Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mansion Family, Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

On Dec. 24, NEO at The Mansion on Peachtree invites diners to experience Christmas Eve in Italy. Serving the traditional Italian Christmas Eve seven-fish dinner, NEO will explore a range of dishes that The Mansion's native Italian Managing Director Luigi Romaniello and Director of Restaurants Guido Piccinni and NEO's first-generation Italian-American Chef de Cuisine Giuseppe Napoli have enjoyed with their large Italian families throughout their lives.

Primarily a southern Italian tradition, eating seafood on Christmas Eve stems largely from the cultural practice of abstinence (in this case, refraining from the consumption of meat or milk products) on Fridays and specific Holy days. Because no meat or butter could be used on these days by practicing Catholics, most Italians would eat fish, typically fried in oil.

The dishes that the Christmas Eve tradition includes represent the dynamic character of Italian cooking. Baccalá, or dried cod, is the most popular holiday fish, along with smelt, calamari, shrimp, eel and sole. Baccalá and calamari among other fish are served in three different ways stewed, deep-fried or in a salad. The meal is always accompanied by pasta, but the type often changes from year to year, ranging from cheese-filled pasta to spaghetti with raisins, walnuts and breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic and olive oil. Accompanying vegetables include cauliflower, battered and deep-fried, and broccoli rabe. For dessert, Panettone, Cannoli and Zeppole provide a delectable finish to the seven-fish dinner.

Striving to provide guests with authentic experiences at each of its properties, Rosewood is excited to offer this unique Christmas Eve in Italy event for guests. As an innovator presenting clients with the highest level of service, Rosewood prides itself on engaging guests with unforgettable moments found exclusively at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. To experience Christmas Eve in Italy at NEO in The Mansion on Peachtree, contact NEO at (404) 995-7545 or

For more information on Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, please call 888-ROSEWOOD, or visit

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