When I first heard of skrei I thought it rhymed with drei, and couldn’t stop saying “eins, zwei, drei,” over and over again. Once I got that out of my system I paid a visit to Todd Mitgang’s restaurant Bo’s to try this prized Norwegian cod. I learned two things: 1) It is pronounced “skree” and 2) It is absolutely delicious: pristine, white and flaky. Mitgang and executive chef Alex Priani first tried skrei at a tasting held by the Norwegian Seafood Council at the French Culinary Institute. Rather than avail themselves of an array of ingredients the two chefs prepared the fish with little more than olive oil and sea salt to let its flavor shine through.
At Bo’s Norwegian Skrei Cod ($29) is prepared simply as well, save for the addition of one ingredient, duck fat. “We’d considered cooking the fish in duck fat,” Priani said, “but we didn’t want to take the chance of overpowering the fish with duck fat.” Instead the dish’s vegetable components: peppery scarlet rose turnips and earthy sunchokes are sautéed in the duck fat. The roasted fish, flaky and buttery—almost lobster like in its sweetness—sits atop a zippy meyer lemon gremolata. The so-called Valentine’s fish, which is wild caught between January and April makes for a delightful late winter’s dinner.
When I asked Mitgang and Priani whether they considered taking some sort of Nordic approach to the Norwegian delicacy they pointed out that Bo’s is partly inspired by New Orleans. When I found later that Priani worked with Mads Reflund at Acme I was even more impressed by his restraint. Sometimes it’s best to keep things real simple.
Bo’s 6 West 24th Street, 212-234-2373