Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Whole-roasted fish and Puerto Nuevo-Style Maine Lobster from Coasterra From Seafood & The Menu’s collection of best-selling seafood menu items of 2018

Whole roasted local fish with mojo de ajo is a top seller at Coasterra in San Diego, helping anchor the restaurant’s modern Mexican flavor profiles.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cohn Restaurant Group

Deborah Scott, Executive Chef | Cohn Restaurant Group, San Diego

At Coasterra, a modern Mexican restaurant that sits on the ocean, two of the best-selling seafood entrées are head-to-tail options. A whole-roasted local fish of the day—served with garlic-cilantro rice, nopales salad, charred Serrano pepper and mojo de ajo—gives the menu a distinct “Wow!” factor, says Deborah Scott.

While that menu item offers flexibility in the species of fish she can source, bringing in live lobster can be challenging due to fluctuating prices and the fact that the crustaceans must be alive until just before they are cooked. But the effort is worth it in the end because the Puerto Nuevo-Style Maine Lobster, which is charbroiled and served with chipotle-lime aïoli, offers diners “the cachet of whole Maine lobsters, while adding value and distinction to Coasterra’s modern Mexican menu,” says Scott.

From the special Sept/Oct 2018 Seafood issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read this issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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About The Author

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Christine Burns Rudalevige is a seasoned food writer and classically trained cook living in Brunswick, Maine. She has worked as a chef, a farmers’ market manager, and a boutique caterer. Christine founded the Family Fish Project (a website dedicated to eating seafood at home) and later worked as a lead culinary instructor at Stonewall Kitchen. The dedicated home cook and food writer has lent her voice to regional and national media outlets, from NPR to Cooking Light.