Bring on the Butterfish
By Gary Hayes
Published: 06/03/2013  Updated: 06/21/2019
Gary Hayes

It's not something you see frequently on the menu at coastal restaurants. The question is, "why not?"

I recently found Butterfish on the menu at The Loft Restaurant in Bandon and it was the most memorable meal of my recent border to border tour of the Oregon Coast. There are several types of fishes referred to (or mis-identified) as butterfish, and this variety is actually sablefish or black cod. It's sometimes referred to as butterfish because its high content of omega-3 laden fats makes it tender, rich, and yes, buttery. This fish was line-caught locally and distributed by Port Orford Sustainable Seafood. At The Loft, the filet is marinated in ginger and garlic, pan-seared with a sesame-scallion butter and served on top of a crispy rice noodle salad, organic spinach and a porcini mushroom sauce. Sablefish is caught year-round and can be harvested sustainably through the use of pots and bottom long lines, but a majority of the catch is exported to Japan. While diners often look to salmon, halibut and even sole as Northwest seafood staples, don't overlook it if you see butterfish, sablefish or black cod on the menu. You may be in for a buttery surprise.

Bring on the Butterfish