Dish: Chefs Share Their Signature Dishes
Chef Brian Harnois | Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina
1 Diamond Ave. | Diamond Cove 207.766.5850 | diamondsedgerestaurantandmarina.com
“The delicate, buttery flavor of this fish requires virtually nothing else before cooking, since it is near-perfect as is,” says Diamond’s Edge chef Brian Harnois. He’s speaking about his signature dish of whole-roasted Mediterranean sea bass, a type of fish that the Italians refer to as branzino. The French call it loup de mer, or wolf of the sea, in reference to an aggressive marine lifestyle.
Harnois’s simple, rustic preparation involves rubbing the sea bass with high-quality olive oil, seasoning the skin, and stuffing the cavity with lemon and herbs. After being placed on a well-oiled pan, the fish is roasted at high heat for a short period of time until the skin crisps up.
A slowly cooked ragout of tomato and chickpeas, with a pleasant sweetness imparted by the addition of balsamic vinegar and port wine, as well as braised kale, accompanies it. To finish, Harnois places a pat of herb and citrus compound butter atop the hot fish, allowing it to melt into every crevice.
“The more I learn about modern cooking,” says Harnois, who’s entering into his fifth season at island restaurant Diamond’s Edge, “The more I crave really simple, Old World-style cooking that lets high-quality ingredients speak for themselves.”