In between the miles of duck breast and short ribs, I’ve been longing for something light. So when the server at the Press Room mentioned shad roe, I was hooked. My grandmother used to make shad roe, which she called somewhat redundently, roe of the fish (or perhaps, roe of The Fish since shad is pretty much alone in this regard). Anyway, I’m thinking light.
Along the way comes a gorgonzola custard, a creamy custard with candied walnuts, candied fresh cranberries, dead ripe pears and some arugula. Decidedly not light, given the custard, but tasty, with the gorgonzola taste out front but not dominating. The fresh cranberries are a great touch and the pears are, well simply, ripe. Anjous, I think, because of the peel.
The shad roe, which is apparently coming up the coast from North Carolina, comes as two sacs atop grilled oblique cuts of toasted baguette. Butter caper sauce, a little thickened, and red pickled onions and watercress. The scalloped potatoes aren’t helping my light eating, but what the hey, it’s fresh, it’s local, and the capers and onions offset the richness of the roe. They are slightly fishy and gritty to the tongue, but not in a bad way. Grandma cut the sacs and sauteed the roe in butter. These have been baked, I think, a better treatment. My attempts to cook them have all resulted in failure.
Nice meal. As I am sipping the coffee (hazelnut, yech), I hear the server talking ramps with the couple at the next table. Wild leeks, seasonal, local, and served over black linguini. I know where I am eating on Wednesday.