Be it the Feast of Seven Fishes, a New Year’s Eve bash, a summertime soiré, or a special date night in, there’s nothing that says elegant extravagance quite like a seafood tower. And believe it or not, it comes together with surprisingly little effort. As long as you’re able to source the freshest, highest quality seafood possible, whip up some great condiments, and design a jaw-dropping display, you’re off to the races. That’s where we come in, to help guide you through the process so that you can deliver a stunning arrangement of succulent Italian seafood with a bang.
When we start compiling our seafood tower wishlist, it’s impossible not to crave our favorite flavors of Sicily. From fresh sea urchin to calamari, tuna and the island’s beloved gambero rosso, there are few places in the world that offer as beautiful fare as the azure shores of Sicily. As a result, we search for seafood of a similar quality and flavor profile.
As you begin to plan, figure out where the best place to purchase seafood in your area is. Then put together your wishlist, making sure to have a combination of both raw fish and cooked shellfish represented to show the fishmonger. If they don’t have exactly what you want, they should be able to point you in the right direction for alternative options.
We know that navigating sustainable food options can be a challenge. Luckily, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch is a great resource for finding sustainable seafood options.
Everyone has their opinions about what condiments go with what seafood. If you just can’t consume shrimp without a classic cocktail sauce, we get it! Oysters a no-go without a traditional French mignonette? Be our guest. But if you want to play around with different ideas, then it’s important to find the balance between fresh, acidic, salty and bold flavors and textures. While salty capers, parsley, dill and plenty of sliced citrus are a must for us, we also like to add an extra touch of Sicilian flavor with Sicilian lemons or Meyer lemons if you can’t find them. Combining herbs, fiery chili pepper, aromatic red garlic and bold fresh olive oil, Sicilians often serve raw seafood with a delicious pinzimonio and exquisite extra virgin olive oil.
Play with your Display
The best thing about a seafood tower is that it’s just as fun to map out an impressive set up as it is to source the delicious ingredients and flavors it presents. You can opt for a tall 2-3 tiered tower, serve on a large platter, pile it high on a sheet pan, or get creative with whatever you have on hand. Never have a chance to use your grandmother’s teacup collection? Get inventive with how you can incorporate it into your spread. Need an excuse to use that crystal punch bowl? Fill it with ice and use it to hold nibbles instead of dribbles. Eitherway, make sure to have a heap of crushed ice available for whatever display you choose to keep things fresh and cold.
Something as beautiful, tasty and celebratory as a Seafood Tower deserves something equally special to accompany it. Go classic with a bottle of cold bubbly, get cosmopolitan with ice cold martinis, or make it Italian with an irresistible Aperol Spritz. Looking for something NA? There’s nothing as refreshing as an Italian lemon soda on ice.
We hope this guide helps you elevate your next occasion, just promise that you won’t forget to have fun along the way.