"In the beginning, we knew we wanted to serve a whole fish and we wanted to cook it over a wood fire. That's literally where we started the ideas," explains chef and partner Aniedra Nichols. She went on to say that she and her partner Kevin Morrisson also knew they wanted something quaint and that served oysters. Then with the space, the concept began to take shape.
Aniedra considers them lucky to have found a whole fish local in Colorado. They source it from Alamosa and prepare it in a way that really lets the fish shine.
They start by removing the fins, a few gills, and the spine. Once the fish is broken down, cleaned, and scored, they simply add oil to the grill above the fire and a little salt and pepper to the fish. They carefully cook the fish right over the flames, giving it not only a beautiful sear, but a perfectly crispy skin.
It's finished with the restaurant's signature devil butter, which includes: grilled onions, salt and pepper, olive oil, roasted chile de arbol, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. They place a generous portion of the butter on the fish and let it melt into it.
"We wanted to do this to have a fun option, something where people can get their hands messy. It's great for sharing, or just for yourself," says Aniedra. Not only that, it's an eye-catcher when people see it: "There is definitely an 'Ahhhh' moment when we put it on the table."
They have already received so much positive feedback. "People have told us it's the best fish they've ever had and that it's perfectly cooked. We are selling about 15 each day."
So as the menu changes with the seasons, this dish doesn't look like it's going anywhere. "It comes with a side and it's a value-driven dish. You get so much for that price point," explains Aniedra. Go see for yourself!