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Dishin’ on the Dish — salmon a la Ribereña from Le Sud Mediterranean Kitchen

The plate — traditionally served in the coastal mountainous region of Asturias, Spain — was an instant crowd pleaser when Le Sud added it to the menu last month.

What’s cookin’ in and around Chicago? Here’s a closer look at one of the area’s delicious dishes you don’t want to miss.

Known for bringing people together over its bright and flavorful dishes, Le Sud Mediterranean Kitchen has been a neighborhood favorite in Roscoe Village since it opened in 2018.

Since it opened in September 2018, Le Sud has focused its menu strictly on French cuisine. Recently, however, executive chef Michael Woodhall has decided to incorporate more northern Spain flavors.

Salmon a la Riberena is served at Le Sud in Roscoe Village.
Salmon a la Riberena is served at Le Sud in Roscoe Village.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Through his research, Woodhall came across a dish called “Salmon a la Ribereña,” and immediately “fell in love with it.” So much so that he added it to Le Sud’s spring menu, which launched last month.

The plate — traditionally served in the coastal mountainous region of Asturias, Spain — was an instant crowd pleaser.

“A lot of times you’ll see people serving salmon as just a piece of filet, this one I think there’s a little more going on and it’s a little more interesting,” Woodhall said.

Le Sud uses Verlasso salmon, which is farm raised in the fjords of Patagonia and Chile, Woodhall said. The fish is dredged in rice flour before being seared in a pan, creating a nice crisp.

From there, Woodhall deglazes the pan with hard apple cider — an ingredient he said he hadn’t really used before but plans to integrate more in future dishes. Ham stock is added to the pan along with lemon juice and butter.

The salmon is topped with a salad that consists of Serrano ham, some pickled fennel and fresh herbs.

The result is a plate loaded with layers of flavors.

Michael Woodhall is the executive chef of Le Sud in Roscoe Village.
Michael Woodhall is the executive chef of Le Sud in Roscoe Village.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

“You have the nice richness from the butter and then the lemon brightens it up, and the apple... hint in there kind of ties it all together,” Woodhall said. “You have the saltiness from the [Spanish] ham, and then we do have some pickles in there to cut through the fat from the butter. And it kind of just works together.”

Those who want to try the current salmon dish might want to act fast. Le Sud tries to rotate its menu every season, though Woodhall noted that there are some beloved plates that have become mainstays.

Could the Salmon a la Ribereña be a keeper?

While it’s more of a “summertime” dish, Woodhall didn’t rule it out for the next menu.

“We’re probably looking to do something else in the fall time, but we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll take it day by day and we’ll see where the next dish leads us.”

Le Sud Mediterranean Kitchen, 2301 W. Roscoe St. The Salmon a la Ribereña is $25. Visit https://www.lesudchicago.com/.

Got a favorite dish from a Chicago-area restaurant? Let us know via email at: dishinonthedish@suntimes.com.