The Perfect Seafood for the Winter Season

Seafood Dinner

You might not guess that winter is a fantastic season for seafood — after all, most food production experiences a slowdown in the cold. However, you would be mistaken! Winter months get foodies abuzz about all sorts of seafood, especially shellfish. In fact, some kinds of seafood are at their best quality or abundance during the winter when colder waters predominate and spur on certain stages of these food sources’ lifecycles.


At Rib’N Reef, we love offering our customers the freshest seafood of the highest quality, skillfully prepared in our kitchen for the perfect flavor. If you are as obsessed with delicious seafood as we are, check out some of our top choices for the cold weather!

Gulf Oysters and Nantucket Bay Scallops

Oysters spawn in summer throughout the Gulf of Mexico, when they are flabby and not ready for eating. As winter draws near, oysters turn clear and solidify, peaking in quality in January and February. Gulf Coast oysters have a unique, creamy flavor with a “meatier” texture. They also tend to be much bigger than East Coast oysters. Scallops are also fantastic winter seafood. Scallops in Nantucket Bay peak in quality starting November and tapering off toward the middle of winter. Best served when only a day old (or less), Nantucket Bay scallops are renowned for their gentle taste and texture.

Maine Uni

Maine uni is a gamey, briny sea urchin from California that chefs and gourmands around the world love. Maine uni’s peak season starts in December and runs until February. Uni, the Japanese word for sea urchin, is a traditional delicacy in Japanese cuisine. Maine’s cold waters are the habitat of “bafun uni,” which became so popular in Japan that overfishing became an issue in the 1980s. Nowadays, Maine uni is sourced much more responsibly and has been making a name for itself in East Coast culinary circles. Rich and buttery, Maine uni is being used in everything, from pasta to pizzas. Once you try it, you will know why.

Northern California Dungeness Crab

The Northern California Dungeness crab is harvested starting in the middle of November into the rest of winter. Dungeness crab is known for standing up well to high-heat roasting and for its big, meaty legs full of incredible flavor. Dungeness crab has a sweet flavor throughout most of its body with a particular saltiness in its claws, making it a delightful combination with pasta, bread, steaks, and more.

If You Love Seafood, Eat It

In the winter months, people in the northern hemisphere are at greater risk for difficulties like seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These issues can leave you feeling lethargic, fatigued, and even depressed. Eating a diet full of healthy seafood servings is one way to combat the seasonal blues. Seafood is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and is the number one edible source of vitamin D. Both of these are critical for overall health, especially for the winter months, when we tend to be out in the sun less often. Whatever your seafood preferences, making sure you get a few fresh dishes a week can be part of a healthy, delicious diet!

Cigars and Seafood: A Match Made in Heaven


Pairing cigars and fine food is practically an art. So much thought can be put into bringing together cigars, food, and drink that the combinations are endless. For many people, pairing cigars and seafood is not at the top of their list. However, make sure not to miss out on the opportunities for enjoyment when combining cigars and seafood. This short guide will give you some tips for the best pairings of seafood and cigars for an unforgettable dinner. Even if these tips do not work perfectly for you, take them as a starting point. Each cigar smoker has to explore for themselves which cigars they enjoy with seafood and vice-versa. The most important point is to find what you like and learn how to complement it.


Pairing Seafood and Cigars


Seafood like shrimp, clams, fish, lobster, and crab are all rich in flavor and highly nutritional. Despite these characteristics, seafood tends to be very easy on the palate. Try picking out a cigar with the same gentle presence. The flavor should be rich but not heavy on the tongue. Full-bodied cigars can often crowd out the softer flavors of seafood dishes. Both shrimp and lobster can have a delectable sweetness, while salmon is coated in delicious oil and a sweet profile. Mussels and clams, being especially delicate in flavor, often come with butter or sweet red sauce. A medium-bodied cigar with a sweet wrapper makes a spectacular choice for these dishes. The aroma of a medium-bodied cigar mixes with the scent of fresh seafood quite positively.


Another option is a mild, gentle Connecticut. This cigar ensures the flavor of the seafood comes through loud and clear. Make sure that the cigar you pick still has enough strength to stand up to the flavor of the food, though.


Again, these guidelines are just suggestions. If you are a newer cigar smoker, opt for a softer smoke that gives more room to your food. If you are a longtime aficionado, take a chance on something stronger. Or, if you prefer softer or stronger cigars, opt for what you like. Never be afraid to branch out and try something new. Remember, with a little risk comes the potential for great reward. Exploring new combinations is the best way to get a better feel for your palate’s preferences. Trying new pairings can open up whole new possibilities of sensory delight.


The Perfect Meal for Your Cigar


We here at Rib’N Reef love helping customers match scrumptious meals with the right cigars. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran smoker, we put the tools at your disposal for finding the best cigar and seafood pairings. Or, if seafood is not your style, we offer a variety of delicious steaks, juicy roast beef, and well-aged wines. At Rib’N Reef, our patrons’ enjoyment is our priority. Pop in for your next night out and let us accompany you through a brand new smoking experience.

The Popularity Of Surf N’ Turf

Surf N’ Turf Montreal

Surf and Turf is one of the most popular items on any steakhouse menu. The finest cut of aged beef served alongside fresh seafood.

History of Surf N’ Turf

Surf and Turf has been on menus for a long time now – since the mid 1960s when it first made its debut. Some culinary historians will tell you that this dish had its start in the state of Washington in the city of Seattle. The first dish could have been served in 1962 in the restaurant at the very top of the Seattle Space Needle during the World’s Fair.

But then the battle with East Coast food historians begins, with that side of the country claiming that this classic menu item was first served in a restaurant in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1966 after an ad in the local paper advertised it as a “Continental Original”.

Either way, Surf and Turf has been delighting both steak and seafood lovers for over fifty years, giving them the best of both culinary tastes.

Surf N’ Turf Around The World

Other countries have their own style of serving seafood and steak. When you ordered Surf and Turf off the menu in Dublin, Ireland it wasn’t just one serving for each person that appeared at your table. What was presented was a large tray that was filled with fresh fish that had been caught that very day, such as lobster, sole, and prawns. Another tray held different cuts of steak, all the way from porterhouse to fillet mignon.

Depending on where you dine today, restaurants are going to have their own versions of Surf and Turf. The favorite combination of steak and seafood is a grilled filet mignon served with a lobster tail. Or a grilled sirloin with butterfly shrimp. But these isn’t the only combinations available, not by a long short.

Getting Inventive With Steak And Seafood

Chefs around the world are getting inventive with what two duos they serve together. And it’s no longer just a grilled steak side by side with seafood – there are some unique versions of Surf and Turf making their appearance.

One Thai restaurant is serving its version by pairing briny uni with a dry-aged porterhouse steak. Still other chefs are serving beef burgers with a side of shrimp, grilled scallops with lamb ravioli, and seafood dumplings with a grilled sirloin.

Surf N’ Turf At Home

The next time you’re getting ready to grill up a steak at home, come up with your own versions of the classic. The sky is the limit when it comes to seafood – blackened sockeye salmon, grilled sea bass, or breaded shrimp. And for the steak, why not try a juicy sirloin or even a skirt steak.

It doesn’t matter what variation of Surf and Turf you make, so long as you’re getting a juicy, tender cut of steak with fresh seafood.