Bryant Wigger at Tavernonna sees being in the middle of the country as a seafood-procurement benefit. “We can get fresh fish from both coasts,” he says. While his is not a seafood-heavy menu, Wigger has found success in selling both scallops and halibut by pairing them with the produce he brings in from local farms.
In spring, he highlights the natural sweet and salty flavors of the scallops with puréed young carrots and cured guanciale sautéed with spinach. He tops the dish with sea bean butter to add natural salinity to the dish as well. “We brine the halibut, which adds a nice crispiness when you pan-fry it, but it also extends the life of the fish,” he says.
He serves that with the classic Italian pairing of prosciutto and peas, atop a beet pesto. “The beet pesto ties the land and sea elements of the dish together and also adds a nice pop of color.”