Chef Gwen Le Pape’s fresh and flavorful Grilled Calamari that is said to be even better than the breathtaking view from Upstair’s NYC rooftop lounge. The perfect harmony of taste and presentation.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 15-20 minutes
  • Active: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients (11)

  • 2 lbs. fresh squid
  • 1/2 bunch tarragon
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced until syrupy consistency
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 edible orchid for garnish


  1. Clean the squid, then drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper. Chill on ice until ready to use.
  2. Blanche the parsley and tarragon by placing in a pot of salted, boiling water for 30 seconds then plunging into an ice bath.
  3. Place the blanched herbs, lemon juice and zest, garlic, vinegar and mustard in a blender and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil and blend until the mixture thickens.
  4. High heat over a grill or plancha, grill the squid tubes and tentacles for 1 minute on each side. Be sure to drain the juice as you flip the squid.
  5. When the squid is cooked, hold it in place using tongs and slice the tubes into rings.
  6. Return the squid rings and tentacles to a clean mixing bowl and toss with the tarragon emulsion.
  7. Divide the squid among four plates, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction, garnish with an orchid and serve.