I have been off the grid for a while. I have continued to take pictures of where I have been in the hopes of writing but life got busy. This past December (I know…a little late) I read about this event at Mannino’s Italian Bistro at Virginia Beach Oceanfront called Feast of the Seven Fishes. I’m Italian so I have definitely heard of this Christmas Eve tradition and have always wanted to participate in it. Sadly, my family does not participate. It may have something to do with the fact that one will be in the kitchen all day cooking 7 different kinds of fish for an Italian-populated family.
The event was in early December on a Sunday from 5-8 pm. The seating was at 5 pm. I went with my boyfriend and his parents for a night out. The menu was pre-determined and boy was it delicious. Each menu item was paired with a glass of wine. You can also buy a bottle for the table. The menu was as follows:
The first course was Chilled Calamari Muffuletta Salad. The Calamari was very tender. I also loved the olives they were paired with. I stole some from my boyfriend. Ok, I stole all of them! The second course was the Infamous Creamy Crab Soup. Boy was it infamous! I have had some crab soups since moving down here but this is by far my favorite. I made my boyfriend pick some up last week after work to bring home that’s how much I love it!
The third course was Fried Virginia Rockfish with bacon. Everything is better with bacon of course.
By this time, I was getting a little tipsy. Mannino’s was generous on the wine pairings and I am a self-proclaimed light weight so It was a good thing I was not driving!
The fourth course was the Spinach and fresh Smoked Mozzarella Cheese-Stuff Oysters. I have never had oysters this way and they did not disappoint.
Throughout the meal, the owner of Sassia Vineyard came by our table to discuss how the wines were made and about his vineyard.
The fifth course was Peroni Beer Battered Jumbo Tiger Shrimp. By the time, I was eating without thinking. I forgot to take a picture!! But believe me it was good. I had Peroni beer and Italy and could taste it in the batter for sure.
The sixth course was olive oil poached rare tune over mussels marina. The tuna was very good. Are we sensing a theme here? There was nothing that I didn’t like (shocker).
The last course was an Espresso Chocolate Mousse in the shape of a sea shell to stick with the fish theme. I mean who would want fish for dessert! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful meal and was paired beautifully with the dessert wine.
Overall the evening was a blast! We didn’t end up leaving until about 9 pm. But sometimes it is just nice not to eat in a rush and enjoy the awesome meal in front of you. Mannino’s has locations all over Hampton Roads. My boyfriend’s favorite is the one located in Portsmouth. I think this is definitely going to be a Holiday Tradition!