The Mercury

Pan-crisped Halibut

Chef Chris Ward sautes a thick, “pavé” cut of halibut in clarified butter and swaddles the fish in a chicken stock sauce scented with truffles. The halibut is set atop a bed of roasted breakfast radishes, tricolor cauliflower, braised fennel, and roasted “oblique”-cut carrots. It is topped with artichoke guacamole; sliced artichoke heart; peeled, braised cherry tomato; and a fried lotus root chip. $32

KingsoftheSea_2 photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Cafe Pacific

Short Smoked Salmon

This white tablecloth seafood spot in Highland Park has been open for 29 years. One of its more popular dishes is the house-smoked salmon. Marinated in a soy-based sauce, the fish is quickly cold-smoked over hickory to infuse flavor. Grilled to rare or medium rare, the salmon is drizzled with a Pommery aïoli and comes with shoestring potatoes and sesame sautéed spinach. $26.90.

KingsoftheSea_3 photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Neighborhood Services Tavern

Fish Cheeks Fish & Chips

Chef-owner Nick Badovinus has given this popular British take-away food a groovy and glamorous twist. Rather than work with frozen cod, Badovinus uses the sweet meat of halibut, cod, or grouper cheeks and fries it in a light (as in Miller Lite) beer batter and serves it with a smoky paprika-spiked rémoulade sauce, malt vinegar slaw, and hand-cut fries. $15

KingsoftheSea_4 photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Tei-An

Grilled Ishimochi

Teiichi Sakurai, owner and chef at Tei-An, is a man of few words. So is his recipe for the restaurant’s grilled ishimochi. The preparation is simple: the sun-dried whole fish is imported from Japan. At Tei-An, it is grilled. The resulting soft, almost sweet-tasting, meat contrasts nicely with daikon radish and lime. $17.

KingsoftheSea_5 photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Aurora

Prosciutto-wrapped Diver Scallop

For this appetizer, chef Avner Samuel surrounds a diver scallop with a slice of prosciutto before sauteing it in olive oil. Once browned, the scallop is placed in a bowl with a light langoustine sauce and garnished with a European-style purée made with garlic, leeks, imported butter, and reduced heavy cream. $19.

KingsoftheSea_6 photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Black-and-Blue Texas Redfish

Oceanaire receives redfish daily from the Gulf of Mexico. The mild fish with a firm texture is dusted with the kitchen’s special blend of blackened seasoning and grilled. After the fish is placed on a bed of onions caramelized in sherry, a dollop of house-made Roquefort blue cheese butter is melted on top. $23.95. 

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