Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Trout with Herb Sauce and Lemon Rice Pilaf: Recipe #15
Plus, my favorite seafood restaurants.
I am a seafood fanatic.
While I love ordering fish at a restaurant or buying some at my local market, catching your own is next level—there’s really nothing better. The recipe below (featured on my new series, Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen) is my favorite way to cook trout over a fire. Looks so impressive, and is so simple.
This recipe got me thinking about my favorite spots for seafood. So many options to choose from— but most of my picks are on the east coast. What can I say, I’m an east coast guy. If you’re more of a freshwater fish fan, you can find a bunch of midwestern fish fry recs here.
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My Favorite Seafood Restaurants
La Mar - Miami
Diego Oka is crushing it. Located on Brickell Key inside the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar showcases Oka’s takes on Gaston Acurio’s upscale novo-Andean fare and Nikkei fusion dishes. You’ll find classics like lomo saltado, local offerings like yellowtail snapper, and several ceviche options. Make sure to grab a table on its expansive patio for some of the best views of the Miami skyline in town.
Eventide - Portland, ME
When I’m in Portland, my go-to for the most elevated seafood cookery is Eventide Oyster Co. Along with oysters, you have to try the dish that put this place on the map—the Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll. Warm Maine lobster meat coated in a beautiful brown butter vinaigrette stuffed into a Chinese-style steamed bun. Of all the lobster rolls in Maine, this one has the most intense briny flavor. It may sound sacrilege, but I’ll forgo tradition any day for a sandwich as good as this.
Island Creek Oyster Bar - Duxbury, MA
What makes ICOB different is running their own sustainable farm, Island Creek. They opened up the bar, so you can get it directly from the source. Grab a seat on their scenic patio overlooking Duxbury Bay.
Le Bernardin - New York City
Celebrating a special occasion and love seafood? There isn’t a better place on earth than Le Bernardin. Established in Paris nearly 50 years ago by siblings Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, Le Bernardin expanded to New York in 1986. Chef Eric Ripert has run the kitchen for more than 20 years, following the untimely passing of Gilbert. If you can, go all out and order the chef’s tasting menu. You’ll get things like layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna with foie gras; Osetra Caviar on a potato cloud; sautéed langoustine with a tahini brown butter vinaigrette… it’s an experience.
Providence - Los Angeles
Chef Michael Cimarusti is dedicated to procuring the finest sustainable seafood—from regional coasts and international waters—and treats those ingredients with uncompromising respect and sophisticated technique. They use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters.
Russ & Daughters - New York City
As someone who likes to use food as a lens, I believe that you can learn more about New York City by sitting outside Russ & Daughters and having a sandwich than you can by spending all day at the Museum of Natural History. Whenever I go, I order a smoked salmon and scallion cream cheese topped with capers on a bagel, and enjoy it on the outside two-seater bench. Their bagels, cream cheese, lox, chocolate babka— it’s sublime. AND if you can’t get to NYC, have a spread shipped to your house. Thank me later.
Neptune Oyster - Boston, MA
You’ll probably have to wait an hour (or two) for a table at this tiny restaurant in Boston’s North End. And I promise it will be worth the wait. They do one of the best lobster rolls on the planet, and their johnnycake, a cornmeal pancake made with honey butter and topped with Boston smoked bluefish and Sturgeon caviar, is legendary.
Swan Oyster Depot - San Francisco
Swan Oyster Depot is nothing fancy, but the freshness of ingredients here rival that of every high-end seafood place I’ve ever experienced. Start out with a selection of oysters, then move on to absolutely stunning clam chowder.
Walrus and the Carpenter - Seattle, WA
Staying true to her locavore ethos, Chef Renee Erickson’s menu is filled with artisanal produce and fresh seafood from regional purveyors. The oysters are a must, but since you’d probably go broke before you could fill up on oysters alone, try the grilled sardines, sea urchin custard or the foie gras torchon.
Matunuck in Wakefield, RI
Chef Perry Raso started digging littlenecks in Point Judith Pond when he was 12 years old. In 2002 he founded Matunuck Oyster Farm, a wading depth aquaculture farm, on Potter Pond in East Matunuck (South Kingstown), RI. In 2009, he opened a restaurant to provide a place for work boats to access the farm and a place to sell fresh oysters from the farm. Matunuck Oyster Bar is committed to serving fresh, locally grown produce with farm-raised and wild-caught seafood to make the freshest dishes you’ll find anywhere.
Coni' Seafood - Inglewood, CA
Coni'Seafood started in 1987, when Vicente "Chente" Cossio began cooking the dishes of his hometown Acaponeta, Nayarit, Mexico for neighbors. Today, the business is still family owned, run by his daughter Connie Cossio. They import shrimp, whole fish and other select products from Sinaloa and Nayarit. It’s one of the best traditional Mexican restaurants in the United States.
Peche - New Orleans, LA
Seafood heaven. No exaggeration.
The Ordinary - Charlseton, SC
Located in historic bank in Charleston, this seafood hall celebrates the foods of the Carolina coast. Expect a menu featuring local fish, crab, oysters, and produce.
Bob’s Clam Hut - Kittery ME
Open since 1956, Bob’s is an institution. Bob’s lobster rolls feature tail, knuckle and claw meat with butter, mayonnaise, kosher salt and precisely three drops of lemon juice in a hot dog bun - and it goes well with their New England clam chowder. They’ve got killer fried clams and grilled haddock, too.
Red’s - Wiscasset, ME
Situated at the southern end of Wiscasset Bridge, the iconic red shack you see today dates back to 1954. Red’s is legendary for a reason: its lobster roll has the picked meat of one and a half lobsters piled on it, then gets drenched in Kate's Butter. Don’t skip the sea scallops, which are MASSIVE— 4/5 to a pound! Half are dipped in beer batter, allowing the undipped sides to caramelize when fried.
All this talk of fish making you hungry? Make this easy but impressive recipe at home.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Trout with Herb Sauce and Lemon Rice Pilaf
Lemon Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small handful of angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch lengths (about 1/3 cup)
2 whole garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup long grain white rice
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1 garlic clove
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 small whole trout, about 14 ounces, cleaned
12 slices prosciutto
Fresh sage sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Place a medium pot into the coals over medium direct heat and add the oil. Fry the pasta pieces for a few minutes to lightly toast, then add the garlic and onion. When onions are glassy and aromatic, add the salt, lemon zest, rice, chicken stock and half of the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, stir once, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Let rest off of the heat for 10 minutes, remove cover, stir adding remaining lemon juice and reserve.
While the rice is cooking, make the herb sauce. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Wash and dry each fish. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff each cavity with sage, thyme and lemon slices.
Lay two or three slices of prosciutto side by side overlapping so they mimic the length of the fish from neck to start of the tail. Lay the fish on the bottom of the prosciutto closest to you. Roll up and away from you, keeping the prosciutto firmly wrapped around the fish. Repeat with remaining fish.
Do you love seafood? Favorite spots? Share in the comments!
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