Head to Gowanus for a Warming Bowl of Pescatarian Chili

Runner & Stone is serving up a cross between tomato soup and chili, featuring monkfish.

This dish allows those who don’t eat meat to enjoy a hearty chili. Photo courtesy Runner & Stone.

Runner & Stone in Gowanus, Brooklyn, offers many seasonal specials for dinner, lunch and brunch, but on a recent visit on fall’s first chilly night, there was one that stood out among the rest.

Executive chef Chris Pizzulli, formerly of Blue Ribbon, teamed up with co-owner and head baker Peter Endriss, formerly of Per Se, to conceptualize a restaurant that brings olive croissants out first and a slew of satisfying plates out second, third, fourth and fifth, depending on how hungry you are.

You’ll want to leave room for this, and possibly call ahead to see if it’s on the table for the evening.

Listed simply as Monkfish on the small specials’ menu square, we weren’t expecting a cross between chili and tomato soup, but it was an interesting and surprisingly hearty use of monkfish.

“We started making a monkfish chili and we will probably keep it on through the fall. It’s a really interesting twist on a traditional chili,” said Endriss. “The firm, sweet flesh of the monkfish works really well with the tang of the tomatoes and the heat of the peppers, and it’s a great opportunity for a pescatarian to enjoy a wonderful hot bowl of chili.”

The monkfish is on the menu periodically as part of the restaurant’s ever-changing soup of the day, although it will most likely make more appearances as the temperatures continue to drop.

“We’ve made it with monkfish, but it works really well with any firm-fleshed, sweet, white fish. We haven’t called it chili on the menu because the soup changes so frequently that we generally just call it the ‘soup of the day,’” Endriss says. “The inspiration was, as with most of our dishes, whatever is available from our trusted purveyors, and what’s in season.”

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Helaina Hovitz is an editor, journalist, and author of After 9/11. She has written for The New York Times, The Daily Meal, Tasting Table, Salon, Glamour, Newsweek, Thrillist, Teen Vogue, VICE, Reader’s Digest, Forbes, Women’s Health, and many others. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, or HelainaHovitz.com