Yes, this may be an excuse to eat caviar. That does, after all, count as a fish. But it’s also a really unique holiday tradition. The Feast of the Seven Fishes takes place on Christmas Eve. It’s an Italian celebration when the family gathers together and eats a lot of delicious fish. We’ve decided to create a modern Feast of the Seven Fishes menu, based on some of our favorite restaurant dishes. One of our personal favorites is from the Chayki Restaurant Baku menu, but we’ll let you decide which one is your favorite.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an American-Italian tradition for Christmas Eve. You don’t need to be Italian, though, to enjoy this meal (or even wait until Christmas). As its name suggests, families eat seven fish dishes together. Seven is a symbolic number in the Bible, appearing more than 700 times. Fish is significant because of the Italian tradition of abstaining from meat on certain holidays. That’s where the similarities end, though, as our take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a modern degustation menu.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to make everything from scratch. You can pick up the lobster bisque from a local restaurant. And we know plenty of places that make a delicious crab puff. Our advice is to keep the portions small and light throughout so you can enjoy all seven Feast of the Seven Fishes courses.
Our Feast of the Seven Fishes is an elegant, decadent menu perfect for ringing in the new year. However, for an eight-course meal, it’s relatively healthy. You will have touches of indulgence, but you won’t need the elastic pants. This menu can also be made (mostly) ahead of time. When your family and guests arrive, you can just start plating and focus on your artistic skills. This Feast of the Seven Fishes isn’t just for the holidays. This is a degustation menu that can translate to any time of the year.
The Inspiration: Chayki Restaurant Baku Menu, Azerbaijan
The Dish: Caviar on Crackers with Lemon Butter
The country of Azerbaijan is on the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake. The Caspian Sea is also the source of some of the most expensive caviar from the famed sturgeon fish. Chayki in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a chic and elegant waterfront restaurant. It’s also where I had my first Azerbaijani caviar, which was served on homemade crackers with butter. This is a traditional way to eat caviar in this part of the world. It’s a lot less carb-filled than blinis, and all you need are a few crackers to load up. The Chayki Restaurant Baku menu gives you the option of red or black caviar. I would obviously recommend the black caviar, but the choice is yours. Everyone has their own preference. The Chayki Restaurant Baku menu has some serious indulgent dishes on it, so you won’t be disappointed.
The Inspiration: The Three Chimneys Menu, Isle of Skye
The Dish: Oysters & Blood Orange Mignonette
One of the most remote restaurants in the world is The Three Chimneys. Back when Michael Smith was executive chef, it was also known as one of the best restaurants in the world. People from all over would fly in just to eat here, which feels like the ends of the earth. Scotland has one of the biggest fishing industries, so seafood is a major staple of the diet. At The Three Chimneys, the oysters, which lead you straight to nirvana, are prepared with creative mignonettes. I like the blood orange because it adds a sweet yet slightly bitter element to the creaminess of the oysters. And if you don’t want to leave right away, they also offer 5-star accommodation with beautiful views.
The Inspiration: Russ & Daughters Menu, New York City
The Dish: Smoked Salmon Canapé & Microgreen Salad
Russ & Daughters has some of the tastiest smoked salmon you’ll ever eat. They work with specific smokehouses to provide their customers with the best salmon possible. It’s hard not to have just a small canapé bite of salmon at a Feast of the Seven Fishes. Especially when it’s pastrami smoked salmon. I like to make a rosette out of the salmon and add some microgreens, to get a little veg into the menu. And of course, to add some more color too. It’s light and low in carbs, to prepare you for the rest of the meal. Just make sure you don’t eat them all before your guests arrive. It’s something that’s definitely not on the Chayki Restaurant Baku menu, and you don’t need to travel across the globe to get it either.
The Inspiration: Le Comptoir du Relais Menu, Paris
The Dish: Lobster Bisque
Over 16 years ago, I had a ravioli in lobster bisque foam that I still remember today. There was just one piece of ravioli, with the lightest, almost wonton-like pasta filled with whole chunks of lobster. The lobster bisque was surreally foamy and was light as air. At the time, Le Comptoir du Relais was one of the toughest reservations to get in Paris. I went off-hours during the day and scored one of the few tables outside. It’s a lot easier nowadays to get into Comptoir, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also a number of new gastropubs have popped up all over Paris. However, I have never forgotten those few perfect bites of the dish. I guarantee this lobster bisque will have everyone asking for seconds.
The Inspiration: Les Trois Chevaux Menu, New York City
The Dish: Crab Pithiviers
If there’s a more French restaurant in New York than Les Trois Chevaux, I have not found it. It has definitely leveled up the New York dining experience. I had a dish so simple yet so challenging to execute when trying to replicate it at home. The Crab Pithivier is a confection of pure Dungeness crab enveloped in golden brown puff pastry. There is a real art to getting the pastry golden brown and crunchy. It’s finished with an intense sherry sauce. Technically speaking, you can make this with store-bought puff pastry. But you should go to Les Trois Chevaux at least once to try the original.
The Inspiration: Le Coucou Menu, New York City
The Dish: Dover Sole
Keeping with the theme of French restaurants in NYC, Le Coucou is the perfect European fine dining experience. Dover Sole is always a popular item on any menu, with its unique flavor and texture. And Le Coucou takes it to the next level. The Dover Sole filets are served on top of a creamy both, paired with mushrooms and grapes. This is easily one of the best Dover Sole dishes I’ve had and is easy to replicate at home. It’s one dish you won’t find anywhere else, not even on the Chayki Restaurant Baku menu.
The Inspiration: The Mid-America Club, Chicago
The Dish: Baked Alaska
When I graduated from college, I worked my first job out of school in Chicago. Back then, companies would take you to private clubs for team dinners and it would be a grown-up moment. The Mid-America Club is at the top of the Aon Building in Chicago, with a stunning 360-degree view. The food is classic, old-school American. This is where I had my first Baked Alaska, which was three layers: ice cream, a cake base and a torched meringue that envelops it all. Whenever it’s on the menu at a restaurant, I still order it today. This obviously isn’t a fish, but it deserves to be the final course of the Feast of the Seven Fishes menu.