Taste FOOD FILES
SENSATIONAL SEAFOOD Fresh takes on fresh fish make a splash in Phoenix
BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ
Grilled Spanish Octopus
Ocotillo When cooked properly, octopus not only takes on the herbs and spices it is cooked with, but heightens their impact on the palate. One of the best takes is served at Ocotillo, where the delicate meat is infused with herbs and topped with a pungent saffron aioli and a sherry-tomato vinaigrette. It’s paired with royal corona beans, which are larger than traditional white beans and are fantastically creamy to the taste. $25. www.ocotillophx.com.
Pan Seared Salmon
Tomaso’s on Camelback Tomaso’s uses its more than four decades of culinary expertise to bring a taste of Italy to Phoenix with its take on the traditional salmon dish. This version is buttery with a touch of bright citrus zest. The foundation of the meal is a generous portion of perfectly seared salmon lightly dressed with a warm lemon butter sauce and finished with brined capers, giving the dish the perfect amount of tanginess. To complete the meal, the salmon is paired with fresh stalks of lightly steamed asparagus topped with the same signature lemon butter sauce alongside crisp, roasted potato wedges. $30. www.tomasos.com.
Crispy Red Snapper
Ladera Taverna y Cocina Brought in fresh from the Baja Peninsula, Ladera’s red snapper is bursting with vitamins D and E as well as magnesium. To make, the fish is stuffed with fresh herbs as well as full lemons and limes before being pan-seared until perfectly crispy on the outside, but still moist and flavorful on the inside. It’s paired with hominy rice and a citrus salad that is topped with cherry pepper vinaigrette. Market price. www.laderaphx.com.
Though we live in a desert, a road trip away from any ocean, resourceful local chefs are still crafting exceedingly fresh fish dishes. Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy light, bright seafood-forward creations, from salmon to ahi tuna. Here are 10 dishes that make a splash on Valley menus.
Bluewater Grill Perhaps the ultimate take on fish and chips in the Valley, this feast starts with Alaskan cod, which is beer battered and fried. Next, both giant prawns and salty yet sweet large scallops get a panko breading and also go into the fryer briefly. Once golden brown, all individual items are paired with freshly made coleslaw with a primarily cabbage base and hand-cut French fries. $24. www.bluewatergrill.com
House Smoked Idaho Trout Dip Chelsea’s Kitchen Made daily and a classic on the menu since its inception, this dish starts with Idaho trout, which is flown in weekly. It is smoked in-house over cherry wood until rich in flavor. Once cooked, is it combined with cream cheese,
Uptown August ‘20