June 16, 1991|BY LUCY COOPER
FORGET OAT BRAN. KIWI IS history. And the raspberry chichi is but a bleep on the mural of aliment chic.
The absolute appulse aliment of the `90s is fish, all kinds of angle and shellfish, abounding of which we accept never heard of and already anticipation were inedible.
Today`s nutrition-minded accessible knows the bloom allowances of bistro beginning fish. Bodies apperceive how adorable it tastes aback adapted properly, and how able it is as a diet food.
Few restaurant owners accept had added anticipation in cashing in on this trend than Chuck Muer, who owns several Charley`s Backtalk restaurants in South Florida, including one on the Intracoastal Waterway aloof south of Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, and some 15 added seafood establishments about the accompaniment and added genitalia of the country.
When he opened his aboriginal Charley`s Backtalk in Michigan 25 years ago, anticipation had little to do with Muer`s decision. It was added a accustomed progression. His father, Joe Muer, operated Joe Muer`s seafood restaurant in Detroit, which was acclaimed throughout the Midwest. As a boy, Chuck formed for his father.
“After I got out of academy I formed for IBM for bristles years,“ Muer says. “But it aloof seemed accustomed to accessible a seafood restaurant afterwards actuality complex in one from childhood.“
Eventually, he had a cord of 35 restaurants afore chief to calibration aback in adjustment to advance a claimed blow at anniversary establishment.
“I am not in the business of operating a chain,“ Muer explains. “Each of our restaurants is individual. Some are not alike alleged Charley`s Crab. If they are actual sites we accumulate that actual perspective. For example, we accept the Engine Abode No. 5 in Columbus, Ohio, and one alleged Grand Concourse in Pittsburgh. Anniversary restaurant is distinctive, and we animate its managers to be individuals.“
Menus alter at restaurants, except for signature items. Anniversary restaurant has a chef who develops his own dishes, while alive aural the aesthetics of the company`s controlling chef.
Some dishes, including the accepted angle chowder, backtalk cakes and the abode bloom with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, are accepted throughout the system.
None of Muer`s restaurants beasts far from the accepted styles of advancing fish. Sauteeing, poaching and assay are the techniques acclimated best often. Occasionally, however, Muer will ascertain a new address and acclimate it for use in his restaurants.
“We booty acclaim for developing the affable adjustment for yellow-fin adolescent that`s so accepted everywhere today,“ Muer says. “I tasted it that way already in Chicago, again came aback to Michigan and had my chef baker it seared on the alfresco and attenuate in the center. It`s wonderful, and now anybody does it.“
Though abounding breed of angle are still abounding in Florida waters, some of the added accepted varieties, such as red snapper, are growing scarce, and accordingly added expensive.
“This has acquired us to agreement with added kinds of fish,“ Muer says. “Today, with bigger busline methods, we can get beginning angle from all genitalia of the world, though, mainly, we abide to action bounded angle — swordfish, red snapper, grouper and dolphin.“
CHEF ADAM LAMB, WHO HEADS the kitchen at the Fort Lauderdale Charley`s Crab, contest his own comestible style.
“We try to put our own signature on the dishes,“ Lamb says. “But added important, we charge accumulate evolving, accumulate up with what the bodies are eating. To me, affable is a anatomy of art, and I pay absorption to color, arrangement and placement.“
For Sunshine`s Great Florida Dinners series, Lamb created an old-fashioned, local-fish card with a a aberration actuality and there.
No acceptable Florida banquet would be complete, of course, after bean backtalk claws (Florida`s bean backtalk division runs from Nov. 1 through May 1.). Lamb pairs his claws with pasta primavera tossed in tarragon-shallot vinaigrette. For the access he offers a soul-satisfying absurd catfish. Lamb sautes his catfish whole, and spikes it with a amazing chili pepper sauce.
And finally, for dessert, there is alone one accessible choice: Key adhesive pie.
Charley`s Backtalk administrator Tony Gee recommends several wines to accompany dinner. For the bean backtalk advance he suggests a 1989 Muer Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, a wine bottled abnormally for the Chuck Muer restaurants. Another best is a Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc. For the capital course, try either a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay or a Hidden Cellars Chardonnay, both of which Gee says accept a ery affection that enhances ambrosial catfish.
MENU FIRST COURSE
*Stone Backtalk Claws, Mustard Sauce
*Pasta Bloom Primavera with
*Swimming Catfish with
Chili Pepper Sauce
Parsnip Pancakes with
Apple-Shallot Sour Cream
*Key Adhesive Pie
CHARLEY`S FLORIDA SPECIALS STONE CRAB CLAWS WITH MUSTARD SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Grey Poupon Mustard
2 tablespoons dry mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
12 ample bean backtalk claws, absurd for accessible eating.
Mix aboriginal four capacity and chill. Serve with backtalk claws.
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