Sarello’s Fine Dining Says Farewell with Signature Sea Bass Recipe

Sarello's Signature Sea BassIn case you missed our farewell column in The Forum last week, we’re sharing it again here on the blog, complete with the recipe for our famous Signature Sarello’s Sea Bass. Happy reading and THANK YOU for 15 great years!

Twenty-three years ago, a young man looked me in the eyes and told me that he’d finally figured out the name for his dream restaurant. And then he said it out loud: Sarello’s. It took me a moment before I realized that Tony had combined my first name, Sarah, with his last, Nasello, and it suddenly dawned on me that I was looking at the love of my life.

Sarellos (640x430)

A decade later we opened Sarello’s and last night we celebrated its fifteen year run as a fine dining restaurant with our Farewell Dinner. I look back on those days leading up to the opening of Sarello’s and I marvel at our journey. We were seasoned hospitality professionals. We had traveled the globe together, working as hotel officers aboard luxury cruise ships, and set foot on every continent. We’d saved our money and paid our dues; we were ready. Who are we kidding? We were 30 – practically babies.

There are moments in life when you just have to leap, and that was what we did. Now, fifteen years later, we find ourselves poised to embark on a new journey, and while we may not have the benefit of youth any longer, we are endowed with wisdom and experience as our guides this go around. We’re ready, once again, to leap.

Since the time we opened our doors, we’ve welcomed a diversity of guests, including museum curators, bankers, wrestlers, clergy, doctors, farmers, nurses, bikers, publishers, businessmen, lawyers, CEOs, metal workers, dentists, crop dusters, politicians, artists, academics, and more. We’ve been privileged to use our business as a means to support myriad causes and organizations important to us and our community, and we look forward to continuing this commitment as we move forward into new adventures.

Cake with Opera Dinner Check

A special occasion restaurant from the start, Tony and I have also celebrated life’s milestones at Sarello’s, from the birth of our son to my parents’ 60th birthdays, our 40th birthdays, and even our 20th wedding anniversary.

But the overwhelming memories – the ones that will linger long into our dotage – are of the dozens of talented young people who have found their way to us through a calling to hospitality – our staff, our crew – our most excellent team. They have been the heartbeat of our business all these years, and many of you know them by name. We are grateful for their excellence and will never forget them.

Over the years we’ve served a wide variety of dishes ranging from classic Italian to French, Irish, Caribbean, North and South American and Asian, but there’s one dish that has remained on the menu from the first night to the last. Sarello’s Signature Sea Bass has been the standout dish for fifteen years, and for some of our regular guests, it is the reason they kept coming back.

In our new venture as a culinary events and meeting center, we plan to host “pop-up” nights every so often where we’ll feature a limited menu with one signature Sarello’s dish, just to satisfy our customers’ cravings.

If you’re a fan of the sea bass, you’ll be pleased to know that it will be the star of the menu for our first pop-up event, which will take place on Wednesday, July 22 and Thursday, July 23. For those two nights only, you can come in and enjoy a 3-course dinner which includes salad, sea bass and dessert for $50 per person (tax and gratuity are not included). Wine and beer will also be available for purchase. Reservations can be made via phone or email: 218.287.0238 or

Tony, Gio and I wish to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of our lives at Sarello’s for the past 15 years. What a ride we’ve had.

Sarello’s Signature Sea Bass RECIPE

Serves: 4 to 6

Citrus Beurre Blanc Ingredients:
2 lemons, juiced
2 limes, juiced
2 oranges, juiced
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ cup (4 oz.) white wine
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
½ teaspoon salt – increase as desired
1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)

Using a medium sauce pan, combine lemon, lime and orange juices, heavy cream, white wine and honey (or sugar) and reduce over medium heat until a syrupy consistency is achieved, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir just to combine.

Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter piece by piece, until sauce appears smooth and silky. Whisk throughout this process to ensure an even temperature. Add salt to taste, starting with a half-teaspoon.

Important:  Cooking over low heat will help to ensure that your butter does not clarify, thus breaking your sauce.  Once a silky smooth consistency is achieved, use immediately or transfer to another container and keep in a hot water bath on stove top until ready to use.  The water should not be boiling.

Sea Bass Ingredients:
4-6 8 oz. portions of Chilean Sea Bass, skin removed
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sea bass fillets on a sheet pan. Lightly coat the top side of each fillet with the breadcrumbs, just to cover the surface, pressing lightly to ensure they stay in place. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove and transfer to serving plates. Pour the citrus beurre blanc over each fillet and serve.

Nasello Family Summer Food Favorites

We love summer fun with family, and celebrating with food is at the heart of our festivities. Here are some of our favorite summertime recipes – Sarah’s favorites are the Walleye Cakes, Bacon Pancakes, and Easy Potato Salad, Gio loves the Flourless Chocolate Torte Bars, the Bruschetta, and the Roasted Red Peppers, and Tony is big on the Grilled Sirloin Roast, Grilled Bison, and Edamame Salad – to name a few. :)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true feast without a little homemade Limoncello to finish the meal, would it? Not only does this Italian liqueur aid in digestion, but it will leave you feeling relaxed and mellow – in other words, you’ll feel like summer.

We hope you enjoy our list of favorites, and invite you to share your summer food memories with us in the Comments section below. Here’s to great food, good friends, and summer!

Nasello Family Summer Food Favorites:

Homemade Limoncello

Corn Fritters
Tomato Anchovy topping for Bruschetta
Zack’s Rough Cut Guac
Tony’s Marinated Olives
Corn Hummus

Parmesan Pepper Walleye
Grilled Salmon with Honey Soy Butter Sauce
Baja Fish Tacos
Walleye Cakes
Tom’s Crusted Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi

Grilled Bison with Chimichurri Sauce & Salmoriglio Sauce
Grilled Top Sirloin Roast with Horseradish Sauce
Indonesian Pork Satay
Mojito Chicken with Grilled Corn Salsa

Salads & Side Dishes
Tony’s Edamame Salad
Honey Gorgonzola Hearts and Spears
Tuscan Bean Salad
Insalata Caprese
Easy Potato Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
Watermelon Feta Salad
Roasted Red Peppers
Green Beans Nasello
Grilled Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette
Insalata Italiana -Tomatoes, Avocado & Fresh Mozzarella
Peach Summer Salad

Dessert & Sweets
Honey Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Strawberry Shortcake
North Dakota Sun Brittle
Coconut Cream Pie
Grand Marnier Zabaglione
Fresh Berry Galettes
Patriotic Flourless Chocolate Torte Bars
Cherries Jubilee
Red Wine Peaches
Rhubarb or Lemon Granita

Cherry Vanilla Scones
Fresh Berry Galettes
Egg Strata
Homemade Bacon Pancakes
Raspberry Friands (Australian Almond tea cakes)
Easy Fresh Fruit Salad
Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Apple Sausage Breakfast Ring

Celebrate Restaurant Week in Fargo Moorhead!

It’s officially Restaurant Week in Fargo-Moorhead, and we’re celebrating at Sarello’s with a fabulous 3-course prix-fixe menu featuring some of our guests’ favorite menu items, including our famous Red Curry Scallops and Lobster Ravioli.

Red Curry Scallops

Sarello’s Famous Red Curry Scallops

Lobster Ravioli

Sarello’s Signature Lobster Ravioli

Our special Restaurant Week menu is available HERE at, and we’ve also posted it below for an easy peek.

There are about 20 restaurants participating in this seasonal food adventure, which has been organized for our community by the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. The event actually lasts for 10 days, so get out and explore Fargo-Moorhead’s creatively robust local dining scene – and make sure to include 2 stops at Sarello’s so you can try everything on our special menu  :)!

RW menu items only collage

$35 | 3 courses

Sarello’s Signature Red Curry Scallops
Scallops in Spicy Red Curry Sauce with Carrots,
Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas and Basil

Fried Mushroom Balls
with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce and Arugula Pesto
Scaloppine of Pork Saltimbocca
Tender Cutlets of Pork Tenderloin pan-fried with Prosciutto
then finished in the oven with a layer of Fresh Mozzarella,
served with Sage Butter Sauce, Polenta Cakes and Asparagus
Lobster Ravioli
Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta, Parmesan and Fontina Cheeses,
tossed with Fresh Lobster Meat and Scallions in a Lobster Cream Sauce

Chocolate Mousse Cake
with Crème Anglaise and Whipped Cream


Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée
Rich Custard with a Caramelized Sugar Crust

Call 218.287.0238 for Reservations or stop in anytime after 5 PM!

28 Center Mall Ave  |  Moorhead, MN  56560
218.287.0238  |

Tuesday – Saturday    5pm-close

North Dakota-Inspired Tony’s Edamame Salad

Tony's Edamame Salad

Summer is here and that means it’s time to start enjoying the season of great summer salads. We’re kicking off the season with one of our newer North Dakota-inspired favorites, Tony’s Edamame Salad. We featured this recipe a few weeks ago in our weekly Wednesday column in The Forum and it was a big hit with our local readers.

FYI – This week’s column features another summer favorite, Strawberry Shortcake, and you can read all about it HERE.

Tony developed this salad recipe last summer for the first-annual Banquet in a Field, a dinner event celebrating North Dakota’s rich agricultural crops, which includes soybeans, one of the state’s top cash crops. Edamame, (pronounced ed-ah-MAH-may), are the beans harvested from immature soybean plants and are commonly found in the various cuisines of Eastern Asia.

While most of us are familiar with the use of soy in food products like vegetable oil, margarine, frozen yogurt and soy sauce, we don’t often think of it as an edible food on its own. In fact, prior to last year’s Banquet, neither Tony nor I had ever tasted edamame, and were only familiar with it as a dry-roasted healthy snack. Once we determined that an edamame dish would represent the soybean crop, we started researching this new ingredient.

We discovered that edamame is considered a “super food” – in other words, it’s a rock star in the world of legumes and is loaded with vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins. One single half-cup of edamame beans is loaded with healthy benefits, including protein, antioxidants like vitamins A and C, iron, and even a walloping 9 grams of fiber (that’s equal to four slices of whole wheat bread). Edamame had grabbed our attention with its over-the-top healthy credentials, but was this strange green bean tasty enough to keep it?

We visited our local grocery store and found a package of edamame beans in the frozen foods section, still in their pods. The beans need to be thawed and peeled before using, and this is a step that can be done a day in advance of making the salad. To accelerate the thawing process Tony blanched the pods in a pot of simmering water for about 3 minutes before removing their shell, but you can defrost them overnight in the refrigerator, too.

Out of their shell, edamame beans are about the size of a thumbnail. ,They have a lovely, bright-green color and charming round shape, with a crisp, garden-fresh flavor and crunchy texture. The soybean plant is native to Asia, and after tasting the edamame beans Tony focused on Asian flavors to create this recipe.

Edamame Salad ingredients

This dish is what I like to call a “bulk” salad, in that it is made in a large batch and served family-style. In addition to the edamame, this salad also features fresh corn, red pepper, red and green onions, sesame seeds, toasted cashews or almonds and a flavorful Asian Soy Dressing. All of the ingredients can be prepared a day in advance and tossed together just before serving to keep  the veggies fresh.

Tony recommends toasting the nuts before adding them to the salad, as this extra step really enhances their flavor. The dressing calls for fresh ginger and sesame oil, which are essential for this recipe. Both are inexpensive and easy to keep; the ginger can be stored in the fridge for about a month, and the sesame oil will last for at least a year in the pantry.

Tony’s Edamame Salad makes a great side dish with chicken or fish, and any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for about three days, until the beans begin to soften. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE for the RECIPE for Tony’s Edamame Salad