A few things you probably didn’t know about shad, but which Wikipedia assures us are true:
— Also known as river herrings, they belong to the family Clupeidae.
— They play an unusual role in Virginia politics: Every April, a shad planking (wherein the fish are roasted on wood planks over an open flame) kicks off the state’s electoral season.
— They have evolved the ability to detect ultrasound, which means they can hear more than we can.
— Their populations have been declining in recent years, thanks to pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction, and dam-building.
Here’s another thing about shad, and this one is definitely true: Peter Hoffman will be cooking four courses of it at Savoy on Tuesday, March 29.
Hoffman will be cooking the fish according to tradition, meaning on oak planks in a wood-burning fireplace. His $95 dinner will also feature pickled shad fillets, shad roe bottarga, and sautéed roe. Chris Letts, an avid shad fisherman and an educator with the Hudson River Foundation, will be a guest at the dinner; he’s been fishing in the Hudson for more than three decades, so chances are he’s a much greater authority on the matter than Wikipedia.
For more information, you can give Savoy a shout at 212-219-8570.