by Joey Phoenix
Salem’s Ledger Restaurant is in preparation for its second annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, a delicious evening of food, drink, and community right in the heart of Salem’s downtown. On Monday, December 16, 2019, chefs from Salem, Greater Boston, and Portland, ME are converging at Ledger for this exciting piscatorial endeavor.
While the feast is a culinary delight in and of itself, all proceeds from the event are going directly to No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger by providing meals to school-age youth. The organization is particularly important to Ledger owner and chef Matt O’Neil, an avid cyclist who recently competed in a 100-mile bike race to help raise support and awareness for No Kid Hungry.
Traditionally, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American Christmas celebration of food and family. And while Ledger is by no means Italian, they have become well-known for the quality of fish centered offerings on the menu.
“Executive Chef Daniel J. Gursha is obsessed with finding really local fish,” says General Manager Kelsey McCallan, “and he’s always calling down to the harbor to see what kinds of fish they can bring in today. Sometimes he’ll even fly in some really cool fish from Japan to see what he can do with it.”
Some of the prominent flavors at Ledger are defined by the use of their wood-fired grill, frequently used to grill steaks, but also, to fire up some special fish. “The chefs love to play around with cooking fish on the wood-fired grill because that was what chefs were cooking back when [Ledger] was a bank 200 years ago,” McCallan adds.
This made fish the reasonable choice for a feast of this nature, and the Feast of the Seven Fishes will feature seven different savory courses (plus dessert!) made by eight different chefs and complemented by wine pairings artfully chosen by Ledger’s sommelier and wine director, Scott Lefler.
The chefs who will be in attendance are Daniel Gursha (Ledger), Kate Holowchik (Ledger), Colin Lynch (Bar Mezzana, Shore Leave, No Relation, Black Lamb), Brian Rae (Coppa), Andrew Taylor (Eventide, Hugo’s, The Honey Paw), Dante de Magistris (Dante, il Casale), David Bazirgan (Bambara), and Daniel Bazzinotti (Terra). Some of the menu offerings include Lobster tail kushikatsu, Cuttlefish Polpette, and Puttanesca with squid ink rigatoni
“Some people think Boston is the only place where you can have a nice meal made by some really talented chefs, but there is so much on the north shore that a lot of people don’t realize,” McCallan explains. “Salem has become such a destination restaurant scene and we have so much to offer, and it’s amazing to see the quality of food and coffee and beverage coming to the north shore, and to Salem in particular.”
Get your tickets now to enjoy Ledger’s Feast for the Seven Fishes on Monday, December 16th. A cocktail hour with acoustic music will precede the feast. Tickets are available for $185 per person, including beverage pairings but exclusive of tax and gratuity. To purchase tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/feast-of-the-seven-fishes-tickets-80967936277
Ledger, located in the former Salem Savings Bank building (circa 1818), opened its doors in downtown Salem in 2016. The historically unique location houses a progressive New England concept, where traditional 19th-century dishes, cocktails, and techniques are be elevated with 21st-century resources. Executive Chef Daniel Gursha’s new-American menu pulls inspiration from his time traveling the world and working in renowned kitchens including Noma, Bouley, and A Voce before returning to his home state of Massachusetts. For more information about Ledger, visit www.ledgersalem.com , or follow the restaurant on Instagram at @LedgerSalem .
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