From a fishy feast to crafting at AR Workshop: What we’re looking forward to this week

This week, Northern Virginia Magazine editors are looking forward to Hank’s Pasta Bar’s Feast of the Seven Fishes, creating home decor, perusing the Holiday Market in the City of Fairfax, wrapping gifts and attending an ugly sweater party.

Photo by Erin Lucas

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By Briana EllisonEliza BerkonLynn NorusisRachael Keeney and Stefanie Gans

Feast of the Seven Fishes at Hank’s Pasta Bar
Through Dec. 31
My brother married into an Italian (and Irish) family and I was always jealous of the epic Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes he was invited to every year. (Morgan if you’re reading this, now that we’re officially sisters-in-law, I’m free for a family dinner.)  But if you’re like me and can’t get a meal from an Italian grandmother, Hank’s Pasta Bar is condensing the multi-course dinner into a single dish, a bouillabaisse-like plate featuring seven types of seafood ($34). A Feast of the Seven Oysters will also take place this month at Hank’s Oyster Bar. –SG // Hank’s Pasta Bar: 600 Montgomery St., Alexandria

A Sunday in the Studio
For months, my friends have attempted to drag me to AR Workshop, the DIY (with assistance) sip-and-craft spot in Alexandria. Though I wrote about the shop earlier this year, I haven’t made the time to actually visit until now. This Sunday, I’m pulling on my proverbial smock to make a shabby-chic plankwood sign for my home, with some friends and a craft beer by my side. It may be the perfect antidote to the pre-Monday blues. –EB

Leaving the house to shop local
So far I’ve been lucky enough to not have to get out of pjs to shop for holiday gifts, but now is my time to hit up all the local boutiques and crafters for those special pieces. This weekend, I’m going to check out the Holiday Market in the City of Fairfax, where there will be more than a dozen local artisans. –LN

Wrapping things up
I’m happy to say that all of my holiday shopping is done, but a little embarrassed to admit that everything is just sitting in a pathetic pile in my room. This week I will be whipping out the tape, wrapping paper, bows and bags, temporarily turning my space into Santa’s workshop. If I don’t get everything done by this weekend—The Crown has returned to Netflix for a second season so there’s a good chance that my multitasking won’t be wholly productive—I may hop on over to Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria’s Gift Wrap Pop-up event. Artisan Matchmaker will be there with three gift wrap themes, plus Hummingbird will host a complimentary hot chocolate bar. As I gather my belongings and prepare to head home for the holidays, I’ll also spend some time reflecting on 2017 and brainstorming some resolutions for the year to come. –RK

Birthday celebrations and ugly sweater parties
My mom’s birthday is on Friday, so I know we’ll be joined by extended family members for the first of our holiday season birthday dinners. Last year, I successfully tricked my mom into thinking I wouldn’t be home until a week after her birthday due to finals, only to surprise the crap out of her on her birthday. I don’t know how high I’m going to set the bar this year, although if my mom had her way, it’d be by getting her everything on her extensive (think new floors, painted walls and more) list. Then, on Saturday, my sister and I will be gathering with a bunch of our cousins for an ugly sweater party … I don’t have an ugly sweater, but here’s hoping I can find one before I show up. –BE