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March 15, 2010

A young man's fancy lightly turns to ... fish

RockfishEven without the triple exclamation marks, who can resist an e-mail with this in the subject line: "Closer to Spring Time!!!"?

Turns out the news inside was not from a meteorologist, but a restaurateur.

"It's a good sign when we can purchase line-caught Maryland Rockfish," writes Alan Morstein of Regi's American Bistro. "Our Executive Chef Ben Troast is preparing it. ... crispy skin-style sailing on Parmesan-scented risotto, with fresh sauteed green beans and finished with a champagne vinaigrette, yummmm."

That missive came on top of one from Oceanaire chef Benjamin Erjavec, who also shared his spring fish news.

"Finally, after a long, cold and snowy winter, Wild Alaskan Halibut is back," Erjavec e-mailed me. "I received 3 whole fish today weighing in at a total of almost 100 pounds. This is certain to go quickly, so I have another 100 pounds scheduled to come in tomorrow."

Erjavec warned that due to poor weather conditions in Alaska, the halibut catch has not been great so far. He offered to put some halibut "on hold" for customers interested in it.

"I would feel pretty confident in saying that I am one of only a few to have Alaskan Halibut in at this time," he wrote.

 

Sun file photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 3:15 PM | | Comments (21)
        

Comments

might I not put some halibut on lay-away then?

"crispy skin-style sailing on Parmesan-scented risotto, with fresh sauteed green beans and finished with a champagne vinaigrette?" Ooo-kay. As if I weren't already hungry...

karl, you could gladly pay him Tuesday for some halibut today.
But "poor weather conditions in Alaska"?
I thought Alaska was French for poor weather conditions. Does it actually get worse than perpetually frozen, snow-encrusted, six-months-of-24/7 darkness? Alaskans visit Wisconsin for their summer vacations -- in January. They ship the halibut down here to thaw it out.

I didnt know that, jl. But maybe he means poor conditions for the halibut like all dry and sunny or not the kind of waves that please them. you know its not always about the man is it?

karl, excellent points. I was blinded by my winter prejudices and humancentricity. Poor halibut. Kind of makes me feel like eating one out of sympathy.

A local dealer, Two Oceans, is importing wild halibut from Alaska. Members of a South Baltimore coop have been dealing with him for more than a year. This month he has the halibut. He's expensive, but he has excellent quality frozen seafood plus local oysters. His email address is glark@tofish.com.

Correction. It's gclark@tofish.com.

My hunch is that the weather was probably fine for halbut but lousy for fisherfolk who kept their dinghys in drydock while storm clouds roiled.

Catcha: "States nuttiest." Honest! No kidding! What Alaskan could Captcha be referring to?

right well said, jl. i think it would benefit us all to think like fish more. they always find their way home and don't need maps or boats

Commercial MD rockfish closed at the end of February, to reopen June 1. VA is open now, mostly pound or drift net. Shad, though no longer fished in the Chesapeake, is more closely associated with the coming season.

Count me in for fish-thinking, karl. And, I mean, they must think a lot; they spend most of their time in schools.

I think going about like a fish makes a whole lot more sense if you ask me. they dont come home all knackered since they got no jobs and just bing about all day in the water. no bathing neither obviously. it seems like a right merry time for the fishies, you know, just play and eat and of course their not gonna fall off nothing or drown.

karl, I'm hooked.

good flavor, jl, you know once you stop thinkin like a monkeyman things get all the clear

Link spam at 3:11 PM! (Another shill for what is probably Chinese counterfeit footwear.)

Had to bring up rockfish. The BEST Easter dinner i ever had was rockfish stuffed with special crabmeat filling. It was the year that fishing was allowed again.. and jeez..
Cleaned weigh was enough for 15 people.

Karl, I must compliment you on your new show. It should really be called the Karl Pilkington show, not the Ricky Gervais show.

I first had rockfish at LaPorta's in Alexandria, VA a couple years ago. It was easily the best fish meal I've ever had in my life. I believe it was the special that night, although this menu item of theirs sounds very similar:

Virginia Brook Trout 23.50
Fresh Virginia Trout fillets rolled in French mustard and herbed breadcrumbs sautéed in olive oil and served over Basmati white rice with a lime berre blanc

Really, really great.

I went to Alaska just for the halibut.

Rockfish is great, but halibut is the fish I adored as a child growing up in California. I am profoundly grateful that we can get it here now.

wow Rockfish is expensive this year! I suppose I'll break down and pay for it at least once this summer because I do love it so, but I also really like halibut and the all too rare these days fresh cod.

Not too bad for someone who spent their formative years thinking fish meant Mrs Pauls fish sticks!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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