10 Can't Miss Dishes


(page 5 of 10)

tuna or alaskan salmonRare Sesame Crusted Tuna: This healthful dish is served with spicy sriracha, peanut sauce, pickled ginger and wakame (edible seaweed)

Tuna (or Alaskan Salmon)

Aroma Thyme Bistro
165 Canal St., Ellenville
845-647-3000 or www.aromathymebistro.com

When Chef Marcus Guiliano talks about his food, he’s likely to regale you with the provenance of a dish’s ingredients and its healthful properties before he gets around to mentioning its deliciousness quotient. That doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious — it’s just a sign of his commitment to sustainability and “clean” food. The onetime health nut who became a vegetarian to combat a range of ailments has today evolved into “more of a food advocate,” he says. “Food production is really the issue, where and how it’s produced. The healthiest foods are healthy for the planet, too.”

Okay then. The tuna. Guiliano gets his from small, Pacific Northwest, family-run day-boat operations that catch the fish one at a time, by hook and line. “Most tuna is caught on a hydraulic long line, and those machines are catching older fish, which have mercury,” he explains. The sashimi grade that he serves raw “tastes phenomenal. And it has 20 times less mercury than other tunas.”

marcus and jamie guilianoAroma Thyme’s Marcus and Jamie Guiliano

The Alaskan salmon also comes from hook-and-line fisheries. “I’m very strict about that,” Guiliano says, launching into a lively discourse on how the texture, bright color, and pronounced flavor of wild salmon is due to its vibrant, natural life and a nutritious diet of phytoplankton, which has the most powerful antioxidant properties. His enthusiasm almost makes you want to order a side of phytoplankton yourself.

Guiliano keeps the preparation simple — the salmon is pan-seared to medium rare, then served with a sauce made of gluten-free teriyaki, sake, mandarin-orange oil, ginger, and lemon. Sides might include a blend of four brown rices, and sautéed seasonal vegetables.

But the restaurant isn’t all bean shoots and Birkenstocks. Meat-eaters love the 50-ounce cowboy steak, Guiliano reports. “It’s from a ranch out west, antibiotic- and hormone-free — all that. And the Australian Kobe burgers are flying out of here.” As for desserts, the raw chocolate torte and wild blueberry crisp are favorites. The wine and beer lists include local and organic labels. You’ll even find a New York absinthe.

Guiliano, a 36-year-old Ellenville native who opened this stylish little bistro in 2003, does have a glow about him, as does his wife, Jamie, and their children, vegetarians all. “We eat fish regularly, and we’re hooked on hemp,” he says. “It’s incredible what hemp can do.” Find out more about how hemp isn’t just stuff they make ropes out of at Guiliano’s Web site, www.healthychefdude.com.

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