5 on-trend summer seafood dishes

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The dishes are healthful, seasonal, and locally focused

Restaurants are keeping on top of food trends this summer by offering seafood dishes with ingredients that are healthful, seasonal and locally focused.

Although overall consumption of seafood has decreased in restaurants, according to consumer research firm The NPD Group, orders of non-fried seafood are increasing. That shift in seafood consumption suggests that many diners are increasingly making health-conscious decisions when ordering seafood, according to Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at The NPD Group.

On-trend seafood dishes found on restaurant menus this summer not only reflect this consumer move away from fried seafood and toward more healthful seafood preparations, but other culinary trends as well. They use both local seafood and produce — among the top menu trends of 2012 chosen by the American Culinary Federation — and also take advantage of the seasonality of sport fish such as trout in the West and bluefish in the East. These menu items also use seasonal ingredients and flavors that reflect the community that the restaurant serves.

Take a look at five summer seafood dishes that reflect some of these current food trends.

1. Smoked, Cured Bluefish with Potato Latke,
Greek Yogurt and Dill
Almond in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, N.Y.

Bluefish is a popular sport fish for anglers on the East Coast, but the aggressive flavor it takes on when it’s not extremely fresh — and the fact that people are accustomed to catching it and eating it at home — has largely kept it off of restaurant menus. But executive chef Jason Weiner serves it during the summer at his two-unit restaurant, Almond. “Few fish are as delicious, richer or moister than freshly caught bluefish. It’s local, seasonal, economical and plentiful this time of year,” he said.

For the dish, he cures the bluefish overnight, then smokes it and serves it with a potato latke, Greek yogurt and dill for $12.

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