Food Talk + Functions
Anatomy of a Dish: Seasonal Striped Bass

Striped Bass at Hamiltons' restaurant downtown Charlottesville

Pan Seared Striped Bass with Preserved Lemon Couscous, Piperade, and Broccoli Puree

As fall turns to winter, it’s a great time to catch striped bass along the Carolina coast. Chef Curtis Shaver gives these line-caught beauties a seasonal treatment with local broccoli, stewed peppers, and a bright pop of lemon.

The fish filet is cooked with the skin on, in a cast iron skillet that’s “hot, but not too hot,” Curtis said. “Too hot and it will curl; then it’s hard to get the skin nice and crisp. But the pan can’t be too cold, because it will stick.” Once the skin is crisp, he flips the bass and slides the pan into the oven to finish.

Curtis and his team wanted a new way to present the fresh broccoli coming from Wayside Produce and Double H Farm this season. They love the bright green color of broccoli puree. “We chop up the broccoli stalks, boil them in vegetable stock until they get soft, then throw in the florets,” Curtis said. Then the broccoli gets pureed with a little bit of cream, a little butter, and salt.

Piperade is a stewed pepper condiment from the Basque region. It’s often served with breakfast dishes like fried eggs. “I’ve always liked stewed peppers and thick sauces with bass,” Curtis said. The slow cooking technique feels appropriate for the season, and the bright red of chili peppers adds welcome color.

Israeli couscous with preserved lemon brings the dish together and adds a bit of zest. “We need to brighten things up at this time of year,” Curtis said. “It’s easy to get bogged down with stewed things. Couscous is light; it’s a good vessel.”

Want to join us for dinner on New Year’s Eve? Now is the time to reserve your table! Please call (434) 295-6649 or click here to book online. Chef Curtis Shaver will serve a four-course dinner for $65 per person.



  • Hamiltons'

    101 West Main Street Charlottesville, VA 22902



  • Monday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-9:00pm
  • Thursday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-9:00pm
  • Friday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-10:00pm
  • Saturday: 11:30am-3:00pm | 5:00-10:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:30-2:30pm Brunch


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