For centuries, the finest restaurants in the world offered fresh, local seafood prepared tableside, allowing diners to embrace the incredible aromas and glorious colors found in a freshly cooked fish skillfully filleted before their eyes.
The local element of tableside preparation is something that enamors diners, especially in Mediterranean locales where it’s not uncommon for fish caught in local waters in the morning to be served that night.
Table side preparations of fish have begun to fall by the wayside, even in fine dining establishments, while tableside Caesar salads, guacamole and bananas foster are still a fairly common practice. One of the reasons tableside fish preparation is waning in popularity is because it is perceived as difficult to perform, and the cost of the fish adds pressure to execute it perfectly.
Serving fish tableside is actually quite simple, when you have the right fish. Dover Sole is probably one of the most popular fish to serve because of how easily the flesh slides off the bone. There are a few other more cost effective options including fluke or porgy, although it is a bit more difficult to keep the meat in tact with these fish.
Regardless of what fish you decide to use, serving it whole or preparing it tableside is a fun way to connect your diners with the fish they are consuming. It gives you an opportunity to share the story of the fish including where it comes from and how it is caught or farmed. It also make a night out to dinner feel more adventurous, as some diners may not be used to seeing fish prepared whole.
Luckily, we have a how to video to help you decide if tableside preparation is something you want to give a try. Our multitalented sales rep and former maître d’ Mark Haltzman, demonstrates the lost of art of tableside preparation with a delectable Dover Sole.
Enjoy! And if you have questions, please feel free to use the “Ask the Chef” Feature on our website.