One thing we know – when you put together a slew of talented chefs all in one kitchen, supporting an important cause, they will pull out all the stops to impress diners – and each other. So when BONS-winning chef Daniel Cursha of Ledger Restaurant and Bar in Salem shares his kitchen with chefs like Andrew Taylor of Eventide Oyster Co., Daniel Bazzinotti of Terra, and Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, you know you’re in for something special. Think deep fried lobster tail with lobster puffs, flan made with Santa Barbara uni, and cuttlefish polpette.
“Having all these chefs in the kitchen will be amazing,” says Gursha of Ledger’s second annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, slated for December 16. “We all work together, plating each other’s dishes and helping with whatever is needed. It’s a great time with a lot of laughs, while cooking some great food.”
Gursha says it’s really the perfect time of year to celebrate the classic Italian holiday meal. “I thought it would be a great idea to highlight a traditional dinner during a season when seafood is at its best,” he says. “This gives great chefs from around the region a chance to cook with unbelievable product and show what New England cuisine is all about.”
In addition to dishes from the chefs above, the eight-course tasting menu will also feature offerings from Brian Rae of Coppa, Dante de Magistris of Dante and il Casale, and David Bazirgan of Bambara. Each chef will present one course throughout the evening, with seven savory dishes reflecting individual seafood preparations.
“I am truly humbled that they want to come and cook here,” Gursha says. “I came up in the business looking up to a lot of these chefs. It really is inspiring to me to be able to cook alongside them.”
Rounding out the evening, Ledger’s Pastry Chef Kate Holowchik will serve up some nostalgic family-style desserts, while beverage pairings will be curated by Ledger Wine Director Scott Lefler. Proceeds from the eight-course menu, which costs $185 including the beverage pairing, will once again benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, aiding in their mission to end childhood hunger through free meals and food education.
A cocktail hour with live music starts at 5:30 p.m., and the seated dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets and additional information can be found here.
More Fish Feasts
Can’t make it to Ledger’s luxurious event? Many other area restaurants are offering their own take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Here are three to try:
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Lynnfield
On Christmas Eve only, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse will offer a three-course Festa, in addition to its regular menu. The dinner will include a primo of fritto misto, calamari, scallops, oysters, calabrian chili aioli; a secondo of tagliatelle, Maine lobster, shallot, and cognac cream; and a main course (piatto della vigilia) of halibut, crab meat, shrimp risotto, and asparagus.
$75 per person, davios.com
Eddie V’s, Burlington
Both the Boston and new Burlington locations will be adding special flash culinary options for the holidays, like stone crab claws and Nantucket bay scallops, in addition to the prime seafood menu offered every day. Guests can also enjoy signature dishes like the shellfish tower, which features Maine lobster (a key fish dish of the holiday tradition) with six shrimp, six oysters, and jumbo lump crab, as well as the Misoyaki “Butterfish,” an Alaskan black cod (they say it’s better than Baccalà salt cod) with sugar snap peas, shiitakes and miso broth. To wash it down, the restaurant will be offering Veuve Clicquot Champagne by the glass from now until New Year’s Eve: Veuve Cliquot Brut ($25 by glass), Brut Rosé ($26 by glass), Vintage 2012 ($36 by glass) and Le Grande Dame Vintage 2008 ($50 by glass). Eddie V’s will be open from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Island Creek Oyster Bar, Burlington
Throughout the month of December, parties of six or more (with advance reservations) can celebrate with this special Feast menu for $65 per person. First course: Island Creek Oysters; second course: shoreboard with smoked shrimp dip, smoked tuna pâté, salmon gravlax or steamer clams with drawn butter and thyme; main course: whole roasted Branzino with herbed salad and salsa verde or Maine lobster casarecce with miso, butternut squash and broccoli rabe. All come with sides of roasted Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes, and holiday treats and hot cocoa for dessert. To book, call 781-761-6500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
$65 per person, islandcreekoysterbar.com.