DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - The Alabama Department of tourism is calling this "The year of Alabama Food." They've released a brochure listing "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die."
The New Albany Bistro is nestled into the New Albany Heritage District on Grant Street in Decatur. The building is on the National Historic Register.
Ambiance is just one of the many pluses at Albany Bistro.
Jake Reed is the owner.
"I think one of the things that sets us apart from most restaurants is the fact that most of our fish and produce comes in fresh daily," said Reed.
In fact, he visits the Decatur/Morgan County Farmer's Market daily.
The ingredients give Executive Chef Joshua Moore an opportunity to make magic. When working on Chilean Sea Bass, which is tricky to fillet, he said there are some "tricks of the trade" to do it right.
"Go in at the base of the tail of the fish, cut in as close to the base of the skin as possible. Hold the skin - you work the skin not the knife," said Moore.
Moore said it's easier to cut out the bones, rather than pull them out. He offers some tips for folks who love to cook seafood. He said to let the fish come to room temperature.
"Fresh seafood - you can never smell it," hinted Moore.
While food may be the spice of life, Moore didn't use a lot of spices in his sea bass dish. He used sea salt and ground pepper seared in olive oil. As for heat - the hotter the better.
"This is the type of heat that I look for. Just a little bit of smoke. Always presentation side down first," he added.
60 to 90 seconds later, rotate it a quarter turn for an even sear. Two minutes per side and it's done.
When the fish was well on its way, he started the sautéed veggies - grape tomatoes, yellow and zucchini squash, and various mushrooms. At this point, only cilantro infused butter was used.
"Where I have clarified whole butter, meaning remove the milk solids and infuse with fresh cilantro," he said.
Once everything is coated, kosher salt and black pepper are added. The mushrooms are added later because they absorb flavor and liquid.
The sea bass is one of the 100 dishes you should try before you die in Bobby's Bama.