Growing up, my father tried everything to get me to eat seafood.
“They’re just like chicken fingers,” he’d say of fish and chips.
“Cracking lobster is fun!” he’d exclaim in vain.
Try as he might, my dad, a foodie, never did convince me to try sea fare, despite our frequent trips to the North Fork and Montauk, where he and the rest my family would enjoy all sorts — clams, shrimp, oysters, lobster.
But now, as an adult living in Greenport and working on the North Fork, I’ve since come to love seafood in all its incarnations — though I admit I still have a soft spot for anything golden and crispy.
Minnow at the Galley Ho, New Suffolk’s beautiful restaurant focused on sustainability and line-caught fish, has quickly become one of my favorite spots on the North Fork. Chef Cheo Avila, known to locals and visitors for his quirky, unique restaurant concepts in Greenport, including the Asian-inspired Kontiki and the Mediterranean-styled Gallery Cafe, has always had a knack for taking locally sourced ingredients and creating something special. The menu at Minnow is no exception.
I had the pleasure of visiting Minnow with my family, where we sat outside as the sun slowly set on the New Suffolk waterfront. I had looked forward to trying Avila’s newest creations, and one item immediately caught my eye — the crispy fish almondine.
Minnow’s fish offerings change depending on what the local anglers bring in, and one of my favorites, the light and delicate fluke, was available that evening. Coated with a mix of almonds, Parmesan and lemon, the fish had a nutty taste with just a hint of tanginess, not to mention an absolutely delightful and satisfying crunch. The sauce, a thick, lemony tartar, was the perfect accompaniment to the flaky breading on the fluke, and a cool, light side salad with fresh herbs complemented the dish.
Crispy fish almondine is a hearty meal, as are many offerings on Minnow’s menu, so I highly recommend sharing and sampling some other fabulous fare from Avila.
While there are other incarnations of the fluke almondine — depending on the catch of the day, you might see tilefish, sea robin (as pictured) or other offerings — but the irresistibly crisp, golden breaded meal is prepared the same way each time.
If dad could see me now.
Try the crispy fish almondine at Minnow at the Galley Ho, 650 First St., New Suffolk. For more information on the restaurant, visit minnowrestaurant.com.