When chef-owner Cory Yeates developed the potato-crusted sea bass with lemon butter for Ciao in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, he didn’t intend for it to be on the menu permanently. However, after an outpouring of acclaim from customers, it became clear that the dish deserved a fixed spot on the Ciao menu.
The potato-crusted sea bass – made with pan-fried fresh fish – is accompanied by lemon butter and lobster and corn risotto. “Potatoes and white fish are very complementary to one another,” Yeates says. “Lemon gives it some acidity to cut through the fat with the lobster and the creamy, cheesy risotto. While it’s a rich dish, it’s also light and citrusy. The big, flaky, white fish is super fresh and it all just works well together.”
The quality of the fish makes the dish a standout. “In the Midwest, fish is harder to come by,” Yeates says. “With us being in Cape Girardeau, in a smaller market, it’s a little bit harder to get it here. Our fish usually comes either through Kansas City, Chicago or St. Louis, either from the northeast or Florida, where our sea bass comes from. I get it shipped overnight and it’s always fresh, never frozen. That makes a big difference in the quality of the dish.”
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Whether it be the crispness of fresh fish or the blend of flavors brought by the ingredients, Yeates is excited to make such a special, luxurious dish accessible to more people.
“It's something that people in this area I don’t think have seen before,” Yeates says. “It’s nice to bring something cool like that to this area to let people see that doing different things aren’t always crazy and complicated. A little extra here and there makes a big difference in a dish.”
Ciao, 1650 N. Kingshighway St. Suite 102, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 573-332-8884, ciaocape.com