In southern Italy, the feast of the seven fishes is a traditional Christmas Eve banquet where family and friends gather to celebrate in typical Italian fashion (meaning lots of good food) while still maintaining a meatless day in accordance with Catholic practices. While the best place to experience such a spread of the ocean's bounty is in a fish-loving Italian-American home, not all of us are of Italian heritage or know a family where we can crash the party. Luckily, a few Denver restaurants have taken up the tradition, so we can all enjoy a spread of clams, cod, shrimp, calamari and other dishes, both traditional and re-imagined, on December 24. Here are three local kitchens doing Christmas Eve seafood dinners:
The Chowder Room knows its seafood.
The Chowder Room
560 South Broadway
This little South Broadway fish house is dishing up a seven-course meal with Italian flair for $49 per person (dessert, drinks and gratuity are not included). Here's a look at what chef/co-owner Matt Stein will be preparing (subject to change). Seating is limited, so call the restaurant for available reservation times.
Octopus crudo with agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce
Salt cod fritters with arrabiata sauce
Sicilian lobster soup: an almond-flour-thickened bisque with cinnamon and basil
Fennel, arugula, walnut and chick pea salad with fried calamari and anchovy vinaigrette
Linguine with clams and green olives
Roasted shrimp with escarole and garlic aioli
Grilled swordfish scallopini with kumquat, pomegranate and pistachio oil
Dinner at Frasca is always a feast.
Frasca Food & Wine
1738 Pearl Street, Boulder
You can trust Frasca, one of the top Italian restaurants in the country with an equally stellar wine program, for your Christmas Eve feast. A traditional feast of the seven fishes will be served from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. for $90 per person (not including tax, gratuity or beverages). The seafood feast will include:
Clams casino, bacala canaderli, stone crab claw salad and tuna crudo with winter citrus
Polpo — octopus a la plancha, Borlotti beans, mustard greens
Insalata — chicory salad, bagna cauda
Linguine — salt cod linguine
Risotto — Ingrid's lobster and maitake mushroom
Merluzzo — Pacific black cod, salsify and black trumpet mushrooms
Bordetto — petrale sole, scallop, mussel, squid, Anson Mills polenta, tomato brodo
Frasca pastry chef Liliana Myers will offer a decadent end to the meal, recreating her grandmother’s apple, raisin and walnut strudel with grappa gelato
Il Posto makes Christmas Eve dinner an annual tradition.
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SHOW ME HOW
2011 East 17th Avenue
The feast of the seven fishes has become a tradition at this Italian eatery in Uptown. It's back again this year for $90 per person; call for a reservation or e-mail email@example.com. Here's what you can expect:
Riccio: Uni, crème fraiche, osetra caviar, chives, brioche
Capesante: Scallop crudo, chicken skin, white anchovy, granny smith apple
Polipo: Octopus, pork belly, rainbow giardiniera, spicy caramel
Aragosta: Lobster roe linguine, calamari, fennel, mussels, garlic
"Mare e Monti”: Veal cheek, preserved corn, king crab, Meyer lemon