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Christmas treats at Cavatina, Sunset Marquis Hotel

Can Menus Be Christmas Presents?

For some of you who might have only enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home, you may not yet know the joy of relaxing all day before a large holiday meal and continuing to relax after without any hassle. For those of you who have opted for professional chefs and a waitstaff for your holiday meals before, you will know how important the restaurant’s menu is to your holiday supper. For everyone, please read on to hear more about what Cavatina will be doing for you this Christmas season, food-wise.

One of my favorite emails to get is from our excellent Food and Beverage Director, Jakub Skyvara, that announces new menus. This might mean new menu items or menus for special events or holidays. Regarding the former, please start tuning in on our social media channels for a super special new restaurant series called “Chef’s Notes,” which will be serving you new menu items every week – more on that in an upcoming blog! As for the latter, Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner are two of our favorite menus to cook for you (and to eat!). 

Why are Christmas Eve and Day such fun menus? To me, it’s because everyone has traditions, and Cavatina’s Executive Chef Luis Morales has the fun task of paying tribute to – while also riffing off of – classic Christmas food traditions, as well as those traditions in different cultures and his own traditions. Chef Luis’s exceptional skills in the kitchen always seem to hit the perfect note of comforting you with what you know around the holidays while – at the same time – surprising you with complimentary novelties that delight. 

Lobster seafood pasta - CavatinaThis year Cavatina’s Christmas Eve menu is defined as “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” I did not know about the Feast of the Seven Fishes until I saw it named on the menu. After a little research, I now know that the Feast of the Seven Fishes, also know as The Eve, is an Italian-American tradition of feasting on an abundance of fish and seafood dishes. Because Christmas Eve is a vigil or fasting day, the fish honors the abstinence of meat until Christmas Day dinner. The tradition was born in Southern Italy where it is often called The Vigil, thus commemorating the Vigilia di Natale or baby Jesus’s midnight birth. The number seven is the most repeated number in the Bible, and there are many theories on what this number represents. Wikipedia can give you a couple other options, but my favorite is that the traditional number for Divinity is three and for the Earth is four. God (3) + Earth (4) represents God on earth, namely Jesus Christ. Again, this is just one theory – proceed to the internet to find others and to choose your favorite.

There are many fish dishes that can be served during this feast. In our opinion, Chef Luis Morales has curated the best combinations for you this Christmas Eve. The meal starts with a Seafood Antipasti that features oysters, tuna crude, shrimp, and salt cod & vinegar. The second course is Grilled Octopus with olive poached potatoes, celery, bang cauda, followed by Homemade Linguine with lobster, lemon, and saffron. Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bream with shellfish brodetto, tomatoes, and white wine marks our fourth course. And finally, Tiramisu – zabaglione, marsala, and chocolate – concludes the meal. There is an option for a wine pairing and a To Go Gift from Santa alongside this meal of at least seven fishes. Please note that kids four years and younger eat for free because that seems very in line with the holiday spirit.

Can we just say that this is an exceptional idea if you have kids? Four and under eat for free? To Go Gift from Santa? Tucker them out with excitement, so they sleep through all your late-night gift wrapping and other adult merrymaking (the latter’s very important during the holiday season). And to play devil’s advocate (in a way…!), this is a great option if you don’t have kids too. Why rush home on Christmas Eve when you can relax over a long, delectable dinner surrounded by foliage and gardens and boutique luxury in the heart of West Hollywood. Our restaurant, Cavatina, takes everyone’s breath away with its unparalleled indoor-outdoor environment. We would love to serve you here on holidays.

Christmas tree in lobby of the Sunset Marquis HotelSo, let’s say you’ve already got wild Christmas parties to attend on Christmas Eve, or the present wrapping for your little ones is going to keep you up all night. Well, join us Christmas Day for our three-course lunch and/or dinner. The appetizer will be a choice of Shellfish Platter, Winter Endives, or Chestnut Soup; the entree will be a choice of Braised Veal Shank, Mary’s Organic Chicken, or Maine Diver Scallops; and dessert will be a Classic Chocolate Buche de Noel. Again, children under four eat free of charge, and there will also be a holiday to go gift. Most importantly, there’s another optional wine pairing, which we recommend, because it’s Christmas Day! Either you’ll need hair of the dog or you’ll be ready to “party” then, right? 

As for the timing and logistics, please note that we will be serving Christmas Eve Family Style dinner from 5-9:30pm and our Christmas Day Supper all day from 11am-9pm for both lunch and dinner. We will not be selling tickets, but we will be accepting reservations through OpenTable or by calling us at 310-358-3759 today. One other thing – we have a ton of cool extra flourishes happening this holiday season at our Sunset Strip hotel, so head to our blog, “Spend Your Whole Holiday Season at the Sunset Marquis,” to read more about all that. 

It’s the week before Christmas, and all we want for Christmas… is you (thank you, Mariah Carey).

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Dear Friends,

For every single one of us, these are challenging times, both personally and professionally. The economic burden we all are bearing is difficult, and our hearts go out to all those who suffer adverse health issues from Covid-19. While we wait to hear news and updates from around the world, it is uplifting to learn about the positive things people are doing in our communities to help those unable to help themselves. It is humbling to see a warm spirit of humankind shining through during times of struggle.

At the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, we appreciate your support and patience as we endeavor to provide the service and support for our staff and guests. For now, the hotel is open with limited services. We have closed our restaurant and bar in keeping with directives of government officials, but room service remains available, and we hope to offer take-out food service shortly. Our current operations follow the explicit guidelines set forth by the CDC to ensure the safety and welfare of our employees, our guests and their families.

While the road ahead will be difficult, one thing is certain; this, too, shall pass. We are optimistic and hopeful for a speedy end to this global crisis and confident that we will persevere by working together, coming together as a global community, and being patient and kind to one another. Thank you for your patronage, and we look forward to welcoming you back to a vibrant and lively Sunset Marquis very soon.

Very Truly Yours,

THE SUNSET MARQUIS HOTEL & VILLAS

Mark “Marquis” Rosenthal
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