Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Some of our favorite restaurants, like Jamie’s and The Marina Oyster Barn, were creamed in Hurricane Ivan. They have not been able to reopen yet. I ran into one of Jamie’s servers at another restaurant Saturday night, and was glad to see he was working, but it was yet another reminder of the wind-wrought displacement of people.

Another of our favorites, and really, the one that feels most like home, is Skopelos on the Bay. It was founded by Paul Silivos more than 35 years ago. Paul now spends part of his retirement at his birthplace, the Greek island of Skopelos, and some time at the restaurant visiting with guests — almost all of whom, including Buck and I, consider Paul their friend, as well.

Gus Silivos owns and manages Skopelos now. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, a highly talented chef, and — I think — the best staff trainer in town.

On a recent visit, Gus was serving a classic Greek style red snapper dish that was one of the best we’ve ever eaten. The fresh-caught thick fillet was covered with sliced tomatoes and onions. There was some olive oil, garlic I think, and maybe a little paprika and lemon drizzled on top. Then it was baked and finished in the broiler so that the onion had some good-looking brown bits on top.

We picked up a couple of swordfish steaks from the newly re-opened Joe Patti’s Seafood, thinking about grilling them. Buck saw one lonely tomato on the kitchen counter and said, “Hey, I’ll bet that swordfish would be good the way Gus did the snapper. Think you can?”

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Oh, yeah. All in all, I like the red snapper better, but this was a great fish dish, too. Try it. If you like a light tomato touch, it’s scrumptious.

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Marinate the swordfish in some olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and black pepper. Slice the best tomato you can find on top and add some sliced red onion. Drizzle on a little more of the marinade. Dust with paprika and baked covered with foil for about 20 minutes, then broil for 5 or 10, depending on thickness of the fish.

Quite nice with a scoop of couscous and sauteed snow peas.

 

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