Le Virtu’s Nine-Hour, 40-Course Feast Is Coming

Tickets for La Panarda, the Italian feast on steroids, are about to go on sale.

Courtesy of Le Virtu

Mark your goddamn calendars, La Panarda is returning after the new year. This year’s Panarda, the gigantic Abbruzese feast put on twice a year by Le Virtu will be held on Sunday. January 26th, starting at noon sharp. Tickets, which are $483 per person, include unlimited beverage pairings, live music, entertainment, house-made digestives, and also tax and gratuity. For the first time, guests can buy their tickets online here, starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 25th. With seats for only 35 guests, tickets will go fast for this most epic Philly food experience.

La Panarda has been celebrated in villages across Abruzzo since the 1600s. The story goes that a woman in the town of Villavallelonga left her baby in its crib while she went to get water, and when she returned, she found a wolf holding the child in its teeth. She prayed to Sant’Antonio Abate for her child’s safety, and the wolf gently deposited the baby back in its crib. According to the legend, she cooked the first Panarda to thank the saint for her child’s safe return. Le Virtu began putting on a La Panarda feast in 2011, and is now carried on by chef Damon Menapace alongside chefs Francis Cratil-Cretarola and Cathy Lee.

This year’s meal will include roasted capretto (baby goat) served over local polenta, a smoked house-made lamb prosciutto hoagie, and pasta alla Genovese, a slow-cooked veal and onion ragu, just to name a few. Drinks will be provided by The Artisan Cellar and Tricana Imports, who have sponsored the event since it’s inception.