An Italian Feast

Pazzo! recreates the Feast of the Seven Fishes

BranzinoOne of the joys of being Italian is participating in the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. This year, thanks to Pazzo!, everyone is welcome to enjoy it.

“I grew up in an Italian neighborhood in New Jersey,” says Skip Quillen, owner of the Culinary Concepts restaurants (Chops City Grill, Pazzo!, Yabba, and The Saloon Wood Fired Grill). “Most years, I was the only Irish guy at the table. It’s both a great tradition and a celebration of family.”

The seven-course menu will be offered at Pazzo! December 20-24. The cost is $145 per person, with an additional $95 per person for the wine pairings. It is available by reservation only and must be served to the entire table. The menu with pairings, below.

1. Seared Tuna (cucumber, citrus micros greens, white truffle balsamic)

Prosecco, The White Knight, Italy NV

2. Calamari Misto (fried calamari, shrimp, sea bass, cherry peppers)

Roseri, Ca Maiol Chiaretto Valtenesi, Italy 2018

3.Tuscan Bean Soup (fresh clams, escarole)

Alta Luna, Vignetti delle Dolomiti, Italian blend 2018

4. Scampi alla Scampi (giant shrimp, garlic, white wine, lemon)

Vermentino, Argiolas, Costamolino, Sardegna, Italy 2018

5. Seared Salmon (butternut squash, cavatelli, kale, brown sugar butter)

Pinot Nero, Sartori, Venezie, Italy 2017

6. Tagliatelle Pisane (clams, mussels, calamari, spiced tomato, Trebbiano wine sauce)

Chianti Classico, Gagliole Rubiolo, Italy 2017

7. Branzino (sambuca, scampi of fresh Maine lobster and shrimp)

Super Tuscan, Belguardo, Serrata, Italy 2014


Tiramisu will complete the meal. In designing the menu, Quillen omitted a few old-school dishes, such as salt cod and anchovies, to achieve a more modern take on the celebration. Even so, he’s keenly aware of the role history plays in the event. “With all the craziness we’ve had this year, wouldn’t it be nice to sit down and finish 2020 with a nice dinner surrounded by friends and family?” 

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