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Dec 20, 2012 10:55 AM

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Anyone know who is doing them this year? I realize that it might be too late but if there is somewhere still doing it that would be great. I think that neptune had it somewhat late last year.

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  1. Per an email I got yesterday:
    "Grotto and Marliave will begin serving The Feast of Seven Fishes at 5:00 p.m. starting Friday December 21st until Christmas Eve. Reservations are required."

    1 Reply
    1. re: Allstonian

      Have been to Grotto's for Xmas eve years ago and enjoyed it.

    2. Avila is also doing the Feast. Their email response said that it is possible for some parties at the table to do the feast and some to order from the regular menu. We have a couple of non-shellfish eaters in our family, so that works perfectly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bear

        have you been there and enjoyed it, bear? you never see it discussed (allston>your cue)here except a few yrs ago i remember asking about it and getting some negs.

        Il Casale (and Dante) is doing an abbreviated one. Neptune Oyster did a REAL one (7 courses) last yr that we attended; excellent, w/ some unusual seafoods(i did a long post on it.)

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          No, oc. We've never been to Avila. We were going to go to Teatro for our annual Xmas Eve family outing, but they don't appear to be open this year.

          We were looking for a place that has more than the token goat cheese vegetarian offering for one son, and I noticed that Avila had a few veggie plates and was doing the Feast. When I contacted them to see if the whole table had to participate, they were as responsive and flexible as can be so I figured we'd give them a try. I'll definitely post to help out next year's feasters.

          1. re: bear

            Avila's feast was very good. An amuse of smooth corn soup with a hint of coriander seed and some tender lobster was delicious, and they nicely gave some to the non-feast eaters, too. Next were perfectly fried oysters with uni aioli. Delicious. The third course was a fabulous angel hair pasta in lemon cream with seared local bay scallops. I'm still thinking about that dish. The main was probably my least favorite, although still very good. It was crab-stuffed sole with clam, squid ink and calamari risotto. The sole was well-cooked and very fresh, but the risotto was a little salty and overwhelming. The rice sort of got lost and it was hard to recognize as risotto.

            There were several pasta choices for the vegetarian, and my husband's short ribs were excellent. Dessert was a choice of any of the night's selections. Nice cheese plate among them.

            It was a pretty pricey evening, and the room has sort of a corporate feel. Service was a little odd, too. Our server didn't really check in with us and sort of avoided eye contact. Bussers and runners were great, though. We had a great time, but I don't think I'd go back.

        1. My Fresh & Local newspaper column was on this topic this week. Grotto, Marliave, Dante, Davio have them scheduled. Neptune is doing theirs tonight. Legal Harborside has a version on their menu through the season.


          1. Canary Square is doing it, started a few nights ago and I think goes for another night or two. I had it tonight. A la carte with elements priced from ~$9 to ~$22, or tasting menu for 1 for $45, or family style for $80 (not sure how many that feeds). I did the tasting menu for one. The food was very good and the preparations interesting, and it was served in seven distinct courses. I thought the pacing was odd (with a few very long delays between courses and others that came a bit too fast) but that seemed to be waitress error, and the order of the dishes was not quite what I would have preferred. I'll try to remember it here:

            -Clams Casino - traditional preparation, with 3 small clams.

            -Bacala salad, which was a mix of escarole, garlic, red pepper flake, white bean, and flakes of bacala. Quite a large portion, so big that they automatically brought plates for sharing with my dining companions. Very tasty, with the garlic and red pepper giving the dish most of its flavor.

            -Stuffed squid. Small slices of squid stuffed with what I think was a mortadella, served with artichoke / tomato / eggplant caponata. This was probably the best-prepared and tastiest dish of the planned menu.

            -Baby eggplant. This was the only dish I really didn't like, and ate just a few bites. The preparation included potatoes and pesto. I thought the flavors were off and the baby eggplant actually undercooked. I like tender eggplant, but this texture just wasn't right.

            -Lobster fettuccini. Delicous and simple. A bit too salty but still great.

            -Eel, served roasted/baked with olives and peppers. Very tender and delicous.

            -Grilled Sardines with a tomato relish. 2 large sardines, simply grilled. This to me was a very strange dish to end on. I would have preferred something lighter. Either the eel or the lobster would have been a great finish.

            Extra course at end: scallop crudo. This was the best of the night. Simply done with some citrus + basil. This made me feel better about just having eaten the sardine...

            This was my first time experiencing the tradition. I really enjoyed it and was happy to have 7 actual courses.

            Great concept, interesting preparations, good execution, and a waitress who was very nice and seemed to be trying hard but not getting it quite right. All in all, a very good experience.

            1 Reply