Roe your boat: If caviar is gonna make a comeback, it needs a makeover

Photo: Paul Whicheloe Photo: Paul Whicheloe

Where did all the caviar go? Hard to say, but the fact that it went out of style in our area probably had something to do with the 2015 closing of Downtown Mall seafood joint Blue Light Grill.

At least one local restaurant thinks it’s time for a roe revival. Tavern & Grocery has had caviar on its menu since opening in early 2016, only several months after Blue Light’s closure.

“About 10 years ago, when I worked at Blue Light, we had beluga and ossetra, but a lot of those varieties have been shunned or outlawed because of the amount of sturgeon that was being destroyed and not being taken care of properly,” T&G chef David Morgan says. “A lot of people have an aversion to specific kinds of caviar—plus it made the price go through the roof.”

Morgan says he and restaurant owner Andy McClure stick with “entry level” caviar from American bowfin or paddlefish, both of which are plentiful and allow humane harvesting. They’re also reasonably priced at Tavern & Grocery for $25 per ounce, served with housemade crème fraîche, crackers and potato chips.