La Panarda, a marathon meal at East Passyunk Avenue’s Le Virtu lasting more than 40 courses and nine hours, is back for its seventh year. The epic Southern Italian feast, which takes over the entire restaurant, is planned for Sunday, January 27, starting at noon. Le Virtu will begin accepting La Panarda reservations beginning Friday, December 7, at 1 p.m.
La Panarda is pricey, at $375 per person, not counting tax and tip, but if you have the cash for a splurge, it’s more of an experience than a meal, with more food and alcohol than you’d think you can consume in one day. And since it’s only for 40 diners and people get up to walk around or step outside onto Le Virtu’s patio, it feels like a party rather than a restaurant dinner.
As per tradition, diners are encouraged to try at least one bite from every single dish (though you may not want to extend that goal to the drinks, which just keep coming).
Le Virtu’s La Panarda is owners Francis Cratil-Cretarola and Cathy Lee’s local version of an annual feast in the town of Villavallelonga in Italy’s Abruzzo region. According to Cratil-Cretarola and Lee, the tradition dates back to 1657.
This is the first La Panarda for chef Damon Menapace, who came over from Kensington Quarters earlier this year.
If you’re up for the eating challenge, make a reservation at 215-271-5626.