Tired of Tuna, any new appetizer ideas?

Joined Oct 4, 2004
I'm a chef at a neighborhood wine bistro. Looking for some new appetizer ideas. I'm tired of the same ol' same: Tuna Sashimi, Calamari, Mussels, Bruchettas, etc... Any help???
Joined Aug 15, 2004
One of my favorites is Grilled Crostini with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese and Apple/Raisin Chutney.

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Think of good flavors, then make them small. What I mean is, if you like the flavors of ratatouille, cut it small and use it on crostini. Jambalaya scaled smaller... you get the picture.

Other bite-sized items: mini-spanakopitas (spinach-cheese triangles); curry croquettes (an item I tasted first in the Netherlands); fricos (made with manchego, parmesan or very sharp cheddar). Lidia Bastianich has a place called Frico in NYC- they make appetizer "tacos" out of frico shells filled with dressed greens and veggie mixtures. Low carbers will also like these. Tapas books have some great ideas, too.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
How about savory "strudels" such as Rabbit Hazelnut Strudel served with a Tomato-Tarragon Vinaigrette or Goat Cheese and Artichoke Strudel? Or instead of the standard Fried Calamari how about stuffed or grilled calamari? Instead of Carpaccio what about dried beef (bunderfleisch sp?) with a warm Gorgonzola purse? Poached Shellfish Salad dressed in a vinaigrette made from the reduced poaching liquid. Vegetarian-wise what about a Mushroom Ragu over Grilled Polenta, or pan-seared Artichoke with a Tomato-Saffron Fondue. Here's one of my favorites: Southern Fried Quail served over Sausage Gravy and accompined by Black Pepper Biscuits filled with Blackberry Jam. Hope these ideas help you out.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
love the quail....
twist springrolls, twist empanadas, uses copious quantities of wild shrooms, infuse with teas, coat with zests, fry your capers and make a funky seviche,
rotis with chunky tidbits, take chocolate into savory and if your into it, take various varieties and push a small chocolate section with estate or great chocs.
We have fried raviolis in STL as bar food they are prevelant....really. So one of my friends took the concept and filled them with sweetbreads added tomato jam then sprinkled with truffle oil...oh my....they were exciting.

Brochettes....or sate or whatever on sticks with various dips.

Create various tapenades with unusual olives or have an assortment of olives

Larry Forgione is making morel powdered topped french fries

root chips with dips or spices

funny my catering customers say," last year worked so well let's do the same menu." that translates into find a cool house speciality, promote the **** out of it and keep it forever. ;)
Joined Jun 14, 2002
I had a spring roll twist idea too.

French Spring Rolls:

Filling: Juiliene of leek white, carrot, parsip, turnip, and celery root. Blanch these seperatly in water that has been seasoned with salt, bay leaf, and thyme. The vegetables should be about 90% cooked. Drain the vegetables thourghly. Season the veggies with salt, white pepper, lemon juice, and sugar.
Stuff this mixture into softened springroll skins. Fry just before serving.

Serve with:

Migonette Dipping Sauce: Red wine vinager, FRESHLY gound black pepper, brunoise shallots, sugar or gastrique, and a touch of fish sauce.

Cool and crisp butterhead lettuce leaves.

Sprigs of soft herbs like tarragon, savory, basil, etc...

I have no idea if this will work, but it sure sounded good.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
sounds interesting....I like fresh rolls in rice paper with plenty of crunch...one of my favs is jicama, peanuts, egg, chineese sausage with mint/thai basil...the little Vietnamese place that makes them has some REALLY good flavor combinations. I think they marinate the jicama to relax alittle of the crunch.

What about playing with wasabi peas....crush them and use um as a coating or on top of a dip.

The smartest thing I could do would be to keep a binder of ideas so that when the dry period comes...and it always does, then there will be loads of shtuff to rift on.....
:p :bounce: :chef:
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Quail pounded a little/
Pablano spread ofer it, sruff a jalapeni with pepper jace, Roll and wrap in bacon and slice and serve, Saving one pablane,jalapene,oniobm andmis apote. make salsa with the juice,
Joined Feb 10, 2004
Without knowing the parameters of your menue concept, observe first regional specialties that can be tightened up, then expand to international common foods, streetfood even. The commonality among all is that generally they are inexpensive, yet have max flavor. From SE Asia I thinks of chopped salads, and any of the minced or ground meats or shrimp, from New England you got stuffed clams and portugese pork and seafood offerings, thinks house made sausages(boudins?), etc..... Look at what locals eat.
Joined Nov 17, 2002
Some cool ideas!!!

I am going to be a guest chef at the Gourmet Festival in Puerto Vallarta in a couple weeks and through the board and a thread when we were talking about Gravlox I came up with a tuna gravlox that is to die for...I put it on the menu for the festivities, should be a lot of fun...

Tuna Gravlox
Fresh sashimi tuna gravlox, layered with crisp round egg roll wrappers napoleon style, mizuna and charred baby bok choy mixed with fresh leafy herbs then tossed in pickled ginger vinaigrette. Tuna layered with roasted red, yellow and poblano peppers-plated with Hoisin and roasted red pepper chipotle sauce garnish.

RestaurantEdge is going to do a press release about my attending the festival and will post the link once it is published. It will also have a copy of the menu...

Peace, Hugs and Don Julio Tequila...
Joined Oct 8, 2004
Usually with Wine I would think bread and cheese. Interesting most of your "usual" examples are seafood...

Lately I've been trying wrapping anything I can think of in eggroll wrappers and deep fryin em.

Some success stories are:
various fajita fillings (chick, beef, veggie etc with peppers and onions with cajun seasoning.) Serve with usual salsa, sour cream, guac etc.

Curried chicken. (or veggie. peppers and onions etc work good with this too. seasoning is up to you) goes great with chutneys etc.

As above I've also done the baked cheese thing too. Brie, camembert and goat cheese wheels all work great. You can crust them with herbs or nuts and serve with crostinis or crackers or any other bread really.

Finally I really like caviar plates with little dishes of shredded egg yolk and white (harboiled and served separately), capers, chives, sour cream etc. possible smoked salmon. use your imagination. Serve with breads and crackers.

You don't need to use expensive caviar unless your client demand it. Getting the $8 small jars of lumpfish works great.

Let us know what you come up with!

Joined Aug 11, 2000
duh, wine bistro.....I'm out to lunch this week.....
pates, charcuterie platters with sauages from around the world matching sausages, cheeses with wines.
assorted nuts.....loads of nibbles.
There is an interesting wine bar in STL called Sashas, they have lots of nibbles caviar, salmon, pates, sandwiches and salads.

I like fresh seafood on ice....crushed ice with oysters, clams, crab claws, sauces....ummmmm
if you are getting in fresh shellfish frying it the next thing to happen.....
It's really weird but there are no really great onion rings in STL....onion rings have a following and fresh good ones are precious.
Joined Jan 3, 2005
Ker. Use The Mandolin For Your Go-fret And Fry Them In Cannola
Oil Or Peanut Oil. And Remember Oil Isn't Durable So Don't Just Grab
A Can From Some Dank Corner Of The Basement.
Joined Dec 16, 2004
Anything on the 1/2 shell anyway you can think of.... You are a chef take off the blinders , Put something on a slice of properly prepared vegetable , Serve something liquid with some added texture in your favorite bar glass , Chicken , seafood , game with natural broth etc... :chef:

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