Feasts from the Global Table
Dishes Certain to Inspire Your Holiday Menus
From a Réveillon awakening in New Orleans to an elegant Feast of the Seven Fishes, we pay homage to the season’s most notable, globally inspired creations. Each presents a once-a-year opportunity to lay out your holiday best and start some wonderfully worldly traditions of your own.
At The Mockingbird in Nashville, Chef Brian Riggenbach and Mikey Corona serve up global goodies with a nod to their respective backgrounds. Last year, that meant a classic French buche de noel, displayed on the bar for weeks leading up to Christmas, and turkey breast with a complex classic mole Oaxacana. This year, tamales a la Tennessee with house-smoked pulled pork will make an appearance.
Brasserie JO, billed as Boston’s first authentic French brasserie, makes the most of the season with an indulgent beef Wellington, lobster and a New England-style bouillabaisse. Other special touches have included foie gras and buche de noel with cremant glaze, cut tableside.
The centuries-old Festa dei Sette Pesci, or Feast of the Seven Fishes, honoring the Italian practice of not serving meat prior to a religious holiday, has inspired many an Italian-American Christmas menu.
Davio’s celebrates with a replete three courses of Boston’s bountiful fresh seafood, including Nantucket Bay scallops, pan-roasted Georges Bank codfish and Maine lobster. Since chef/owner Steve DiFillippo started offering the special feast, “we’ve gotten busier and busier each year…families love the opportunity to experience the holiday tradition while we do the cooking for them.”
A similar dynamic plays out at Chicago’s 91-year-old Italian Village Restaurants, where the four-course feast featuring fried calamari, Manhattan clam chowder and Tuscan seafood stew has long been a holiday ritual.
A centuries-old New Orleans custom originated by French colonists, Réveillon began as a huge feast following Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. In true NOLA style, it’s now celebrated throughout the month of December with sumptuous prix-fixe menus.
Culinary Director Steven Marsella blends traditional with trendy at Kingfish and Bombay Club restaurants, resulting in sumptuous pairings like roast duck and a curly kale salad. For dessert, he whips up a caramel chocolate brownie fruit cake with marshmallow fluff toasted at the table.
At NOLA’s second oldest restaurant, Tujague’s, Executive Chef Guy Sockrider eschews the flashy and sticks with local and fresh, with dishes like speckled trout almondine or a double-cut pork chop topped with cane apple glaze from the venerable Steen’s mill.
With 120 years of holiday dinners to its credit, The Berghoff in Chicago celebrates the classics, with delights such as creamed herring, braised oxtail over spätzle and rich apple strudel. Chef Matt Reichel also lightens up the holiday cuisine using fresh herbs and lighter sauces, deconstructing chicken cordon bleu and adding new fish items to the mix.