The Dish: Deep Blue Christmas

Vermilion imports an Italian holiday tradition for its Feast of the Seven Fishes.
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The holiday dinner comes with optional wine pairings specially selected from the restaurant's eye-catching wine cellar.

Tired of turkey and want to pass on pork this holiday season? It’s time to embrace what Italians call La Vigilia and what Americans refer to as the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Vermilion’s chef is preparing a five-course take on this tasty tradition, which highlights seven different types of seafood from the Mid-Atlantic region. The dinner kicks off with a salted Chatham cod with saffron aioli, followed by a shellfish crudo starring uni (sea urchin), Maine shrimp and bay scallop. Main courses include lobster tortellini, roasted Virginia rockfish with black orecchiette and swordfish done two ways, though substitutions may occur based on availability.

Thankfully, there’s not a fin, shell or gill in sight during pastry chef ’s dessert course – a sticky toffee pudding topped with candied walnuts, soaked in caramel sauce and brightened up with a dollop of sour cream ice cream.

The dinner is available from December 7–30 and costs $75 per person (a wine pairing is available for an additional $35).

Vermilion, 1120 King St., Alexandria, Va.; 703-684-9669, www.vermilionrestaurant.com

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