All hail bouillabaisse! Foodies will be busy preparing for a weeklong celebration, Bouillabaisse Week, honoring this delectable dish beginning today, May 31st. Nine restaurants in Manhattan are saluting bouillabaisse by contributing their own unique spins to this paramount fish stew. Hosted by The Tour de France Restaurant Group, this awesome summer kickoff toasts to everything bouillabaisse.
For those of you who have never had the opportunity to try bouillabaisse, you are in for an amazing treat. This spicy fish soup or stew usually incorporates an assortment of fish—shellfish, white fish—and saffron. Each ingredient is added individually to make up this marvelous fishy party. The different types of fish are combined with the boiling broth to make up a succulent revelation. Lowering the heat whenever the pot begins to boil is key. Simmered vegetables sometimes added for flavor include celery, leeks, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. The broth is generally accompanied with rouille—an olive oil mayonnaise made with saffron, garlic, chili peppers and breadcrumbs.
Originating from a port city in France called Marseille, bouillabaisse recipes differ in each family, and conflict arises when questioning the most authentic version of this fish specialty. In Marseille, ‘the more the merrier’ motto comes into play when making a delicious pot of bouillabaisse. It is very uncommon to see the fish stew being prepared for less than ten eaters. The more people invited to eat and the more variety of fish incorporated in the stew, the tastier the final bouillabaisse product will be!
During Tour de France Bouillabaisse Week, Manhattan chefs will offer up a variety of different blends of flavors and tastes on this French specialty, providing all foodies with a delicious, cultural taste of France. The variety of creative bouillabaisses will highlight different flavors from all around the world, including South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Participating Manhattan restaurants include Café d’Alsace, French Roast Uptown and Downtown, L’Express, Le Monde, Marseilles, Maison, Nice Matin, and Pigalle.
Now, where to start the food tour? Chef Regis Courivaud of Le Monde restaurant spotlights his innovative pop star plate, a must-try for everyone: Bouillabaisse Pot Pie—scallops, shrimp, mussels, and salmon compiled in a bouillabaisse broth under a puff pastry covering. French Roast Uptown is featuring a fierce fusion of French and American cuisine, called the American Bouillabaisse Burger, prepared with tomato-fennel relish. A mouthwatering Grilled Codfish and Shrimp Burger will also be offered, presented on a brioche bun with a side of plantain chips. Nice Matin’s selections for this week of festivities will certainly hook your taste buds. One is their New England White Bouillabaisse, which is baked cod dressed in a savory breadcrumb and herb crust with bacon, clams, leeks, potatoes, corn, and fennel in a clear broth fish soup. An Ecuadorian Bouillabaisse will be served to order at Maison. Featuring calamari, shrimp, cod, onion, fresh tomato, and cilantro with a side of plantain chips, this dish should not be missed out on.
L’Express is spicing up the traditional fish stew with a Middle Eastern twist, preparing Moroccan Bouillabaisse. If you’re in the mood for an interesting venture, visit French Roast Downtown, where Chef Peter Hudson is busy in the kitchen putting together a delicious surprise. His combination of Cambodian fish soup and Poisson Cambodge (made with ginger, lemongrass, fresh turmeric, galangal, coconut broth, kafir, and rice) is simply divine. When stopping by Café d’Alsace, the recommended dish is their Classic Bouillabaisse—calamari, mussels, sea bass, scallops, shrimp, potatoes, fennel, and saffron with a tasty side of rouille, crunchy garlic croutons and Parmesan Reggiano. Pigalle features their Montauk “Bou,” livened with striped bass, monkfish, scallops, and porgy under a flavorful tomato/basil broth with garlic-confit rouille and soft potato gnocchi. But for Chef Andy D’Amico from Marseille, traditional values are close to his heart as he uses a classic, beloved method for his dish, Bouillabaisse Marseillaise. For more information on Bouillabaisse Week, click here.
From New York to France, bouillabaisse deserves to be celebrated. Join in on the festivities for lunch and dinner at these nine trendy Manhattan restaurants. Tour de France Bouillabaisse Week will end on Friday, June 7th.