Union Restaurant in Pasadena is offering its annual Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, tipping its chef cap to a tradition celebrated by Italian-Americans throughout the country commemorating the midnight birth of Jesus. Also known as La Vigilia, or The Vigil, the Feast of Seven Fishes is traditionally celebrated by Roman Catholics and typically features serving at least seven seafood dishes before midnight mass. This will be Union Restaurant’s fourth annual Feast of Seven Fishes, a restaurant announcement said.
On the menu for Christmas Eve will be Olive Oil Poached Abalone, beets, apples, crème fraiche, and Passmore Ranch caviar; Santa Barbara Squid, cannellini beans, preserved lemon, and basil; Grassy Bar oyster, pink grapefruit pearls, Ogo seaweed, and fennel juice; Uni Risotto, roasted sunchokes, and preserved citron; roasted clams, pastina, spigarello, and colatura; Saffron Gnocchetti Sardi, Nantucket Bay Scallops, Calabrian chile, and anchovy breadcrumbs; and Halibut Steamed in Fig Leaf, San Marzano tomato, olive, and capers. Dessert will be Struffoli.
Past feasts at the restaurant have included saffron gnocchetti sardi with Nantucket bay scallops; Calabrian chile and anchovy breadcrumbs; and red vermillion rockfish Livronese with cippolini onion, pine nuts, and golden raisins.
The tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes derives from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on the eve of a feast day, until the feast of Christmas Day itself.
It is said to have originated in Southern Italy, where the most famous fish dish is baccala, or salted cod. Over the years, fried smelts, calamari (fried squid) and other seafood dishes have been incorporated into the menu.
Union Restaurant’s Feast of Seven Fishes is $125 per person, plus $40 for wine pairing. For more information, visit www.unionpasadena.com/2017/11/feast-seven-fishes-reserve-seats-today.
Union Restaurant is located at 37 E. Union Street in Pasadena.
Courtesy of Pasadena Now Staff Reporters
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