Originally posted by seafarer john
Both of those entrees surprise me. Turbot is a European flatfish - a lot like sole, and it is delicious. but I dont think I've ever seen it on a menu here in the US - although I'm sure it is on menus in some four star restaurants.
I've neveer seen sturgeon on a menyy except as smoked fish in a kosher place. I'll take James Beard's word for it- he says it is delicious and he specially recommends the "lake"variety.
I hope you order the sturgeon so you can let us all know how you liked it.
You'd think so, for sure, because any good "appetizing" store has smoked sturgeon. It's madly expensive, and unbelievably delicious. But if you see it in such a store, the store ain't kosher. Why, you ask? Because, according to the Chicago Rabbinical Council,
"Fish which have fins and scales are kosher. Fish which only have fins are not kosher. Of the four types of scales, clenoid, cycloid, ganoid and placoid, only clenoid and cycloid scales are valid according to the Torah. Gandoid is the type found on sturgeon and placoid is found on shark.
The scales must be true scales that can be removed without damaging the skin of the fish. As it says in the Torah "These you may eat of the fish, all that have fins and scales..." Bony tubercles and plate or thorn like scales that can be removed only by removing part of the skin are not considered scales in this context. Some fish that have such scales, such as eels, lumpfish, shark, sturgeon, and swordfish, are not kosher."
So there. We are nothing if not splitters of the finest of hairs.
As for sable, or sable plate as it's sometimes called, it's smoked black cod. I don't think it's related to the "real" cod, judging by the nature of the flesh, but I have no authority to cite on this.
It's phenomenal stuff, if you're a fan of the whole genre of smoked fish, and shares the same qualities as top-level smoked salmon and sturgeon: subtle, salty, smoky taste and silky, oily texture. To me - but then I'm very New York Jewish when it comes to cuisine - it's as good as it gets. I'll take it over truffles or caviar any time. Maybe not XXX beluga, but that has become a purely academic argument.
Good pickled herring in cream sauce is nothing to sneer at either, with a nice fresh bialy.