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Need resto w. excellent fish for ULTRA conservative Mom's B-day

Will be joining my parents for my mother's birthday celebration. They don't eat meat, so a nice restaurant which offers good fish is a must. They are not into "ethnic" cusine, and I doubt they would enjoy anywhere funky. Price is not a problem, last year they did North 44 and enjoyed it.


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    1. re: pescatarian

      I was going to suggest that also, but dd said no ethnic. Love their whole grilled fish and fresh sardines. MMmmmmm

      1. re: dinin and dishin

        Yeah, I thought about it, but generally when people say they are not looking for ethnic, I think they mean non-European/Comtemporary and I think Chiado fits the European conservative vibe. I've heard excellent things about Starfish as well.
        It is a bit dated looking, but I have had excellent fish dishes at Acqua.

        1. re: pescatarian

          I like Chiado too, but I'm not convinced its the right place. How fancy is starfish, I haven't tried that yet.

          1. re: ddelicious

            Not too fancy, not too casual. I think you'd be as comfortable in a suit as you'd be in jeans.
            Definitely not the tuxedo wearing old school waiter type of place, but not the Keg (my name is Sam and I'll be your waiter tonight) type of place either.

            You can check it out online.


            1. re: ddelicious

              I haven't been to Starfish yet, but I walk by a lot on my way to GB after work. It looks like a fancy bistro atmosphere from the outside. Here's their website: http://www.starfishoysterbed.com/.

              1. re: pescatarian

                fancy bistro is just about the right description for it. my mid twenties friends and i drop in and share bar space with national post food writers and their husbands who hold tabs there . pairs of business men and women snag booths and tuck into their lobster dinners. bachelorette parties pull the shucker and a bottle of champagne into the small private backroom to pick out their next bivalve. it's a very congenial atmosphere.

                that being said... the service is unlikely of North 44 quality (although I haven't been to North 44, i imagine more formality than a place that is likely to forget your non alcoholic beverage order) but the food is of great quality and the oysters just amazing. after about half an hour there my friends berated me for keeping it a secret from them.

      2. Starfish should fit the bill.

        1. well if you want a wide variety (Arctic Char to skate to monkfish) done any way you want broiled, baked, steamed, grilled etc. you can't go wrong with the Fish House Restaurant and Seafood Bar (sheppard and DVP)...it's no North 44, but what it may lack in snob appeal, it more than makes up for with fish done right. For something a little fancier you can't beat Joso's on Davenport. Friends swear by Zee Grill and Oyster bar too

          4 Replies
          1. re: Finnegan

            I was wondering about Joso's, but after looking at their website I'm thinking its not the kind of place to take your parents. Have a look and see what you think! Zee Grill is good, but quite casual. Keep the suggestions coming!

            1. re: Finnegan

              Is the Fish House still open?
              I was at Sierra Grill a few weeks ago (don't ask) and the waitress told us it was closing and they were getting a lot of the FH staff coming over.
              That'll be the end of an era if it is gone already.

              1. re: orangewasabi

                I was just at The Fish House last Friday and there was no sign or mention of it closing down. Plus, it was packed! I can't imagine why they would be closing anytime soon :)
                I had the Orange Roughy blackened.. it was yum! Service was good and friendly... maybe could've come by to check on our empty glasses halfway through the main course.... but overall, good!

              2. re: Finnegan

                The Fish House is still there?!?!? I haven't been since I was a teenager. It's still good? Really?

              3. Chiado, for sure.
                An ultra-conservative mom might not like all the breasts at Joso's.

                1 Reply
                1. How about Lure on Dupont.

                  1. How's about breakin' your mom out of her ultra conservative shell...show her what a happening and hip daughter they have...There was a time that my parents wouldn't go anywhere that didn't serve prime rib and yorkshire pudding. I dragged them against their will to some great fun restaurants...now at 70+ they go to sushi restaurants on their own...you can teach an old dog a new trick (not suggesting your mom is a dog or anything). What about Wah Sing...great ginger Lobster..if you ask nice they'll steam you a whole pickerl

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Finnegan

                      Yeah. No. I agree in principle, but those types of principles do not apply to my mother. And besides that, its her birthday and I think that she should be allowed to go somewhere she will enjoy and be comfortable. Now if it were my birthday your idea is perfect!

                    2. La Fenice also does a nice straight ahead grilled fishes - you can pick the fish if you like. Nice adult/simple vibe i.e. the first time I took my boyfriend's, now husband's, parents out to eat it was there.

                      1. I think it the responsibility, nay, the mission of every Foodie to gently push (or drag if necessary) the unadventurous eaters into the world of good eating. IMHO that';s the best present anyone could give to another...but having said that, if you want to keep your name in her Will, may I humbly suggest Centro. It's nice to look at, good wine menu, staright forward food and excellent service.

                          1. I think Zee Grill is less casual than Starfish. And they have a larger menu to choose from.

                            1. oooh, another great 'parent' place is Senses at the Soho Metropolitan. Very adult setting, quiet stylish. If they liked the food at North 44, they'll probably also like the food at Senses.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: orangewasabi

                                they don't have a menu on the website. what type of food do they serve?

                                1. re: ddelicious

                                  I would call it a modern twist on continental. For example, they wouldn't have sole but they'd have miso brushed black cod. A grilled scallop in watercress reduction foam app, with a cauliflower soup shooter. The last time I was there, one of our party had a really lovely lobster dish -- modern but not over the top. I actually find the flavour profile quite similar to North 44 i.e. not so heavily red-meat oriented as bymark, but very intense-savoury.

                                  The setting is very adult friendly too, stylish yet very muted, comfortable chairs and soft lighting.

                              2. Let's put it this way: If you love seafood too, you may enjoy taking your mother to Starfish so much that you yourself start hanging out at the oyster bar after.