The holidays are a special and hectic time of year. When you’re ready for a break from feeling frenzied, check out one of these seven Pacific Northwest restaurant holiday events. From special Christmas-themed meals to book readings and nutcracker parades, each offers something that will take your mood from frantic to festive. All of these events sell out quickly, so make your reservations early.
Pretend you’re in Italy with the Feast of Seven Fishes
In many parts of Italy, Christmas Eve is synonymous with the Feast of Seven Fishes. During this extravagant holiday meal, families serve as many as 13 fish-centric dishes to their friends and family. Get a scaled-down version of this experience at Seattle’s Agrodolce. Every Christmas Eve, they offer three-, five- and seven-course meals chock full of fresh Pacific Northwest seafood. Start with a bread and crab appetizer, move on to a hearty fish stew, and finish with a light dessert (which, in case you’re wondering, does not include anything harvested from the sea).
Brunch with Santa and the nutcrackers
The Nutcracker ballet is a Christmas tradition for many families. But Salty’s on Alki Beach in Seattle (as well as Salty’s on Redondo Beach in Des Moines and Salty’s on the Columbia in Portland) allows you to get up close and personal with these holiday favorites. During special brunches every weekend in December, Salty’s restaurants display their extensive collection of seven-foot-tall nutcrackers around each dining rooms. Santa is on hand to take Christmas lists and photos, and extravagant holiday light displays give the entire space a festive air.
Celebrate the holidays Celtic-style
For the last 20+ years, Café Soriah in Eugene has hosted an annual Celtic Holiday event. Matinee or evening shows start with Welsh, Scottish, English and Irish songs performed by two local musicians. For their finale, a Welsh chimney sweep who now resides in Eugene reads the book A Child’s Christmas in Wales. He even wears his traditional top hat for many performances. Café Soriah typically hosts eight performances of their Celtic Holiday celebration in the week leading up to Christmas.
An advent calendar for adults
When I was a kid, I loved those advent calendars with chocolate hidden behind every door. As a grown-up, the beer advent calendar from Bell + Whete in Seattle seems slightly more appealing. This restaurant is brewing up 12 holiday-themed beers and releasing them one by one through December 24. To help drinkers identify when each keg will be tapped and which ones they haven’t tried, Bell + Whete has put together an advent calendar that doubles as a punch card. Sample every beer and you can enter to win dinner for two at their first-class restaurant.