Salmon, swordfish, and tuna may be among the most popular selections found on menus, but there are species of exotic fish finding their way into local restaurants. For those who want to tempt their taste buds and explore unfamiliar waters, here’s a trio of delicious lesser-known fish—and where to enjoy them.
1. Porgy is the common name for fish of the Spaidae family, also known as sea bream. It’s available at Sea Salt, where it’s brought in from hook-and-line day boats. “I love the way porgies taste,” says executive chef Josh Zerman. “They have white, tender, sweet meat with decent flake. I prefer to serve it with a little oil, salt, and lemon so customers can enjoy the natural flavor of the fish.”
2. Corvina, also known as the South American redfish, is served at Deep Lagoon Seafood as a regular menu item. “We started using it when the price of wahoo skyrocketed,” says Terry Duenas, the restaurant’s assistant general manager. “It has a similar game fish flavor to wahoo, although the texture is closer to grouper.” As with porgy, simplicity of preparation is best, with most customers ordering it sautéed in lemon butter.
3. Hogfish (not to be confused with hog snapper) is a species of Wrasse that thrives in the western Atlantic. It’s a favorite of chef-proprietor Nicolas Mercier at USS Nemo. “Hogfish is a mild, flaky fish—similar to snapper, but tastier,” he says. “It can be hard to get at times, so we don’t have it every day. We like to grill it and serve it in a tropical presentation with polenta, coconut green beans, and fruit salsa. We have many customers who come back specifically for it.” Hogfish also appears on the menu at Sea Salt, when it’s available.