Best of the Week: Our Picks for December 21-25, 2015

Watch holiday films, devour L'Espalier's Feast of the Seven Fishes, and have an old-school holiday lunch, Locke-Ober style.

Welcome to Best of the Week, our recommendations for what to check out around town this week. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this week, check out these events.

Joyeux Noel film still Joyeux Noel film still

Monday, December 21
Christmas Movie Classics at the Haven

Pregame for the holidays with a bit of Scottish flair at favorite JP neighborhood spot the Haven. For three days this week, they’re screening seasonally appropriate films: Joyeux Noel, about the Christmas truce of WWI (December 21); Great Escape, the 1963 WWII film that’s screened as a British holiday classic (December 22); and Scrooged, Bill Murray’s 1988 take on Dickens (December 23). While you watch, tuck into some Tunnock’s Tea Cakes and a hot Sherlock Holmes (“it’s a posh hot toddy for those not in the know,” the Haven tells us). They’re also open Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, serving up such across-the-pond dishes as cock-a-leekie soup, figgy pudding, and mince pies.

Holiday movies screen December 21-23, 9 p.m., The Haven, 2 Perkins St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-2836,

Sea bass Sea bass photo by Lamerie on Flickr/Creative Commons

Tuesday, December 22
Feast of the Seven Fishes

An Italian feast at a French restaurant? The spirit of the melting pot is alive and well this week at Back Bay’s L’Espalier, who are serving up a special Feast of the Seven Fishes meal this week. As the name might suggest, this is a traditional Italian-American seven-course seafood extravaganza (although Mario Batali says he’s seen as many as 13 courses in one meal). Chef Matthew Delisle’s version includes a baccala and uni amuse bouche, charred octopus, Nantucket Bay scallops, and sea bass crudo. For dessert, there’s tiramisu.

$175 per guest, December 22, 7 p.m., L’Espalier, 774 Boylston St., Boston, 617-262-3023,

BOB_WinterArts16_Hiro_main Hiro, Black Evening Dress in Flight, New York, 1963 / Photo courtesy MFA

Wednesday, December 23
Free Evenings at the MFA

On Wednesday nights after 4 p.m., admission to the MFA is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). Whether you choose to shell out the donation or get the gratis entry, few things soothe jangled holiday nerves like a meditative trip to our favorite museum. And it might be the perfect opportunity to scope out two new shows: “Kenneth Paul Block Illustrations,” a survey of the fashion designer’s work, and “Hiro Photographs,” works by the mononymous photographer with a singularly striking aesthetic vision.

Open 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-267-9300,

Yvonne's Yvonne’s / Courtesy photo

Thursday, December 24
Yvonne’s Holiday Lunch

For 135 years, a high-rolling Christmas in Boston meant a trip to Locke-Ober, the venerable wood-paneled dining institution where JFK used to keep a private booth. That ended when the place closed in 2012. But while Locke-Ober is gone for good, its holiday lunch is back, thanks to Yvonne’s, the latest incarnation of the Winter Place spot, launched by Lolita’s Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta. The a la carte menu cribs dishes straight from the Locke-Ober playbook, including oysters Rockefeller, creamed Finnan Haddie, Chateaubriand “Rossini,” Yorkshire pudding, and—for dessert—baked Alaska for two or whole pie a la mode. They’ve been serving the holiday menu all month long; December 24 is your last chance to get in on it this year.

December 24, seatings at 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., Yvonne’s, 2 Winter Place, Boston, 617-267-0047, RSVP by emailing

Joy film still Joy film still

Friday, December 25
Go to the Movies

Had enough tinsel and candy canes and holly jolly nonsense? Need to escape the house, and already seen Star Wars three times? Just check out the roster of films opening in theaters on December 25—the Christmas Day box office stocking happens to be stuffed with some of the bleakest flicks imaginable. The schedule includes The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trapper who survives a bear mauling and drags himself across 200 miles of wilderness; The Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s latest bloodbath, featuring Samuel L. Jackson as a bounty hunter; and Joy, which seems to be a meditation on the unending misery of Boston winters.

Consult your local movie listings.


Looking for more winter arts coverage? Check out:

Your Guide to the Holidays in Boston

Winter Concerts and Comedy

Winter Theater Openings

Winter Author Events

Winter Museum Openings