Top Chef contestant Antonia Lofaso’s food reflects her Italian-American heritage, making Scopa one of the Westside’s best spots for shareable small plates with an old-school Italian slant. The hot starter offerings are all rich and excellent—crisp, lemony calamari blackened by squid ink; a fried rice ball stuffed with meat; squash blossoms oozing fresh ricotta; and scallops, large, plump, and sitting in brown butter. The salads, pastas, and mains (like whole branzino and eal Chop Milanese) are equally memorable, but you’d be forgiven if you have a hard time getting past the antipasti menu. And since mixologist maestro Pablo Moix curated a selection of exclusive spirits, don’t leave without sipping on one of Scopa’s small-batch bourbons.
How to book: Make reservations and order pickup online.
If you grew up gorging on seven courses of sauced-up seafood every Christmas Eve, you’re likely from an Italian family, which is totally not a requirement if you want to get in on Scopa’s Feast of the Seven Fishes. The dinner serves four and includes an anchovy tin, smoked trout toast, cold seafood salad, jumbo poached shrimp, crispy cod, lobster bucatini, and a whole branzino you bake at home. There’s also a (fish-less) Christmas Dinner menu that includes starters of ricotta crostini and Brussels sprout salad, an herb-crusted ribeye main course, two sides, and a cool cannoli kit.
Cost: Feast of the Seven Fishes, $200; Christmas Dinner $125
How to order: Email email@example.com for pickup December 22-24.