When Pacific halibut is in season, Travelle Kitchen + Bar’s Jeff Vucko sells three times as much of it as the next best-selling seafood items on his menu, which are commonly salmon and scallops. He serves the halibut steamed with miso dashi, spring onions, ginger and morels.
Vucko tries to have all the seafood on the menu at any one time prepared in different styles, including grilled, pan-seared or lightly dusted with flour. “From there, we can do classic preparations with little twists, or go super seasonal and let those ingredients play off the seafood flavor, be it sweet, fatty, crispy and so on,” he says.
Vucko admits that buying seafood in the Midwest can be a challenge, and relies on his relationships with trusted purveyors. When it comes to seafood storage, Vucko has learned to store fish in their natural state to preserve the shape. “I was also brought up brining fish in a simple 5 percent salt solution,” he adds. “This seasons the fish evenly and is a method of preservation.”