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Beyond the Buffalo fish fry: Fish dishes from around the world

With Easter and its season of Lenten obligations behind us, plenty of people have had their fill of the Western New York fish fry.

Beer-battered filets and the trinity of mac, potato and slaw have their place in our hearts, maybe too much so. These days, when I stray from dependables like the Crow’s Nest and Wiechec’s, I am too often reminded that “battering” is also the name of a crime. So now that spring is coming, let your curiosity bloom and resolve to try a new piece of fish, or revisit an old favorite.

Here’s some sterling suggestions for not-fish-fry dishes that could apply to join your finned favorites.

Toutant
437 Ellicott St., 342-2901

Red drum with tomatoes, $29

Toutant offers a wood-grilled gulf red drum fish "on the half shell." The drum marinated in a vinaigrette is grilled and served with lightly preserved tomatoes, citrus, olive oil and herbs. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Toutant offers a wood-grilled gulf red drum fish "on the half shell." The drum marinated in a vinaigrette is grilled and served with lightly preserved tomatoes, citrus, olive oil and herbs. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Chef James Roberts offers with version of a dish his father made after catching a bunch of red drum in Louisiana. The fish is grilled skin down, so the skin becomes its own roasting pan. It’s accented with house-canned tomatoes, vinaigrette and buttery sauce.

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Kuni’s
226 Lexington Ave., 881-3800

Chef’s sashimi assortment, $32

Kuni's at 226 Lexington Ave. serves an assorted sashimi platter. From left: Spanish mackerel, salmon, amberjack, fluke, yellow fin tuna, yellow tail, mackerel and seared albacore tuna. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Kuni's at 226 Lexington Ave. serves an assorted sashimi platter. From left: Spanish mackerel, salmon, amberjack, fluke, yellow fin tuna, yellow tail, mackerel and seared albacore tuna. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The purest fish satisfaction may be Japanese-style raw fish, each prepared to heighten their essential character by master sushi chef Kuni Sato. Here, from left, Spanish mackerel, salmon, amberjack, fluke, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, mackerel and seared albacore tuna.

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Parker’s
1216 South Park Ave., 823-3772

English fish & chips, $13

Parker's Proper Fish & Chips at 1216 South Park Ave. serves a British style of fish and chips. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Parker's Proper Fish & Chips at 1216 South Park Ave. serves a British style of fish and chips. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Yes, it’s fried fish with fried potatoes, but one visit to this South Buffalo outpost of Britannia will establish that English fish and chips is a distinct animal. Northern Atlantic cod ends up crispy with a softer layer underneath, and the fries, sorry, chips, are softer too.

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Buffalo Proper
333 Franklin St., 783-8699

Great Lakes bass with squash, $25

Buffalo Proper at 333 Franklin St. serves a Great Lakes bass with squash. bacon-onion marmalade and roasted brussels sprouts. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Buffalo Proper at 333 Franklin St. serves a Great Lakes bass with squash, bacon-onion marmalade and roasted brussels sprouts. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

When’s the last time you ate Great Lakes fish? In keeping with the restaurant’s yen for local ingredients, Chef Edward Forster perches a crispy-skinned filet of a freshwater bass-related whitefish on Oles Farm squash. With frizzled brussels sprouts and tangy, smoky bacon-onion jam.

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Mansard Inn
3365 Abbott Road, Orchard Park, 828-1115

Crab-stuffed haddock, $24.95

The Mansard Inn at 3365 Abbott Rd. in Orchard Park serves fresh fish topped with their crabmeat mixture with a choice of potato, vegetable and soup or salad. This is the haddock. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Mansard Inn at 3365 Abbott Rd. in Orchard Park serves fresh fish topped with their crabmeat mixture with a choice of potato, vegetable and soup or salad. This is the haddock. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Channeling a New England seafood parlor, this dish has graced the menu since Steve Molisani opened 43 years ago. It’s Atlantic haddock topped with a mixture of snow crab, Ritz cracker crumbs and butter, and broiled until crusty. With potato, vegetable, soup or salad.

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Cozy Thai
39 Evans St., Hamburg, 648-1016

Snapper in chile sauce, $23

Cozy Thai at 39 Evans St. in Hamburg serves a crispy whole fish, which is a whole red snapper with pineapple, bell peppers, broccoli, onion and tomatoes topped with sweet and spicy chile sauce. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Cozy Thai at 39 Evans St. in Hamburg serves a crispy whole fish, which is a whole red snapper with pineapple, bell peppers, broccoli, onion and tomatoes topped with sweet and spicy chile sauce. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

A whole red snapper is deboned before being deep-fried, said owner Tony An. It’s served bathed in a sweet and spicy chile sauce loaded with pineapple, bell peppers, broccoli, onion and tomatoes. Its filets incised before cooking, for easy removal, but the head remains.

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Tempo
581 Delaware Ave., 885-1594

Grilled branzino, $36

Tempo Restaurant at 581 Delaware Ave. makes a whole grilled branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) with sweet basil pesto accompanied by garlic braised broccolini and whipped Yukon gold potatoes. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tempo Restaurant at 581 Delaware Ave. makes a whole grilled branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) with sweet basil pesto accompanied by garlic braised broccolini and whipped Yukon gold potatoes. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Before branzino was on half the high-end Italian menus in town, Tempo put this Mediterranean favorite on special. It’s brushed with salsa verde, grilled, touched with basil pesto, with braised garlic broccolini and whipped Yukon Gold potatoes, said Executive Chef Eric Nessa.

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Coco
888 Main St., 885-1885

Trout with beurre blanc, $20

Coco at 888 Main St. makes a trout dish with herb and lemon-roasted Idaho trout with potato-apple hash, arugula and lemon beurre blanc. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Coco at 888 Main St. makes a trout dish with herb and lemon-roasted Idaho trout with potato-apple hash, arugula and lemon beurre blanc. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Idaho trout, deboned, stuffed with lemon and herbs, is then seared for crispy skin, said owner Maura Crawford. Served with potato-apple hash, dressed arugula and one of four sauces, in this case lemon beurre blanc. It’s such a smooth character you can forgive it for keeping its head.

Email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

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