Philadelphia’s Le Virtu and Chef Joe Cicala to Host 'La Panarda' 40-Course Dinner in December

Chef Joe Cicala at Le Virtu in Philadelphia, PA

On Sunday, December 16, Philadelphia’s Le Virtu will serve La Panarda, a 40-course Italian feast hosted by owners Francis Cratil-Cretarola and Cathy Lee, and prepared by Chef Joe Cicala. La Panarda celebrations are an Abruzzese tradition – the first on record were held about 600 years ago – and they are often tied in with religious occasions or events of social significance. In some cases the meals can go on for several days; at Le Virtu the dinner will begin at 2 PM and last around eight hours.

There are some rules that have been handed down over the years: La Panarda must have at least 20 courses, there are certain foods that are mandatory – Maccheroni col ragù d'Agnello (pasta with lamb ragu), Pecora alla Callara (braised mutton stew), and Ferratelle Biscotti (cookies) – and guests must eat everything that is put in front of them.

That shouldn’t be a problem for fans of Chef Joe Cicala’s cuisine. For this La Panarda he’ll be presenting the dishes mentioned above, as well as a list of his specialties including Scampi con Ceci (scampi with chickpeas); Gnocchi di Castagne con ragù di Cinghiale (chestnut gnocchi with wild boar ragu); Farrotto N’ndocca Ndocca (farro and pork soup); Tagliata di Manzo (thickly sliced steak); Brodetto di Pesce (seafood soup); and Semifreddo d’Anice e Pignoli (pine-nut and star anise semifreddo). The dinner will also feature eight wine pairings from Abruzzo’s Cantina Frentana vineyard.

For this special event seating is limited to 20 patrons who will be welcome to enjoy the entire space at Le Virtu including Il Campo, their outdoor dining area. La Panarda is $200 per person (excluding tax and gratuity); reservations are required.

Le Virtù
1927 East Passyunk Avenue
Phila, PA

Photo ©Glamorosi

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2012 10:40 AM