We are all admirers of the holiday tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, with its festive reminder that the flavors of the sea are satisfying not just in summer, but also through the depths of winter. Thinking forward to the many weeks of winter after the holidays, six Pittsburgh chefs took us on a deep dive into seafood-powered dishes that will brighten the season of chill and gloom with their memorable flavors. In keeping with this issue’s focus on Lake Erie wines, TABLE Magazine’s wine expert Adam Knoerzer pairs each dish with wine from the region.

As the saying goes, the secret is in the sauce. Morcilla’s Chef Nate Hobart instills layers of flavors into the broth of his Sopa de Mariscos, starting with onions, carrots, and fennel, several herbs and spices, saffron, tomatoes, and lobster stock. Upon this rich base the rest of the dish builds to a crescendo with salt cod, calamari, monkfish, tuna, shrimp, and a flurry of mussels. The result is as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat. You will want plenty of sourdough bread to soak up every drop.


 Serves 4


2 large onions

4 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

4 oz olive oil

2 tbsp pimentón

1 tbsp Aleppo pepper

Pinch of saffron

1 carrot, diced

1 head fennel, diced

6 plum tomatoes, diced

32 oz seafood stock (lobster stock, fish stock, clam juice)

16 oz San Marzano tomato puree

12 oz salt cod, soaked overnight and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 lb calamari, tubes and tentacles sliced

1/2 lb monkfish, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 lb albacore tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes

24 mussels

8 large shrimp

4 oz dry sherry

2 lemons, juiced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Salt to taste

Warm sourdough bread, sliced into 1-inch slices


1.     In a large pot, begin by sweating the onions, garlic, and the bay leaf in the olive oil over medium

2.     heat, seasoning with 1 tablespoon salt.

3.     Once the onions and the garlic are soft and translucent (about 15 minutes), add the spices, carrots, and fennel, continuing to sweat for another 5 minutes.

4.     Add the plum tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, and then add the lobster stock,

5.     San Marzano tomatoes, salt cod, calamari, and monkfish. Bring to a boil then reduce to a

6.     simmer for about 20 minutes.

7.     Once the calamari and salt cod are tender add the tuna and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the mussels and shrimp and cover with a lid; cook until all the mussels are open.

8.     To finish add the sherry, lemon juice, and chopped parsley. Season with salt to taste. Enjoy with the sourdough bread.


Johnson Estate Bubbly: Let the effervescence of this sparkler pep up the palate between slurps of the flavor-packed broth of this soup. The rounder floral notes of the wine go hand-in-hand with the meatiness of the monkfish and other seafoods that create a kaleidoscope of flavors.



Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish with Aleppo Pepper Oscar

Seared Salmon with Borscht Risotto & Horseradish Crème Fraîche

Cod & Potato Chowder with Coconut Milk, Lime & Cilantro 

Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger & Scallions

Roasted Oysters with Cornbread, Leek & Banana Pepper Crumble


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