Breaking Bistro: Raw Fluke Meunière

By Paul Angelillo | Illustrated by Becki Kozel

By

Paul Angelillo
Illustrated by Becki Kozel
Fluke, Brown Butter, Lemon, Capers, and Jus
Fluke, Brown Butter, Lemon, Capers, and Jus

When Chef Daniel Eddy returned to New York City after three years in Paris working for Chef Daniel Rose, he lamented a French scene split solely between “high-end fine dining that’s unaffordable on a cook’s salary” and “fulfilling but run-of-the-mill corner bistros [with] no perspective or understanding of what a bistro is.” He opened Rebelle with an aim to reintroduce the French bistro to Manhattan, drawing on fine-dining expertise to make dishes “accessible to all [yet born of] something more than tradition.” On his menu, the classic sole meunière comes courtesy of raw fluke—the usual sauce of brown butter, lemon, and caper is expressed, instead, by its essential elements spread about the plate. “If you’re educated in how to structure a menu and avoid waste,” says Eddy, “you find out you can do a lot of really good food without having to charge people an arm and a leg. The fluke dish has become [one of] our standards; [it’s] also a pretty strong reinterpretation stylistically and flavor-wise.”

 

Fluke:
Eddy uses Atlantic fluke—a more affordable (and readily available in New York) flat fish than sole—curing it for 10 minutes in kosher salt to provide texture, chew, and peace of mind as to the fish’s seasoning before it’s sliced thick and hits the plate.

 

 

Brown Butter:
To mimic the flavors of an à la minute sauce

meunière, the chef roasts the carcass of the
broken-down fluke in butter until it browns,
straining and later serving the sauce warm atop the                                                                                      fish.

Lemon:
Rather than incorporate a squeeze of citrus in the sauce itself, Rebelle’s modern meunière features lemon zest—grated on the fluke for floral presence—and lemon segments bursting with acidity to cut the fat and richness.
   

                  

 

Jus:
To add color and a depth of roasted flavor beyond
“clean fish in brown butter,” Eddy complements
the sauce with a classic chicken jus (sacré bleu!).

 

Capers:
To put the finishing touch on the classic sauce, Eddy deep fries capers for a more engaging crunch and final briny pop.

 

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