Category Archives: Seafood

BBQ Oyster Time, Golden Gate Anniversary Eats & More

Oysters fresh off the grill at Fish Story. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Fish Story’s Barbecued Oysters

Fish Story in Napa has introduced a fun new “Happy Hour” on Friday and Saturday afternoons, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m,  that’s all about the barbecue.

Just in time for these warmer days ahead, the restaurant is grilling Rock Cod soft tacos ($4) and Drake’s Bay oysters with chili butter ($2) and your choice of three relishes.

Enjoy those noshes with $2.50 draft beer and $5 artisan tap wines.

The GG75 cocktail, named after the iconic bridge. (Photo courtesy of Jardiniere)

Sweets and Libations to Celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge

Restaurants are already getting in on the celebrating for the 75th anniversary of San Francisco’s landmark Golden Gate Bridge on May 27.

Head to Jardiniere restaurant in San Francisco on May 23 when cocktail writer Camper English will be behind the bar, pouring the GG75, a riff on the French 75. It’s a mix of California sparkling wine, Campari, simple syrup, orange bitters and blood orange juice to give the cocktail a hue similar to that of the iconic bridge.

The cocktail is $10. Sales will benefit Hands on the Bay Area, a non-profit that encourages San Franciscans to volunteer, learn and lead their communities.

If you plan to take in the May 27 fireworks show in San Francisco, Greens Restaurant, with its bird’s-eye-view of the festivities, is the perfect place to do so.

The vegetarian restaurant will offer two dinner seatings that night. The first, 5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m., features an a la carte menu, but no viewing of the fireworks from the restaurant dining room. It’s designed more for folks who want to eat before they walk down to the Marina for an outside view.

The second seating, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m., will serve up a four-course $75 prix fixe, plus viewing of the fireworks. Reservations for this seating must be made by calling the restaurant directly at (415) 771-6222.

A Golden Gate Bridge cookie. (Photo courtesy of Greens)

For a sweet taste of the event, Greens also has designed a Golden Gate Bridge short bread cookie with royal icing. The cookies are available for $3.75 at the “Greens To Go” counter at the restaurant.

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For the Halibut

Halibut in a vibrant sauce made of orange juice. lemon juice and olive oil.

When trying out a recipe for the first time, it’s always a good sign when your husband exclaims after just one bite, “Mmm, you should make this again.”

Such was the case when I tried the “Sauteed Fillet of Halibut with Fennel and White Anchovies” recipe from the new “Cooking Without Borders” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) cookbook, of which I received a review copy.

It’s the first cookbook by the very talented New York Chef Anita Lo of Annisa restaurant in Manhattan. You probably recognize her from her appearances on “Top Chef Masters” and “Iron Chef America.”

I loved this dish as much as my husband did. To me, it’s the perfect spring-summer fish dish — healthful and light tasting, and full of vibrant citrus flavors and crunchy textures.

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A New Farmed Salmon

A new farmed salmon. (Photo courtesy of Verlasso)

When it comes to deciding whether to eat farmed salmon, the choice is not always clear cut.

Sure, farmed salmon in general gets a bad rap — and deservedly so. The Environmental Defense Fund issued a health advisory for farmed salmon because of high levels of PCBs. It takes  about three or four pounds of wild feeder fish to grow one pound of farmed salmon. Waste from open-water pens pollutes surrounding ocean waters. And the farmed fish can sometimes escape, posing potential problems for wild fish populations that can be affected by their parasites or diseases.

U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon, though, gets a “Best Choice” recommendation from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’sSeafood Watch” guide because it is farmed in inland tanks, lessening the potential spread of disease and pollution. They also require less wild feeder fish to grow.

Some chefs also favor a Scottish salmon, marketed as Loch Duart, which is farmed in the waters off the northwest coast of Sutherland. It’s billed as a sustainable alternative, but it, too, relies on feed made of fish meal and oil.

Now, into the fray comes a new farmed salmon, this one from the waters of Patagonia, Chile.

Known as Verlasso Salmon, this new farmed Atlantic salmon just launched last summer and is starting to show up in markets nationwide. Berkeley Bowl, which started carrying it in February, is the only retailer in the Bay Area selling it so far. You can find it at the seafood counter at both of its Berkeley stores for $14.80 per pound.

What makes this farmed salmon different?

Instead of needing three or four pounds of wild feeder fish to grow one pound of farmed salmon, Verlasso has developed a process to get that down to a one-to-one ratio. How? By supplementing the fish meal  feed with a special kind of yeast that is rich in omega 3s, which salmon typically get from ingesting other fish. In the future, the company hopes to get that ratio down even more, so that the farmed salmon can be raised with little to no fish meal at all, says Scott Nichols, director of  the Delaware-based Verlasso.

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A Cracking Good Crawfish Time at Yankee Pier

Enjoy an old-fashioned crawfish boil at Yankee Pier this week.

Messy, but good.

That’s what a crawfish boil is all about, as you tear into a pile of tiny crustaceans with your fingers to dig out the coveted sweet, almost lobster-like morsel of tail meat.

Tie on a bibb and grab your shellfish crackers to enjoy exactly that through May 5 at all Bay Area Yankee Pier locations (San Jose, Lafayette and Larskpur), which are featuring crawfish boils for $35 per person during dinner service until supplies run out.

You might need one of these bibbs as you dig in with your hands.

My husband and I were invited as guests to experience that irresistible taste of New Orleans this past Sunday, as a Zyedeco band grooved on the sidewalk outside the Santana Row Yankee Pier.

One order of the crawfish boil is pretty sizable, so if you want to nosh on a few other menu items, you might want to share one like we did.

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A Whole Lotta Seafood and a Food Gal Giveaway

The seafood bounty you can win. (Photo courtesy of Anderson Seafoods)

When I think of fresh seafood, I can’t help but think of my late-Mom’s simple but sublime steamed fish.

My Uncle Homer loves to fish. He’s good at it, too, as evidenced by the huge bass he used to gift to my parents from his day-long boating excursions.

I remember the white fillets, so impossibly plump looking, covered in silvery-gray skin, which my Mom always left on to keep the fish moist while it cooked.

She would place the fillets in a Pyrex pie plate atop a steamer. She’d sprinkle on liberal shards of fresh ginger before placing the cover over the pan. Curls of steam would shoot out, as the fish turned from translucent to opaque inside.

When it was done, she’d top the fish with inch-long segments of spring onion. Next, she’d heat up a small saucepan of peanut oil with a splash of soy sauce until it was smoking. Then, ever so slowly, she’d dribble the hot oil all over the fish, giving it a lovely gloss and crisping up the skin ever so slightly.

We’d dig in with our chopsticks, tearing off chunks of the silky fish and spooning the sauce over steamed rice.

That would be dinner. With the fish rightly the star of the meal. And my family thoroughly enjoying each morsel of my uncle’s gift from the sea.

Contest: Southern California-based Anderson Seafoods, which sells premium seafood with a nod toward sustainability, wants you to remember your mom this Mother’s Day with impeccable fresh seafood. Thanks to them, one lucky Food Gal reader will win a “Regatta Gift Package,” a value of $300. Yes, you read that right. The package includes four pounds of wild Mexican shrimp, two cold-water South African rock lobster tails, four pounds of dry-packed scallops, 32 ounces of Norwegian salmon and 32 ounces of Alaskan halibut.

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