It was introduced in the U.S. by Southern Italian immigrants in New York City’s Little Italy in the late 1800s. Italian-Americans are usually the only ones who keep this tradition going today. Chef Damian Sansonetti of Chaval will be cooking up seven different courses for you!
The presence and impact of COVID-19 have caused us all to live life differently…likely for longer than we would all hope. Our small business prides itself on working with and supporting other locally-owned small businesses. These friendships and our willingness to support their small businesses are as strong as ever. And for now, the Wine Wise experience will be coming to you virtually and it’s going to be awesome.
We hope to see you on the screen—fine wines in hand of course! Join Sommelier, Erica Archer, and Chef/Co-Owner Damian Sansonetti of Chaval this Christmas Eve for an incredible Feast of the Seven Fishes Virtual Wine Dinner.
And we’re delivering it all to your door. 1-2 hours before our event you’ll receive your dinner-for-two box containing your wine and food with easy instructions to reheat for our 7 pm start. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, is an Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with dishes of fish and other seafood.
The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as The Vigil. It was introduced in the United States by Southern Italian immigrants in New York City’s Little Italy in the late 1800s. Italian-Americans are usually the only ones who keep this tradition going today. Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes and that’s exactly how many dishes Damian “Italian-American” Sansonetti is making for this feast. We can’t wait to enjoy this incredible meal with you.
Featured Wines TBA
Preliminary Menu (more details coming soon): Marinated Boquerones and Herbs Whipped Baccala & Foccacia Tartare/ceviche Marinated Bangs Island Mussels and chickpeas Grilled and Chilled New England Squid Salad Baked Fish with pinenuts, chard, and raisins Maine Lobster “Mio e del Diavolo”
Due to the nature of this event, we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions. We are excited to have you join us for as we gather online from the comforts of home for this incredible meal during the holidays … to discuss the featured wines and food pairings, create community and support small businesses and local purveyors, and enjoy the holiday together.
Price is all-inclusive of your wine-dinner-for-two, 2 bottles of wine, tax, service, download materials, event experience, and delivery. “Seating” is limited to 12 dinners-for-two. Our delivery reach includes Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland, and Westbrook. Live outside of our Greater Portland delivery area? No problem. You may meet us for contact-less curbside pick-up at 4:15 pm at Chaval.
Just make sure to put a note in the comments section at checkout that you’ll do 4:15 curbside at Chaval. You can rest assured that we are exceeding all requirements for your safety and the safety of our teams in preparing, pick-up, and delivering.
Chef Damian Sansonetti, a Pittsburgh native, grew up exploring fresh, local ingredients, making pasta with his grandmothers, curing meats with his grandfather, and assisting his father in the family kitchen.
A career in food was practically his birthright. Graduating from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Sansonetti worked at Nantucket’s Brant Point Grill and Pittsburgh’s Steelhead Grill, moving to New York to open Heartbeat in the W Hotel. Sansonetti met Daniel Boulud while working at Shallots in Midtown and eventually took a position at Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne. Training rigorously under Chef Olivier Muller, Sansonetti became chef de banquet at Daniel and then sous chef under Jean Francois Bruel.
Promoted to executive chef of Bar Boulud in 2008, Sansonetti was named a 2009 StarChefs.com Rising Star. Now ensconced in the burgeoning food scene of Portland, Maine, Sansonetti’s partnered with his wife, Pastry Chef Ilma Lopez (a 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef and nominated in 2018 for a James Beard Award as Outstanding Pastry Chef), to open their Italian fine dining restaurant Piccolo and in 2017 Chaval.
Chef Ilma Lopez has worked in some of the most demanding and rewarding kitchens in the industry, such as DB Bistro, Corton, Tailor, El Bulli, Café Boulud, and Le Bernardin. When she left New York City to the quieter reaches of Maine, Lopez found a new terrain she couldn’t resist.
Arriving with a mastery of colors, flavors, textures, and spices—and a seasoned ability to work under pressure—Lopez makes classic dishes her own, with attention to micro-detail and thoughtful twists. For her work, Lopez earned a 2014 StarChefs Coastal New England Rising Star Pastry Chef Award, has been a twice a semi-finalist James Beard “Best Pastry Chef” (national), and you may have seen her name in an issue of Bon Appetit Magazine highlighting her incredible talents when naming Portland, Maine as their pick for ‘Restaurant City of The Year’.
Sommelier Erica Archer is a Maine native and a true oenophile, having obtained high levels of certification in her field. In 2010, she was awarded the Wine Spirit and Education Trust Level Three Advanced Certification in Wines and Spirits (with merit), became a Sommelier in the American Court of Master Sommeliers, and received her Certified Wine Professional award from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California.
Erica is the principal of Wine Wise, a wine education and events service, and is skilled at creating truly creative and memorable wine experiences that take guests beyond a typical tasting with her intimate understanding of what makes each wine unique. And she’ll do it with her trademark down-to-earth style and sense of humor. Where do we meet? On your computer screen at 7 pm on the day of the event. You’ll download the Zoom app and access our event through a link that we will send you.
What do we need? Set your dinner table with a fork, knife, spoon, napkin, water, and a wine glass per person. You’ll also need a corkscrew, an ice bucket is you’d like to keep your wine chilled, the downloaded materials for this event, and a computer with internet access, sound, and video capability.
Be sure to download the ZOOM app before this event as that is the platform we will be using so that we can all see and hear each other. Tell us about delivery. We’ll deliver your box of goodies between 4:30-6:00 pm on the day of the event. We’ll call you when we’re on our way and again when delivery has been completed.
We are vigilant about abiding by all safety and physical distancing requirements for your safety and that of ourselves and our teams. Cancellations/Reschedules/No Shows Because of our size, and the need to purchase the wine and food to accommodate the number of tickets sold, we will be able to refund you only if we can re-sell your tickets (minus the $20.00 credit card transactions we have to pay) OR reschedule you to a different event (there is no credit card transaction fee in this case).
There are no refunds or reschedules for no shows or if we are not able to resell your tickets. Makes sense, right?