Hot Plate: Last-minute shopping, Christmas Eve and Day dinner options, post-holiday parties

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Several local restaurants will offer Feast of the Seven Fishes menus on Christmas Eve.

Happy holidays, Baltimore! In between the wrapping and unwrapping, don’t forget to take time to dine. Local restaurants have you covered this week, with special holiday meals and post-Christmas celebrations. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Last-minute gifts

Still have some shopping to do? It’s not too late!

Union Craft Brewing is hosting an Art Mart at the brewery on Saturday afternoon. A handful of local artisans, including Pangea Printing Co. and Secret Sauce Co., will be on hand selling their wares–perfect timing for the 11th hour gift scramble.

On Christmas Eve, Petit Louis will be closed for lunch on Christmas Eve, but from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can pop by to pick up a gift certificate and complimentary coffee and bonbons. Sometimes, procrastination is sweet.

Café Gia and Pane e Vino are selling their housemade limoncello (and several other liqueur varieties); it’s delicious and would make an excellent gift.

Christmas Eve options

Many local restaurants are open on Christmas Eve.

At Wit & Wisdom, the day will be marked with a special brunch buffet.

Johnny’s‘ regular menu will be available, as well as a special three-course prix fixe menu.

Bar Vasquez’s four-course Christmas Eve menu includes dishes like braised short ribs with roasted acorn squash and an apple hazelnut tarte.

The Milton Inn will offer a limited à la carte menu on Christmas Eve.

Gunther & Co. will serve a three-course dinner for Christmas Eve, starting with a shellfish tower, seared foie gras or Maine lobster tempura–and getting more luxurious from there.

Towson Tavern’s Christmas Eve menu includes dishes like rockfish imperial and bison Bolognese.

At Café Troia, the regular menu will be available, as well as some traditional Italian Christmas dishes.

At both Charleston and Petit Louis, the à la carte menu will be available, along with specials for the evening.

Several local restaurants are offering versions of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the traditional southern Italian seafood meal associated with Christmas Eve.

Gnocco is getting a head start on the holiday, offering its Feast of the Seven Fishes menu on Saturday and Sunday.

You’ll find also Seven Fishes menus at Cosima, Café Gia, Cinghiale and Lupa.

Christmas Day

While many places are open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day dining options are somewhat slimmer.

Blue Moon Café in Fells Point will be open for Christmas brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wit & Wisdom will have a brunch buffet on Christmas Day, available until 4 p.m.

Sotto Sopra is sold out for Christmas Eve, but it (may) have some reservations left for Christmas Day, when the eatery will be serving its regular menu in addition to holiday specials.

Roy’s will have a three-course classic prix fixe menu available, including signature Roy’s dishes and a holiday-specific menu with options like Chateaubriand.

After-dinner ice cream

Once the presents are all unwrapped and the roast beast has been devoured, head to The Charmery for a scoop or two or a cup of hot chocolate.

The ice cream shop’s flagship Hampden location will be open on Christmas from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and there will be a live band from 6 p.m to 9 p.m.

Post-Christmas celebrations

Keep the celebration going after Christmas with St. Stephen’s Day–a.k.a. Boxing Day–festivities.

Slainte Irish Pub in Fells Point pub will celebrate St. Stephen’s Day with drink specials and a raffle benefiting the Craig Willinger Fund throughout the day. And, of course, soccer (sorry, football) on the television.

At Johnny’s, Boxing Day Brunch will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

January 1: Vintage Cava Social at La Cuchara 

January 11-12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s 

January 12: Oyster, Wine & Beer Festival 



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