Where to buy Caviar in Philly?
- Gerald Tarrant
I will be cooking a dish this weekend that requires caviar as a garnish. I know where to find caviar in the area (american sturgeon would be just fine) but not sure where is best... any suggestions?
The classic answer is Caviar Assouline. They have a good variety and good quality.
Strangely, their web site doesn't list their retail
locations... Liberty Place, the Airport, and (I think)
Port Richmond (though that might be wholesale only).
They closed their 4th & Vine store last year.
The poor Caspian fish is almost extinct, so please be responsible and buy domestic/alternative caviar. American paddlefish is decent. When Beluga rockets from $45 an ounce to $150 in 6 months, you know the supply/demand curve is quite steep. This is the reason you may never see genuine Caspian Beluga on a menu again, it would be prohibitive to carry an ounce that restaurants would have to charge over $300 for. Try D'Artagnan, they carry cultivated French stuff, possibly Aquitaine (maybe wholesale only). There's also a place in San Francisco that farms sturgeon. Food and Wine or Bon Appetite did a spread on caviar around Christmas, would be a good starting point, they included a list of online retailers. What you get at a local store may be of questionable quality and price.
The Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop sells the freshest caviar. They keep some, but not much, American Sturgeon and Russian Osetra in stock. They prefer that you order in advance to ensure it is as fresh as it can be. Their supplier is Caviar Russe. They are out of NYC. Never, in six years, have I been dissapointed.
Caviar Russe also supplies Le Bec Fin, The Four Seasons, and the former Striped Bass.
Caviar Assoline at Liberty Place is the best. Liz, who manages the store knows her caviar. 4th & Vine has closed.