For my birthday this year, I celebrated with dear family and friends while enjoying some of Boston's freshest seafood product thanks to Red's Best. Red's Best was founded in 2006 by Jared Auerbach and is one of Boston's premier seafood wholesalers. Jared's vision when founding his company was to create a sustainable supply chain for fresh seafood direct to consumers. Most people don't often know where their fish comes from, and you definitely don't know the fisherman who caught the fish. However Red's Best is out to change that, and to introduce local Boston fish-lovers to delicious catch straight off his boats.
The birthday meal - prepared in the Boston Public Market Kitchen by the fabulous husband and wife team Conor Dennehy and Danielle Ayer of Belly to Bones - featured six unique dishes with specialty wine pairings that highlighted the freshness, flavor, and texture of the seafood products.
The first dish was fluke crudo, with thinly sliced stone fruits, avocado cream, and nasturtium vinegar, paired with a bubbly rose champagne. Fluke is a lightly-colored summer flounder with delicate flavor and flaky texture. It is delicious raw and thinly sliced and is the perfect starter to a meal.
The second dish was the first of several tuna dishes - a tuna tartare with sesame oil, soy, wakame, nori, and green onion - paired with an Austrian dry Reisling. The second tuna dish, pictured below, was luscious tuna loin with fermented black bean vinaigrette and scallion, paired with a German Reisling. During the dinner, I learned from Jared and our chef Conor about the different cuts and textures of tuna, and was amazed to hear how yellowfin tuna are sourced by harpoon right off the coast of Massachusetts! The tuna was firm yet delicate in texture and melted in your mouth with the delicious sauces.
The fourth dish of the dinner was broiled Cape Code sea scallop and roe with herbed butter, lemon, and gremolata (a blend of fresh herbs and breadcrumbs). The scallops were served broiled in full shell, and we ate both the scallop muscle and roe which you don't often see together! Danielle Ayer paired this dish with a bright white French wine called Vouvray, which balanced the buttery flavor of the scallop and herb butter sauce.
The final two dishes were much heartier in flavor and texture - razor clams with chorizo, pickled shallot, and piquillo peppers, and tuna collar with olives, tomato, and caper sauce. They had more punch and spice than the other more delicate dishes, and we drank an unusual Roussane orange wine followed by a Spanish red wine with the tuna collar.
The entire meal was exceptional and so memorable - I could not have asked for a more delicious way to ring in the next year. I hope you will find these dishes and photographs inspiring - and perhaps you will visit your local fishmonger (or Red's Best!) the next time you are in the mood. While these recipes are highly technical and complex, a fresh piece of fish can be easy to prepare and so satisfying when you use the freshest of ingredients.