Feast of the Seven Fishes at Nunzio in Collingswood

Feast of the Seven Fishes at Nunzio by Chef Michael DeLone 

Nunzio by Chef Michael DeLone brings new flavors to Collingswood and celebrates authentic Italian roots with the traditional seasonal menu of the Feast of the Seven Fishes from December 21 through 24. The four-course menu is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Chef Michael DeLone offers a special alternative menu for guests who prefer hooves over fins at $75 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Chef Michael DeLone’s four-course Feast of Seven Fishes includes salt cod fritters with tomato jam and saffron crema; Frutti di mare with shrimp, scallops, calamari, crab, peppers, olives, lemon and arugula; fried smelts with lemon aioli, Ciopinno, and spaghetti with garlic breadcrumbs, basil and clams. For guests who do not want an all-seafood menu, Chef DeLone offers burrata with peperonata, arugula pesto, and aged balsamic; gnocchi with black and white truffle cream; and short rib over polenta with mushroom and gorgonzola sauce. Each menu includes a dessert trio with profiteroles, chocolate sauce, mini cannoli, and biscotti.

“The Feast of Seven Fishes reminds of large family celebrations, and I wanted to bring not only the flavors of the Italian American tradition to our guests but the warmth and excitement of the holiday to our tables,” says Chef Michael DeLone.

The Feast of Seven Fishes is an Italian American Christmas Eve celebration with fish and other seafood dishes. It represents the abstinence from meat until the feast of Christmas Day. The tradition possibly comes from Naples or Sardinia in Southern Italy, where the seafood is abundant. The meal includes seven or more fishes that are considered traditional, with each said to represent the seven sacraments. Well-known dishes include baccalá, fried smelts, and calamari, but many Italian American Catholic families incorporate clams, lobsters, shrimp, scungilli, scallops, cod, octopus, and anchovies into the tradition.

Philly and South Jersey have strong Italian American communities. Hence, it is no surprise that many families and family-run restaurants celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Do you celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes?

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Marilyn Johnson

Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.

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