by Ian McNulty
Last year around this time, GW Fins hosted a special Feast of the Seven Fishes meal in its private dining room, recreating this traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner a little early and in a decidedly contemporary style. The event sold out quickly, so this year the French Quarter seafood restaurant is expanding things, serving its Feast of the Seven Fishes menu throughout the entire restaurant on Dec. 13.
Chef de cuisine Michael Nelson is in charge of the menu, which will be served in seven courses, with a mix of individually-plated dishes and family-style platters for sharing. The Italian-American seafood stew cioppino, octopus with pesto, olives and polenta, house-made linguini with clams and parmesan-crusted flounder are among the dishes, and each course is paired with an Italian wine. The cost is $70 and reservations are required.
Nelson says he hopes the meal will become an annual tradition at GW Fins. If so it would join one standing tradition that the restaurant continues next week — its holiday lunch. Normally open only for dinner, GW Fins adds a few Friday lunches in December, when so many locals plan festive gatherings of friends and colleagues. This year those lunches are on Dec. 14 and Dec. 21.
The lunch menu follows the same approach as the ever-changing dinner menu and it also adds a few items, like entrée salads and, significantly, the fried lobster tail po-boy that has been a hit at the Po-boy Festival for several years now.