Crispy Branzino with Calvo Nero and Bagna Càuda
From Antler Chef Michael Hunter

Branzino, or Mediterranean Seabass, is the featured ingredient of this week’s cichetti. Topped with a fondue-like sauce, its a rich dish that’s perfect for colder temperatures.


4 Branzino fillets cut in half

1 bunch black kale

250 ml olive oil

8 cloves confit garlic

6 white anchovies 

200 grams butter 

2 sprigs Italian parsley 

1 lemon 

Salt to taste


Season and fry the Branzino skin side down in half the oil and butter until skin is very crispy (approximately 5-8 minutes). Flip Bronzino over and squeeze the lemon in the pan, taking it off the heat. Let fish cook through and then remove. Season and sauté the black kale in butter until tender (about five minutes). Heat the remaining oil in a small pot, mash in the confit garlic and anchovies, and simmer until soft (about 20 minutes). Whisk garlic and anchovies to combine and add the chopped parsley. Plate the fish skin side up with kale on top and drizzle the garlic and anchovy sauce. 


Hunter by name and trade, Michael is an outdoorsman, forager and hunter. Born and raised on a Caledon horse farm, Hunter’s dreamed of owning a restaurant that would combine his love for food with a passion and respect for local ingredients. Formerly of Sassafraz, Luma, Scarpetta, and Reds Wine Tavern, he is now co-owner and chef at Antler Kitchen and Bar.  


Bite is a biweekly feature on, and is inspired by the Venetian tradition of serving cicchetti—small dishes to snack on with wine—at local bàcari