If you’re craving market-fresh Italian fare and also want to experience a new take on a traditional seafood holiday dinner that many of us Italian-American East Coast natives grew up with, head over to Union, which is doing its popular Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve. What will actually be served as part of the eight-course prix-fixe menu is a surprise, but expect a variety of creative seafood dishes. An optional wine pairing curated by beverage director David Castagnetti can be added for an additional charge.
Dine-in details: $135 per person with an optional $45 wine pairing, Christmas Eve.
How to book: Seatings for the 5 pm and 7:30 pm Christmas Eve dinners can be booked online.
Even eight years after opening, this cozy, understated Pasadena restaurant remains one of Old Town’s most sought-after reservations. Since naming Chris Keyser as its new executive chef a few years ago, Union has only continued to improve upon its seasonal, rustic menu, which includes Lamb Meatballs, White Truffle Fettuccine, and a beautifully prepared 14-day Dry-Aged Ribeye served with poblano chimichurri. Even the simple bread accompanied by cultured butter and giardiniere will keep your belly satisfied. If you’d rather eat at home, the restaurant now offers family dinners for four, available for takeout or delivery; you’ll get one of Union’s all-star pasta dishes (we’re partial to the Pork Ragu Torchetti with fried rosemary and ricotta), accompanied by garlic bread and arugula salad.
How to book: Make reservations online. Order takeout online.
This quaint neighborhood restaurant and wine bar dishes up Northern Italian cuisine with a California twist, featuring handmade pastas and sustainably raised fish and meats that are butchered in-house. All of their dishes are simple, fresh, and absolutely delicious. Make a date with your beloved and share the Truffle Fettuccini with an order of their Pork Meatballs, paired with a bottle of Italian or Californian wine from their extensive list. The dim lighting in the intimate interior makes for a romantic ambiance, however the restaurant is known to get a little lively and noisy.
How to book: Reservations strongly recommended via Resy; walk-ups available.