Fat Hen Pops Up at La Brasa This December

Go on Roman holiday and celebrate Saturnalia at this Italian dinner series.

La Brasa

The “best of days” is coming to La Brasa, with a special Roman-inspired feast from Italian dining pop-up Fat Hen.

Back in the fall, we got word that Fat Hen—the “soulful” Old World concept from chef Michael Bergin, an alumnus of La Brasa co-owner Frank McClelland’s late Sel de la Terre and L’Espalier—would take up permanent residence in the former La Brasa Market & Café space starting in spring 2016, with 30 seats of its own. In the meantime, you can sample Bergin’s fresh pastas, braised meats, and locally grown and foraged produce at monthly La Brasa pop-ups. This month’s is dedicated to the great Roman holiday Saturnalia.

For the Romans, mid-December was devoted to Saturnalia, a time to pay tribute to the deity Saturn, in an attempt to bring a good harvest. The celebration was marked with a sacrifice to the gods, followed by a massive banquet, gift-giving, and general merrymaking. Sound familiar? (And yes, that does mean that Christmas is basically an offshoot of a big ol’ pagan holiday.)

This week, the Temple of Saturn comes to Somerville with this Roman food orgy. Check out the menu to get a sense of what you can expect.


“Saturnalia Salad” root vegetables, walnuts, baby greens, ricotta whey vinaigrette


Saffron Corzetti Countneck clams, guanciale crumb

Sweet potato Casonsei brown butter, amaretto biscuit


Wood-roasted Massachusetts rabbit leg Cerignola and tangerine marmelatta, prosciutto brodo

Coddled duck egg polenta taragna, Parmesan, black truffles


Budino di Semolino rum and raisins

Fat Hen December Pop-Up: $55 per person (excluding beverages and gratuity; add $24 for optional wine pairings), December 9, La Brasa, 124 Broadway, Somerville, 617-764-1412, labrasasomerville.com.