Grilled Sturgeon

Grilled Sturgeon at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

For most of my life, I have only known Sturgeon as being the rather ungainly looking fish from which Caviar is obtained. Had I thought about it, I suppose I would have assumed that people actually ate the fish itself, but, until I was served it grilled at the Play, Food & Wine Restaurant in Ottawa, I had never seen it in a fish market, or even on a restaurant menu. I was, therefore, very curious to try it when I saw it on the menu on this occasion, and I am very glad I did s it was truly excellent.

The Grilled Sturgeon at Play, Food & Wine was served atop a bed of lentil salad incorporating pickled yucca and teardrop peppers. It was topped with toasted, coarsely-chopped almonds and pea shoots, and olive tapenade was added to the plate in three little pools.

To be honest, I didn’t think the tapenade added anything here, and I didn’t much like the lentil salad bed either. I should be fair, of course, and point out that I rarely get excited about lentils, and don’t usually like either the taste or the texture. I can eat them, and do sometimes enjoy them but there was nothing about this ‘salad’ despite the peppers, or the Yucca (whose taste I couldn’t identify), that made me change my mind at all.

However, as for the Grilled Sturgeon, all I can say is that this was excellent. It was expertly grilled and was extremely succulent. The texture was quite firm, yet still ‘flake-able’, much like cod, and the flavor was slightly sweet, and even somewhat chicken-like. It did not have the pronounced ‘fishy’ taste that some people find a bit overpowering in seafood and, in all, I was reminded very much of Monkfish in taste, if not in texture. Anyway, I doubt I shall be eating sturgeon very frequently in the future, as it is a bit pricey, but I very much enjoyed my introductory experience.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!