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Feast of the Seven Fishes

Feast of the Seven Fishes
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  • Feast of the Seven Fishes

    Post #1 - December 8th, 2009, 10:57 pm
    Post #1 - December 8th, 2009, 10:57 pm Post #1 - December 8th, 2009, 10:57 pm
    I was watching one of those "Throwdown Shows" where they were discussing the "Feast of the Seven Fishes", a meal of seven seafood dishes served in Italian families on Christmas Eve.

    Is there any restaurant that offers something similar?
  • Post #2 - December 9th, 2009, 1:01 am
    Post #2 - December 9th, 2009, 1:01 am Post #2 - December 9th, 2009, 1:01 am
    Va Pensiero in Evanston has had an all-seafood dinner on Christmas Eve for many years. I've been, but it was probably at least 10 or 11 years ago, when the restaurant was under different management, so I can't say how it is now.

    "A Seafood Repast Christmas Eve at Va Pensiero Thursday, December 24, 6:00pm
    Traditionally, Italians feast on an all-seafood dinner for Christmas Eve. Join us, then, for a five-course dinner featuring the freshest seafood from around the globe. To lighten your holiday mood, we’ll open the dinner with a bit of Italian “bubbly,” followed by a series of exquisite wines. And for dessert? Don’t worry. We’ll stray just a bit from the seafood theme here!"

    Menu details, etc. are at:
    http://www.va-p.com/events-details.asp?ID=212

    Va Pensiero
    1566 Oak, Evanston
    847/475-7779
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #3 - December 2nd, 2011, 3:35 pm
    Post #3 - December 2nd, 2011, 3:35 pm Post #3 - December 2nd, 2011, 3:35 pm
    I was thinking of cooking a "seven fishes" thing for Christmas Eve this year-
    does anyone have any great traditional recipes to share?
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #4 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:06 pm
    Post #4 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:06 pm Post #4 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:06 pm
    I don't know anything about this holiday fish dinner, but I know Mike (Coop Hot Sauce) and Ann (Crumb Bread) and have been to other events of theirs:

    http://www.darkroombar.com/?page_id=4?e ... 12&yr=2011
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #5 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:16 pm
    Post #5 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:16 pm Post #5 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:16 pm
    irisarbor wrote:I was thinking of cooking a "seven fishes" thing for Christmas Eve this year-
    does anyone have any great traditional recipes to share?


    My wife's family does it every year, although they're generally short a fish or two. Her sister does fried shrimp and (fried or grilled) calamari. We, or should I say "I", bring the bacala and fettucine with smoked salmon. There's never been a recipe for the bacala, but there are probably thousands online (and no 2 alike). I sweat onions, garlic and celery, add lots of canned tomatoes (San Marzanos from Costco) and then add cubed potatoes, chunks of cod (salt if I can get it), black olives and capers - let it cook down for 2-3 hours (fish actually goes in in last hour). Spicing is trickier because I add basil, pepper and red pepper flakes and then kind of improvise as it cooks together (sometimes I'll add wine vinegar if I need to balance acidity). Also, my wife kibitzes a lot and I'm sure she throws things in when I'm not around.
  • Post #6 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:39 pm
    Post #6 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:39 pm Post #6 - December 2nd, 2011, 4:39 pm
    The Publican is having a Feast of the Seven Fishes event on Sunday, December 18. 5 courses for $55, optional beer pairing for an additional $15.

    Here is a link to the proposed menu:
    http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-b ... ven-fishes

    The Publican
    845 W Fulton Market
    Chicago, IL
  • Post #7 - December 2nd, 2011, 6:11 pm
    Post #7 - December 2nd, 2011, 6:11 pm Post #7 - December 2nd, 2011, 6:11 pm
    irisarbor wrote:I was thinking of cooking a "seven fishes" thing for Christmas Eve this year-
    does anyone have any great traditional recipes to share?


    My Mom lives in a very Italian part of NJ. (OK, maybe that's redundant.) I've seen the mobs at the seafood counters there on Dec. 24...crazy. One of her Italian friends has had us over to dinner several times on Xmas Eve and her menu seems to vary from year to year. A very small sample size, but I think it really does vary from family to family.
  • Post #8 - December 5th, 2011, 7:41 am
    Post #8 - December 5th, 2011, 7:41 am Post #8 - December 5th, 2011, 7:41 am
    Oh how vividly I remember this post making me hungry! A search in Shopping & Cooking for Christmas with author Antonius turned this up, and many other great posts detailing his Christmas Eve dishes.
  • Post #9 - December 6th, 2011, 12:15 pm
    Post #9 - December 6th, 2011, 12:15 pm Post #9 - December 6th, 2011, 12:15 pm
    I just got this from Saveur.
    It's a suggested menu.
  • Post #10 - December 14th, 2015, 4:49 pm
    Post #10 - December 14th, 2015, 4:49 pm Post #10 - December 14th, 2015, 4:49 pm
    This is so on my mind- I would love to do this at home with maybe 2 other couples as an arranged potluck thing-
    any interest?

    I did also see that
    Nico Osteria on Rush are also doing this on Xmas eve and it sounds amazing- (for $125 per)

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/www-nicoosteria ... 15_web.pdf
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 5:09 pm
    Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 5:09 pm Post #11 - December 14th, 2015, 5:09 pm
    irisarbor wrote:This is so on my mind- I would love to do this at home with maybe 2 other couples as an arranged potluck thing-
    any interest?

    I did also see that
    Nico Osteria on Rush are also doing this on Xmas eve and it sounds amazing- (for $125 per)

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/www-nicoosteria ... 15_web.pdf

    If you will accept two people who are not otherwise coupled, I would be very interested. I know singlets are not always welcome in the world of couples. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - December 14th, 2015, 5:11 pm
    Post #12 - December 14th, 2015, 5:11 pm Post #12 - December 14th, 2015, 5:11 pm
    LOL- of course- I didn't necessarily mean it in the literal sense-
    just that I don't want to do a house full
    E
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #13 - November 22nd, 2021, 11:18 pm
    Post #13 - November 22nd, 2021, 11:18 pm Post #13 - November 22nd, 2021, 11:18 pm
    HI,

    Looking for restaurants serving Feast of the Seven Fishes, any news?

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #14 - November 23rd, 2021, 1:19 am
    Post #14 - November 23rd, 2021, 1:19 am Post #14 - November 23rd, 2021, 1:19 am
    Prairie Moon in Evanston had Feast of the Seven Fishes last year around Christmas time when I was looking for Christmas dinners, but they were already sold out when I started looking. I just looked on their website, and they don't mention anything about it for this year.

    They took over the location that Dave's Italian Kitchen used to occupy on Chicago Avenue.
  • Post #15 - November 23rd, 2021, 9:23 am
    Post #15 - November 23rd, 2021, 9:23 am Post #15 - November 23rd, 2021, 9:23 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Looking for restaurants serving Feast of the Seven Fishes, any news?

    Sauce & Bread Kitchen is doing one!

    Tickets

    Sauce and Bread Kitchen
    6338 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60660
    1-773-942-6384
    -Mary
  • Post #16 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 am
    Post #16 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 am Post #16 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 am
    Osteria via Stato has done one for the last several years (excluding last year). It looks like their website lists one for this year as well, along with the menu. I've been to a couple of them and thought it was pretty good.

    It looks like they will also do it for carryout or delivery as well.
  • Post #17 - December 2nd, 2021, 9:30 am
    Post #17 - December 2nd, 2021, 9:30 am Post #17 - December 2nd, 2021, 9:30 am
    Avec River North is doing a Feast of the Seven Fishes on December 15.

    More info

    avec river north
    141 West Erie Street
    Chicago, IL 60654
    +1 312-736-1778
    http://www.avecrestaurant.com/
    -Mary
  • Post #18 - December 7th, 2021, 3:17 pm
    Post #18 - December 7th, 2021, 3:17 pm Post #18 - December 7th, 2021, 3:17 pm
    Hi,

    Thanks for all the information, it is all quite interesting.

    Some years ago, there was a documented visit to Pho 777 for their Eight Courses of Fish - Pho 777. It was a menu item Cá 7 Món (Seven courses of fish) as well as the more commonly known beef version Bò 7 Món.

    I have had Cá 7 Món (Seven courses of fish) at an LTH moderator dinner long ago. Unfortunately, I did not document it carefully.

    Neither beef or fish version is on Pho 777 menu any longer. There has been enough change of owners and staff, there is no longer any institutional memory this was ever on the menu. The waittress advised, "What is available is in on the menu."

    I think one can navigate through the menu of a Vietnamese menu to recreate a good simile of Cá 7 Món. Or as a friend suggested, you could DIY at Go4Food in Chinatown.

    There is an event on LTH for Sm HH Food Exchange Holiday Nhà Hàng Viet Nam 12/19 6:30pm to create our own Feast of the Seven Fishes. You are welcome to join.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - December 11th, 2021, 8:53 am
    Post #19 - December 11th, 2021, 8:53 am Post #19 - December 11th, 2021, 8:53 am
    How to Shop and Cook for Feast of the Seven Fishes
    ...
    When Daniel Paterna wrote his book, Feast of the Seven Fishes: A Brooklyn-Italian’s Recipes Celebrating Food and Family, he wanted to prevent just that—family traditions, and flavors, fading away. “At some point, you as a direct descendant are going to have to throw up your sleeves and dig in to carry on the tradition,” he says. “If you’re constantly relying on grandma and grandpa to carry these out, they just evaporate.” But he warns that expecting to recreate the exact flavors only begets disappointment. It took him many years to hone down his family’s torta di ricotta, a staple dessert in the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner. The secret is to keep trying to master the family dishes year by year, and that’s enough for traditions to live on.

    The Feast of the Seven Fishes—a Christmas Eve celebration that originated in Southern Italy—is a tradition in which seven different kinds of fish and seafood are served for dinner, ideally before midnight. Throughout the years, it found its way into Italian-American homes, and it is now a staple holiday tradition for many families of Italian descent in the United States.
    ...
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - December 17th, 2021, 3:10 pm
    Post #20 - December 17th, 2021, 3:10 pm Post #20 - December 17th, 2021, 3:10 pm
    Feast of the Seven Fish Sticks

    Image
  • Post #21 - December 17th, 2021, 3:29 pm
    Post #21 - December 17th, 2021, 3:29 pm Post #21 - December 17th, 2021, 3:29 pm
    Rene G wrote:Feast of the Seven Fish Sticks

    Image


    God bless us, every Ono.
  • Post #22 - December 17th, 2021, 3:48 pm
    Post #22 - December 17th, 2021, 3:48 pm Post #22 - December 17th, 2021, 3:48 pm
    Oh my, I guess I need to now watch the movie: Feast of the Seven Fishes and try to forget the fish sticks. :D
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - December 18th, 2021, 9:24 am
    Post #23 - December 18th, 2021, 9:24 am Post #23 - December 18th, 2021, 9:24 am
    SeriousEats has an interesting article with menu ideas for Feast of the Seven Fishes.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - December 18th, 2021, 11:10 am
    Post #24 - December 18th, 2021, 11:10 am Post #24 - December 18th, 2021, 11:10 am
    Cathy2 wrote:SeriousEats has an interesting article with menu ideas for Feast of the Seven Fishes.


    That's a legit roundup. I think I've reported on my own extended Calabrese-American family's tradition of Da Eve / La Vigilia, now two years interrupted, maledett', but I recently was looking at pictures of the spread from the 1960s, and identified with relatives that even by then they rolled with:

    Shrimp cocktail ("in good years"), Clams Casino(ish), fried calamari, fried smelts, fried baccala in red sauce, spaghetti with anchovies in olive oil, and spaghetti with anchovies in red sauce, both topped with breadcrumbs. Smoked salmon was added in the '80s. Nobody can remember the days of a fresh entree fish if ever there was one in America. Also there was Jell-O, so much Jell-O. The number of fish dishes, or distinct fish / seafood species, was not initially important in the memory of my great-aunts (which extends back to the late 30s), and it wasn't really an abbondanza until after the War and when the central family owned a house together instead of scattered little apartments and parts of houses.

    The other Sicilian-Tunisian side were sick of fish and fasting and made "couscous" with beef or lamb by manually forming pearls from Cream of Wheat, steamed in a cabbage leaf or colander over the pot of meat, which included canned tomato sauce, rutabaga, and a "frozen block of spinach." Can't picture that you're going to see that one in a restaurant.
  • Post #25 - December 18th, 2021, 12:33 pm
    Post #25 - December 18th, 2021, 12:33 pm Post #25 - December 18th, 2021, 12:33 pm
    Santander wrote:Also there was Jell-O, so much Jell-O.

    Ha ha ha! Banner quote!
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #26 - December 18th, 2021, 1:07 pm
    Post #26 - December 18th, 2021, 1:07 pm Post #26 - December 18th, 2021, 1:07 pm
    I was hoping to find someone rolling couscous pearls, though there is a quick view of a woman making rice type shape:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT04p1Blx-k


    Someone like us giving it a try:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBL9aO16MBE

    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - December 25th, 2021, 1:12 am
    Post #27 - December 25th, 2021, 1:12 am Post #27 - December 25th, 2021, 1:12 am
    Matthew Carlson, so great . . .


    Merry Fish-mas! Feast of the Se7en Fishes

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #28 - December 26th, 2021, 10:07 am
    Post #28 - December 26th, 2021, 10:07 am Post #28 - December 26th, 2021, 10:07 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Matthew Carlson, so great . . .

    Not all heroes wear capes.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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