The A List

Once again we have a wine pairing for this recipe. Take a look for it down below…

Several years ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper produced the “A List”. This was a list of the top 100 restaurants in the Cleveland area. The newspaper supplement gave basic information about the restaurant, a picture and an abbreviated review indicating why it made the list. When I started reviewing the list, an idea popped into my head.

I am the kind of diner that once I find a dish I like at a restaurant I will order it every time I go to the place. While this guarantees me a good dish, it reduces the variety that I do really enjoy. The best way around that is to keep trying new places. The A List gave me 100 great places to try, and my wife and I decided that any time we went out, we would seriously consider picking from the list.

Upon first review, both my wife and I had been to seven of the restaurants on the list. Cross those off. Over the course of the next year we went to a dozen or so from the list. Not surprisingly, there were some great restaurants on the list. While there was one or two  that we considered merely good, most were truly great. The list forced us both outside of our neighborhood but also outside of our comfort zone. Nineteen down and eighty-one to go.

After a full year, I opened up my paper one morning and there was an updated A List. Excitedly I went through the list. There were differences and I quickly found that I had lost ground. I hadn’t been to any of the new additions and some of where I had been were dropped from the list. My initial dismay was eventually replaced with the realization that I might just have an endless supply of great new restaurants to go to! At the rate we are going, I think that I might just catch up and finish the ever changing list by 2018.

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This recipe reminded me of one of the first restaurants that we went to from the list, a place simply named Thyme.

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A pretty simple recipe.

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Onions first.

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Making the sauce.

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In order to fit the filets in the pan, I cut them in half.

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The final sauce.

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Just as advertised. Tangy and tasty!

Once again we have Andee Walton from I Drink For A Living providing a beverage pairing with this meal. Andee is a former Marine Corp officer, a blogger and a wine consultant. She holds a Level 3 certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and helps her clients find the right wines for their tastes. Andee comes to us today to provide a pairing for today’s post. Take a look at I Drink For A Living and check out her recommendation below. Here’s Andee…

A flaky fish (especially cod) plus salty flavors combined with fresh lemon begs for an acidic wine pairing. Wine rules to follow: acid with acid; salt with acid. The answer is simple: bubbly! All sparklers are high in acidity. I don’t care how fancy the ingredients, any excuse to drink sparkling wine is my kind of meal; plus, it feels more festive!

This meal is ideal for a simple yet fun sparkler like Prosecco; tiny and delicate bubbles offer an indulgence that will summon a Venetian evening. In Venice, locals will take Prosecco “to go” in a plastic cup to wander the winding alleys along the canals. This is an unpretentious sparkling wine that maintains a sort of romance as well was mouthwatering food pairing. Drink this in while you prepare the fish, during the meal, and crack open a second bottle for dessert!


Prosecco can be a special occasion wine without the special occasion price of a Champagne or Cremant. The best in the world is from Vigna Sencol and the price per bottle will shock you more than the complex flavor profile. I love this wine! You can pick it up here.

Tangy Thyme Fish

Cook Time: 25 minutes | Makes: 4


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen salmon, sole, flounder, cod, or orange roughy fillets, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup original-style buttermilk ranch salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • Fresh lemon slices (optional)


1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Measure the thickness of fish.

2. In a 10-inch skillet combine the broth, onion, pepper, and thyme or marjoram. Bring to boiling. Place fish in skillet, tucking under any thin edges so fish cooks evenly. Cover and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish just flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish to a hot platter; keep warm.

3. Bring liquid in skillet to boiling; boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Combine water and cornstarch; stir into liquid in skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in salad dressing and parsley. Serve herb sauce and, if desired, lemon slices with fish. Makes 4 servings.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fried, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Seafood, Wine Pairing

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “The A List”

  1. December 14, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses.


  2. April 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    That looks yummy! I have lots of fresh parsley and thyme and have been wondering what to do with it all. Thanks!


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