Pardon the punctuation...On a year where I didn't feel like cooking or cleaning up after a dinner on Christmas eve, Osteria Mozza came through and saved my night. The "Feast of the Seven Fishes" or "La Vigilia" is a tradition from southern Italy that consists of a dinner of seven different seafood dishes. Basically it's Catholic Christmas eve tradition of abstinence. In this case it's abstaining from meat or milk products. I'm not religious or traditional but this menu was something I couldn't pass up. This was the first time I've ever gone out to dinner on the 24th. Being Cuban I'm used to the smell of roasting pork on Xmas eve so fish was a slight departure from the norm. The meal was $85 per person which was a great price considering how much a dish costs at Mozza. You could easily spend 3 times that per person at dinner there. A special bottle of 2005 Fontanafredda Barolo Riserva 150 Anni was corked for the occasion. This was a spectacular bottle of red wine and actually worked well with the all seafood menu. You don't have to ONLY drink white wine with seafood folks. Enough foreplay..lets get to the dinner.
Yellowfin Tuna Crudo: in sauce vierge with capers, tomato, and micro greens. This was the most tender and flavorful pice of tuna I've ever had. The high quality olive oil helped it melt in your mouth. I'm only praying it wasn't radioactive tuna.
Bufala Mozzarella: with crushed Meyer lemon bagna cauda, bottarga and a hint of anchovy. Perfectly balanced and the anchovy added the right amount of salt to the dish.
Lumache Grande with Black Mussels and Manila Clams: in aglio e olio and garlic breadcrumbs. Snail shaped pasta stuffed with clams and mussels. A piñata of flavor.
Sea Urchin Risotto: in olio nuovo. This was the biggest surprise of the dinner. The sea urchin was pureed and blended into the risotto. An amazing risotto with just the hint of sea urchin. I could have eaten seven courses of just this dish. Simply perfection.
Pan Roasted Sea Scallops: with chanterelles and stinging nettle polenta. Cooked perfectly and considering the dish had to be "fish only" it was great. I wanted some smokiness from bacon on it but that's just the fat kid inside me talking.
Bûche De Noêl: with merengue and hazelnut gelato. I can see why their pastry chef has won awards. You could taste the TLC that went into this dish with every bite.
Lets just say that after this experience I probably won't be cooking another Xmas eve dinner for a while. I'm going to be scooting my butt over to Osteria Mozza to enjoy the Feast of the Seven Fishes from now on.