Dish No. 31: Smoked Sable and Bottarga at Pulino's
Today's pick: Smoked sable with celery and bottarga agliata ($15) at Pulino's (282 Bowery).
Pulino's marquee, ultra-thin pizzas may be a bit of a disappointment, but some of the restaurant's auxiliary dishes taste wonderful. This appealing appetizer plate is salty sea butter piled on salty sea butter. The smoked sable is flopped into a rich pool of bottarga-laced agliata--a simple, ancient sauce similar to aioli that's made with bread, garlic, and olive oil pounded together until smooth. With the oceanic funk of the dried roe, it's a sauce to write home about.
The buttery fish gets a welcome jolt of acidity from a handful of capers and a bitter vegetal edge from a smattering of celery leaves. It's completely delicious, something you'd order to share with the table and then wish you had your own plate.
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