Following nearly eight months of takeout only, Andy Baler reopened Bluefins Sushi & Sake Bar in downtown Chatham for indoor dining Nov. 9 with a new chef and a new menu.
The restaurant’s huge range of fresh new fish, such as the locally caught tuna for which the eatery is named, is nevertheless obtainable in dozens of maki rolls, nigiri and sashimi, as properly as cooked sushi rolls.
But executive chef Diego Mota, who commenced in Chatham just previous thirty day period, has added some signature dishes, which have an Asian influence while featuring foodstuff generally produced in New England.
Baler owns a 2nd Bluefins area, at 295 Main St. in Falmouth, that opened for 4 times in March, closed for only takeout, then reopened in July for within dining.
Wei Yao Wang, executive sushi chef in Falmouth, and Hong Chen, govt sushi chef in Chatham, provide equivalent sushi menus at the two destinations, but the scorching food — overseen by Mota in Chatham and Blake Straubel in Falmouth — are a very little distinctive.
Mota’s new “Roasted Gianonne ½ Chicken” ($26) options a fifty percent-chicken au jus, served with Chinese sausage fried rice, child carrots and snow peas.
His “Miso Marinated Cod” ($33) involves smoked bacon dashi (Japanese soup inventory), newborn bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and carrots.
One particular of the new “hot starters” in Chatham is “Grilled Marinated Vermont Quail” ($16), which has hoisin-glazed pork stomach with a scallion pancake and what Mota calls a “sunny quail egg.”
“Everything we’re centered on is made in-household,” Mota says. “Nothing is (from) a box.”
He says he developed the new choices to celebrate getting indoor eating again in Chatham and so diners — specifically people who will not come for sushi — would have additional from which to opt for.
“Me altering it up was just striving to drive the envelope,” states Mota, who was executive sous chef at The Federal restaurant in Waltham as effectively as a chef at the Webber Restaurant Group based mostly in Groton.
Mota, Baler and Bluefins’ basic manager Michelle Orsmond gathered recently to chat at a table nestled into one of the Chatham restaurant’s multi-paned entrance home windows. Sounds of sushi cooks, planning to slice a total tuna for the weekend, came from the nicely-lit kitchen at the back of the dark restaurant. Folks passing on Major Avenue stopped to peer at the menu.
Baler has been immersed in the Cape’s fishing field, primarily bluefin tuna, for almost four many years and owns a fish processing plant in Dennis.
“I’ve purchased from 35 boats at once. I know the wide range of what will come from these waters,” Baler states. “One working day, I was strolling downtown and I thought, ‘There ought to be a sushi bar here.’ In 2014, I opened Bluefins.”
Bluefins’ menu is seasonal, based on what the region’s day boats are bringing in: scallops, black sea bass, summer time squid, and as winter rolls in, species from farther south on the East Coastline.
“My career is to discover fresh new fish,” Baler suggests.
Until this earlier summer months, Baler also owned the Chatham Fish Pier Industry, but sold it after opening a second Bluefins location at 295 Primary St. in Falmouth, throughout from the library.
“We opened on March 12 and closed on March 16,” Baler claims, referring to how the location’s grand opening was slash shorter when Gov. Charlie Baker closed dining establishments other than for takeout because of the pandemic.
Bluefins in Falmouth reopened for inside dining in July with social distancing and tables divided by hard plexiglass barriers that Baler made for each restaurants. Ability decreased by about 60 % in each of the restaurants, leaving about a few dozen usable seats in every.
As for his determination to takeout, specially in Chatham, Baler says, “I required a way to hold our workers protected, to continue to keep our customers safe, so I waited until eventually after Columbus Working day (to open inside dining so men and women) from all above would not be coming in,” Baler suggests. Falmouth, he says, has additional fulltime people and less travelers, which motivated the earlier re-opening there.
Orsmond says prospects in Chatham would phone in sushi orders and the time they required to select them up. Sushi chefs would put together the order just before pick-up. Any buy with far more than five rolls would be arranged on a plastic platter completely ready to established on the desk.
Catering also improved, she states, pointing to the example of a 100th birthday party for which Bluefins’ personnel brought picket serving boats laden with sushi.
“People were being tipping very perfectly to retain staff morale up,” Orsmond states. “Takeout kept us heading. We have loyal shoppers and we’d like to thank them.”
Folks seemed to take pleasure in, especially in the early times of the pandemic, Baler says, that they could decide up sushi and cooked dishes with a aspect of commiseration.
“We’re all in this jointly,” he suggests.
A single of the advantages to resuming indoor dining in Chatham, Baler says, is that people can once all over again pair specialty sakes and other wines with what they are ingesting. (Whilst the state authorized some liquor gross sales with takeout, Bluefins did not partake.)
Bluefins Sushi & Sake Bar
513 Primary St., Chatham
Several hours: Every day, 5 to 8 p.m. evening meal, 4:30 to 8 p.m. curbside pickup.
295 Main St., Falmouth
Hrs: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday as a result of Saturday