ShareThis Page
Home

Monterey Bay showcases variety in fish choices

| Sunday, April 17, 2005

Executive chef David Indorato aims to make his daily fare as breathtaking as the view from Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, high atop Mt. Washington.

The panoramic city view from the dining room, lounge and wine cellar windows of the restaurant is tough to beat on a plate. But it can be a challenge for diners to choose which is more delightful -- the signature Maryland Crab Cakes, Rodi Grille House Salmon or Ahi Sashimi, or counting how many different Pittsburgh landmarks you can see on a clear day?

Indorato -- a graduate of the New England Culinary School in Montpelier, Vt. -- came to Monterey Bay Fish Grotto last August after positions as the opening chef at Baum Vivant in Shadyside, executive sous chef at the former Downtown Hyatt Hotel, executive chef at the Fluted Mushroom at Heinz Hall and on the staff of acclaimed caterer Michael Lench.

The restaurant, owned by Glenn and Lisa Hawley, features fresh fish flown in from the East and West coasts, Hawaii and destinations in between. The menu changes accordingly from day to day, reflecting what's best and in season.

Since taking the kitchen helm in 2004, Indorato -- a Pittsburgh native -- has made some adjustments to the predominately fish and seafood menu and has plans for a more thorough revamp.

For guests who prefer something land-based, the chef features chicken four different ways, filet mignon two ways, New York strip and several pasta dishes -- as well as daily specials.

The heart of the restaurant's cuisine is evident in its fish selections, among them Florida mako shark and grouper, Atlantic and wild salmon, Boston scrod, Hawaiian parrotfish, Chilean sea bass, Idaho rainbow trout, Mississippi catfish and West Coast blue marlin. A variety of cooking methods are offered to total about 72 variations, says Indorato, but the kitchen honors special requests, too.

"We have a lot of people who like to mix and match," he says.


Ahi Tuna Wrapped in Bacon with a Port Wine Sauce

  • 2 pieces thick bacon, preferably smoked over applewood
  • 1 (8 ounces) piece tuna, 2 inches thick
  • Cracked fresh black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chilled whole butter, plus melted butter for brushing fish
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
  • 3 ounces ruby port wine
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) heavy cream
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) chilled whole butter
  • 2 fresh rosemary branches, for garnish

Heat a grill or broiler to high.

Wrap the pieces of bacon around the outside edge of the tuna, overlapping the ends. Secure with a toothpick or wooden skewer.

Place the top of the tuna in the cracked black pepper to coat. Grill or broil, pepper side down at first, for about 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, and 5 minutes per side for medium. Brush the unpeppered side of the fish with a little melted butter just before flipping it over. If the bacon is not cooked when the tuna is done, turn the fish on its sides to finish the bacon on the grill or under the broiler.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into small pats. Set aside and keep cold.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and "sweat" for about 1 minute: You do not want the shallots to brown, just to release their juices. Remove the saute pan from the heat and add the port -- be careful that the wine does not flame in the pan.

Return the pan to the heat and allow the alcohol to burn off, reducing the mixture by two-thirds. Add the heavy cream and reduce to a sauce consistency or until the mixture returns to a deep red color. Remove from the heat and add the chilled butter, swirling to incorporate and emulsify. You do not want the mixture to return to a boil. If the sauce is too thick, add more wine and heat very gently, until smooth.

Remove the skewer from the cooked tuna and place it on the center of a dinner plate. Dribble the port sauce around the fish.

Makes 1 serving. Additional Information:

Details

Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, 1411 Grandview Ave., Mt. Washington, (412) 481-4414, is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; and for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Lunch is not served on Saturdays or Sundays.

The restaurant has a second location, 4099 William Penn Highway, Monroeville, (412) 374-8530. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and 4 to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Details: Monterey Bay Fish Grotto Web site .

Want a recipe?

Send requests for your favorite restaurant recipes to Cooking Class in care of Living, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Fax: (412) 320-7966.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me