practically every culture has a version of a raw fish dish. the japanese have sushi, the italians have carpaccio and crudo, the koreans have, well, sushi, and the, um, japanese have sushi. as you can clearly see the list goes on. oh yeah, and ceviche!
let's talk about crudo though.
my first taste of crudo was at NYC's Esca (Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's seafood restaurant, with David Pasternack at the stoves). in its most basic form, crudo is raw fish with a bit of olive oil. the versions at esca seem to have a bit more olive oil than i would like. who knows, maybe that's "authentic".
for me, i take some sashimi quality tuna, dice it up nice, mix it with some good olive oil, a bit of kosher salt, a few capers, and some sliced thai bird chilis for heat. i top it off with a sprinkling of grey sea salt, for texture and handsome looks. i'm not claiming any authenticity here, i can assure you. it's just fish and olive oil after all. and please don't mind the cylindrical presentation (so 90's). i just couldn't come up with anything more clever.
obviously you can take this approach and stretch it toward any culture that you want. and if the fish is fresh, and you let its flavor come through, you'll be successful.
i get my fish at a few places around north jersey, including han ah reum in little ferry and Ridgewood Fisheries (30 prospect, 201.670.0882), which is a small japanese store and somewhat of a secret.
this dish was paired with a Falanghina from Feudi di San Gregorio . Falanghina is grown in campania, and is certainly less known than other italian varieties. the 2004 has more body than any pinot grigio, gorgeous straw yellow color, and some notes of banana. available at Bottle King and carlo russo wine in ho-ho-kus.
i should note that i "discovered" falanghina at Otto. Sam, one of the great bartenders at Otto poured some for me. thanks, Sam.