zuppe (carrot soup); braised baby kale, leek, and sauerkraut strudel; wild boar goulash, chestnuts, and wild mushrooms; glühwein; and a seasonal cookie plate. Add wine pairings for $18. Additional specials include drink and appetizer combos (“Herrengedeck” and “Damengedeck”), and winter beers. 2400 Folsom St. at 20th St., 415-401-0200.

Across the Bay Bridge, ~PICÁN~ is reviving the New Orleans tradition of Le Réveillon de Noël through December 23rd with a prix-fixe menu featuring items like braised beef brisket daube glacé with fresh horseradish, crème fraîche, pickles, and garlic toast; absinthe oyster stew with cornmeal-fried oyster, smoked bacon, and Parmesan; and sugarcane-smoked and molasses-glazed duck leg with mirliton, sage, and mascarpone manicotti, Cajun-spiced candied pecans, and Crystal hot sauce gastrique. $58, or $75 with wine pairing, does not include taxes or gratuity.

Also in the East Bay, ~SAUL’S RESTAURANT AND DELI~ is serving latkes latkes latkes from a “latke truck” 11am-6pm, December 23rd-26th. The truck menu: latke with applesauce and sour cream ($2.75), sweet potato latke with cinnamon sugar or chive dipping sauce ($3), kogel mogel ($5), and sufganiyot ($2.25). Plus, there’ll be a special Hanukkah dinner menu inside. 1475 Shattuck Ave. at Vine, Berkeley, 510-848-3354.

South of the city, ~INTRAMUROS RESTAURANT~ and Filipino dining social group kapaMEALya are presenting Noche Buena on Friday December 16th, serving traditional Filipino holiday dishes like pininyahang hamon (housemade ham cooked in pineapple juice), quezo de bola y chorizo (Edam cheese and chorizo de Bilbao with pan de sal), rellenong bangus (stuffed milkfish with pimientos, carrots, and green peas), and paella Manilena (seasoned sweet rice, chorizo, chicken, prawns, mussels, pimientos, peas, and boiled eggs). 7pm. $45, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Tickets online. 101 Brentwood Dr. at El Camino, South San Francisco, 650-877-7736.

And to the north, ~MADRONA MANOR~ in Healdsburg continues their 25-year tradition of Dickens Dinners, a five-course dinner from Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren, with entertainment and carols from the Twelfth Night Singers. Menu items include lobster “shepherd’s pie,” Dungeness crab salad, lemon “scented” sole, and Christmas pudding, plus vegetarian options. Nightly December 11th-December 25th, with a second earlier seating on Christmas Day. $85-$125, exclusive of tax, gratuity, and beverages. Note the special discount: 50% off the regular room rate for Dickens Dinners guests. 1001 Westside Rd. at W. Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, 800-258-4003.