Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starfish: Grilled Sardines & Calamari Salad

Starfish Oyster Bar & Grill has been one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto for years. Owned by Patrick McMurray, one of the fastest oyster shuckers in the world, Starfish changes its menu daily to include delicious fish, seafood and oyster offerings such as Grilled Sardines with Frisée Salad, Provencal Fish Soup, House-Smoked Haddock Fishcakes, PEI Mussels, an enviable list of oysters from BC Beach Angels to Scottish Loch Ryan's, and one of my favourites — Whole Boiled Lobster with drawn butter and house cut fries. 

Calamari Salad with Melon, Radishes, Watercress and Toasted Prosciutto

Provencal Fish Soup

Open for both lunch and dinner five days a week, and dinner Saturday and Sunday, Starfish has always been a lively place with great food and friendly staff. The cadre we encountered at lunch were sadly not the most obliging, however the food made up for their lack of hospitality. Next time, dinner reservations only. 

Grilled Sardines
Serves 4

16 sardines, cleaned, gutted and scaled
sea salt
olive oil

If you can, get your fishmonger to clean and scale the sardines. Sprinkle them liberally with the sea salt and leave for at least 1 hour. Preheat your barbecue so that it's nice and hot. Rinse the sardines under some water and then dry them with paper towels. Brush the sardines with a little olive oil and then grill for several minutes each side until they are cooked. Serve immediately with a dash of olive oil drizzled over the tops, and sea salt sprinkled over them.