A Very Mangia Christmas [Fresh Tracks]

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In March, I wrote about the fabulous feast known as Mangia Nashville, which takes over Franklin's Cool Cafe each weekend to present a fixed-price, home-style Italian feast that is simply divine. At the time of the review, Mangia took place every Saturday night, but business has been so strong that they've expanded to Fridays and Saturdays. See this month's issue of Her Nashville for another story about the Mangia experience.

It appears that some folks affiliated with Mangia Nashville, calling themselves The Men of La Mangia, have released a five-song Christmas EP, A Very Mangia Christmas, featuring classics like "Jingle Bell Rock," "Dominic the Donkey," "Shake Hands With Santa Claus" and "Christmas Tears." And last but not least: If you listen to nothing else Christmas-related this holiday season, you must hear this version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," à la Christopher Walken. Seriously. It's incredible.

You can download the whole EP here — for free. How's that for the Christmas spirit?

So who are The Men of La Mangia, you ask? According to the website:

Like the Santa Clauses at the mall at Christmastime, the identities of The Men of La Mangia are best kept a secret. Just know that they have a list that they check every now and then. And a bell.

But thanks to the super-sleuths here at the Cream, I can tell you, with a fair amount of certainty, the identities of at least two members: WNPT director of media relations Joe Pagetta and Nick Pellegrino, who runs Mangia Nashville with Cool Cafe proprietor Tim Ness. What incredible sleuthing techniques led us to this conclusion?

First, The Men of La Mangia's website is hosted on Pagetta's website, and we know he's a talented singer-songwriter in his own right. And Pellegrino? That was easy. Not only is he a fine musician — he also does the best Walken impersonation this side of the Hollywood Freeway.

For more information about La Mangia Nashville, which is currently in the midst of its traditional Italian Christmas celebration "The Feast of the Seven Fishes," visit their Facebook page or call (615) 538-7456. But be warned: They fill up weeks in advance, so plan ahead.

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