The 50 Best Dishes in Teton County: #49, Grilled Branzino at Glorietta Trattoria

By on January 31, 2018

A traditional Mediterranean dish, good branzino should be flakey, briny and not overly “fishy.” (PHOTO: Helen Goelet)

It is rare in this town to come across a full fish offered as a dish on the menu, which just so happens to be my favorite way to cook and eat a fish. So when I saw grilled branzino — or, in layman’s terms, a silver-skinned fish that is traditionally cooked whole with lemon and herbs — on the menu at Glorietta I was floored.

And after eating the entire thing — yes, including the head, which is my favorite part — I can guarantee I will be going back for this dish again. And again. And over again.

Cooked on Glorietta’s wood fired oven and grill, the skin of the fish is crisp and has a deliciously charred flavor from cooked over a roaring fire. Branzino is often served with the fish fully intact, but the chef at Glorietta’s takes the liberty of deboning the entire branzino before it’s served, so you don’t have to worry about maneuvering around the spine. You just have to dig in with a fork and go to town.

A traditional Mediterannean dish, good branzino should be flakey and briny without being overly “fishy,” and lends itself well to the smoke and bright, clean accompaniments. That’s exactly what Glorietta’s manages to pull off.

The fish itself is prepared perfectly, and there is an added balance of fresh, light flavors from the bed of herb salad. It sits perfectly alongside the sweet and tangy coating of the saffron harissa cream sauce, which is precisely what makes this dish stand out. The saffron is delicate, and it lends that extra layer of tangy, earthy flavors to the rich, warm harissa.

The parsley in the salad has just the right amount of pop to make it stand out against the heavy flavor of the charred skin and harissa cream sauce, and the frisse gives a wonderful bitterness as a well refreshing crunch.

The dish is large —  it’s a great sharing option — and if you order one of Glorietta’s appetizers and a glass (or bottle; we won’t judge) of wine, you’re going to be living your very best life.

With a price tag of about $40, the grilled branzino is not a cheap date, but it’s worth every filthy penny. And that’s why it’s on this list of the best dishes in Teton County. PJH

Glorietta Trattoria is located at 242 Glenwood St, Jackson.

About Helen Goelet

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