Sycamore House Sushi Night
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
For a classic fine dining restaurant, Sycamore House has always walked a little on the wild side. For instance, although meals are served on china plates, every dish on the table will be from a different vintage pattern. White tablecloths and chandeliers give the dining rooms a sense of old world formality, but resort wear is the most common attire for diners. "Come casual, we'll supply the elegance" is even painted on the sign outside.
But even many regular customers aren't aware of the menu that comes out only on Wednesday nights, the one that offers over a dozen varieties of sushi. And of course, this sushi is very different than you find at most Japanese restaurants. Like everything else on the menu, it has the distinctive Sycamore House spin.
While die-hard sushi aficionados may go for the nigiri, it's probably a safe bet that most Sycamore House guests on Wednesday night are there for the maki rolls. Even the lowly California roll takes on a new glamour. While it's the norm at most restaurants to use the imitation crab meat in rolls, the ones at Sycamore House are made with the real McCoy, wrapped up with avocado, radish and cucumber.
The crawfish roll pairs the cajun delight with asparagus, cucumber and a surprising chipotle boursin sauce. Salmon pairs up with caperberry aioli, and the shrimp get a kick from a spicy mayo. There's even a BBQ shrimp roll. Really. Made with the restaurant's signature recipe at the heart. And they're generously portioned as well.
The SycHouse roll leaves nothing to the imagination: everything you can think of (fresh crabmeat, crawfish, yellowfin tuna and asparagus) is stuffed inside and then tempura battered and fried. The queen of rolls though has got to be the Surf n Turf: shrimp and veggies on the inside, buttery tender steak on the out.
The sushi is Stella's baby, although it was one of the food specialties both studied while training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Several years ago, the couple were casting about for something to jazz up mid-week in the restaurant. The sushi idea came up since at the time there were few ethnic food offerings in the area. Now there's a loyal following of fans that return each Wednesday.
Reservations aren't necessary, but it's always best to make one: call (228) 469 - 0107.