I had the pleasure of spending Christmas Eve with a few hounds at Lupas Feast of the Seven Fishes. It was a fun evening and quite a feast, though there were some dishes that were better than others.
The amuse was a sardine wrapped in salami, cant comment on the dish as a whole, as I only tasted the salami which was good. First up was an octopus head cheese topped with slivers of lemon rind and onion, lightly sprinkled with salt, which was good, but needed the lemon, onion and salt to bring out its flavor. Then a chickpea and escargot pancake which I quite enjoyed.
Third course was Marios 2-minute calamari - perfectly cooked squid in a spicy tomato-based broth. Even though I dont love spice, I would have liked more of this dish.
The fourth dish was the winner. Lingine with mussels, scallions and saffron in a buttery sauce, I think I can speak for everyone at the table when I say we all would have liked a second bowl of this. Delish. Next up was the weakest dish (and I love pasta) Penne with preserved tuna in a tomato-based sauce. Nothing to write home about. (Maybe I was getting too full at this point to appreciate it.)
Then a fried baccala with a citrus sauce and topped with grapefruit and fresh fennel. Great breading on the fish, super crunchy, lightly sauced. But again, was too full to finish this. The final dish was eel in a tomato based sauced with olives. Perhaps one of my dining companions can better speak to this dish, it was lost on me by this point.
Dessert was sliced pineapple macerated in olive oil and mint (?) yet I had to order their tartufo, which was the perfect finish for this meal.
The service was fine, we saw more of the runners and busboys than our server, who took our wine order and then sort of disappeared. (I thought about this afterwards, when it crossed my mind that the person who brought our food deserved more of the tip than she did. It would have been nice had she come by to explain a dish or two, but not the biggest deal, it was just something that occurred to me later.)
All in all, a great way to ring in the Holidays