Special Hanukkah Dinners at Zahav We can’t think of a better place to celebrate the Festival of Lights than Mike Solomonov’s Israeli mainstay, where they’re featuring a six-course menu marrying the oil-kissed classics you expect with more than a few luxurious twists. Essential latkes get dolled up with apple labaneh and cured-and-spiced salmon basturma, fried smelts are lightened by baby lettuces and lemon puree, and sufganiyot — requisite Israeli doughnuts — arrive alongside pear jam and warm, restorative sachlab. Braised lamb shanks form the main event; soup and a variety of salatim round out the meal. Sat., Dec. 8, through Sun., Dec. 16, $48, Zahav, 237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com.
10th Annual Latkepalooza As much as we love latkes, we think they’re best cooked in one very particular way: by someone else. Smelling like oil for a week and scrubbing splatters from every surface in the house may be tradition, but it’s one we’ll gladly pass off. If you agree — or if you just want more latkes — then consider this festival of frying. Audrey Claire, Bar Ferdinand, Citron and Rose and many others will share their takes on the pancake. You’ll even find signature versions using sweet potato, spinach and feta, and a few more surprises. Sun., Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m.,
$16, Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., 215-446-3003, gershmany.com.
Natale con Mamma Pina at Osteria Unfortunately, having an Italian mother-in-law in the kitchen is just a pipe dream for most of us. But chef Jeff Michaud is living that dream — and as it turns out, he’s nice enough to share. His own MIL, Pina Carrara, is flying in for the holidays and being put right to work. She’ll take over the kitchen for one night only, preparing a Bergamoscan Christmas feast. Though advertised as a four-course meal, it reads more like an eight-courser — this is an Italian mama, after all. Expect plentiful antipasti and salumi alongside fresh wood-fired focaccia, cannelloni stuffed with a cabbage-and-speck filling and a seriously bountiful bollito misto. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and while they don’t come cheap, the price includes wine, tax and tip. Tue., Dec. 11, 6:30 p.m., $175, Osteria, 640 N. Broad St., 215-763-0920, osteriaphilly.com.