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The Feast of the Seven Fishes, celebrated on Christmas Eve, is a time-honored Italian – American tradition that is believed to have several origins.  But, (surprise!) mention the meal in Italy and you may be met with blank stares. It seems the Feast of the Seven Fishes is about as authentically Italian as Chicken Parmesan, which isn’t at all.

The main theory starts with religion.  As the roman Catholics traditionally avoid meat before the holy days, including Christmas, fish becomes the main dish for many to enjoy. The number “seven” is also prominent in many ancient beliefs and parts of the bible; seven sacraments, seven days of creation and seven sins…that’s a lot of sevens!

overhead view of fish focused dishes including seafood stew feast of the seven fishes

Feast Of The Seven Fishes

Italian families love tradition and celebrations and, even though the Feast of the Seven Fishes may not have been born in Italy, many believe the dishes stem from the southern regions.  The proximity to the sea and plentiful fishing makes seafood affordable and abundant – perfect for large celebrations. A traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes incorporates seven courses and is prepared and served in a multitude of ways depending on region and tastes.

group of people enjoying a Ricky seaside in Naples

Naples Seaside

There are no limitations or rules with what can be served at a Feast of the Seven Fishes and each family has their own version of the menu.  One of our favorite and most traditional dishes is baccalà, or salted codfish, which originates in the seaside city of Naples.  Chef David serves his version as a delicate spread, with olive oil crostini.  Other favorites on the menu at Osteria Via Stato are Grilled Octopus and Fingerling Potatoes, Lobster and Shrimp Risotto and Spice Crusted Faroe Island Salmon, Black Lentils.

overhead view of shrimp risotto with Christmas ornaments surrounding bowl

Feast Of The Seven Fishes

“I have wonderful memories of my grandfather preparing the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve. For me, it is all about nostalgia and family. The Seven Fishes Dinner has become a tradition for many of our guests and we’re looking forward to sharing it with more people every year.” – Chef David DiGregorios

We would love for you and your family to enjoy this holiday celebration with us at Osteria Via Stato on December 24th.   To make a reservation, click here. 

Menu

-At The Table-

House-Marinated Olives

Roasted Garlic with Balsamic Vinegar

Salt Crusted Ciabatta Bread

-Antipasti-

Baccala Spread with Crostini

Rhode Island Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers

Grilled Octopus & Fingerling Potatoes

Tuna & Gigante Bean Salad

-Main Course-

select one

Seafood Stew with Seared Scallops, Shrimp, Market Fish, Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Lobster & Shrimp Risotto

Linguini Seafood with Calamari, Scallops, Shrimp, Spicy Tomato Sauce

Spice Crusted Faroe Island Salmon, Black Lentils

-Sides-

Local Butternut Squash Puree

Crispy Kennebec Potatoes

-Dolce-

select one

House-made Gelati:  Eggnog, Caramel, Peppermint or Vanilla Bean

Ricotta Cheesecake, Wild Huckleberry Sauce

Flourless Dark Truffle Cake