The Unsung Seafood Heroes 2018 February monthly festival feature by Executive Chef Frank Pabst and his talented brigade at Blue Water Café + Raw Bar in Vancouver (part of TopTable Group is most impressive. Wrote it up last year February 13, 2017 on this Blog but it is even better for their annual 14th edition. Expanded from a choice of 11 to 14 innovative dishes with suggested beverage pairings it really highlights under-utilized seafood choices that can be uniquely delicious. Tried 6 of them starting with shellfish intense crayfish “cappuccino” bubbling with vichyssoise poured at the table matched so well with the outstanding fresh 2016 Ava from Le Vieux Pin winery in South Okanagan using a Rhone grapes blend (viognier, marsanne, rousanne) to advantage. Next up a pure herring dish (surprisingly no bones!) “poke bowl” style with Junmai (no addition of distilled alcohol) sake resulting in a good pairing. Perhaps our favourite among all these winners was the amazing “tacos” with crispy fried smelt in a tender golden batter. Excellent recipe to make these ingredients really shine. Pairing the emerging quality winery Sea Star from BC Pender Island of 2018 Stella Maris (blending gewurz, pinot gris & noir, riesling , ortega, and schonberger) brought open perfumed aromatics of ginger with matching limes & cilantro in this dish. Another Junmai sake but Yamahai delivered a stronger earthy mushroom yeast with more acidity to the quite pickled vibrant mackerel in rice paper. Fifth course of poached sea snails (whelk) “au gratin” was divine with that comforting slow cooked sweet ham topped with mornay sauce (béchamel + gruyere) with the new creamy chardonnay from Tinhorn Creek. Comfort food! Finished up with a final course of octopus napped with a Bolognese ragu on squid ink fettucine cleverly matched with a red wine Chianti Classico. Congrats to Wine Director William Mulholland and his knowledgeable team as well. What an amazing 6 course menu progression enjoyed this time. Will have to return to try enticing Slipper Limpet “Paella” & Sea Urchin “Hot Dog”. So commendable to celebrate these lesser known seafood as alternatives for Ocean Wise sustainable choices. Highly recommended.
Encourage you to initiate this worthy idea in your home city.
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