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Sep 1, 2008 07:32 AM

Little Fish, Philadelphia Pa

Yesterday the weather was beautiful and after touring the Headhouse market, shopped around town and took in some sights, we headed over to Little Fish for our 6:00 PM reservation.
Sunday is different than other days here, on Sunday a 5 course tasting is offered for the unbelievable low price of $28.00.
Considering the extremely high quality and creativity of the food, this is one heck of a bargain.
Fresh French bread was served with a pureed blend of olive oil and fresh herbs, making a delicious and addictive dipping sauce for the bread.

The portions for this tasting are sensibly sized and make for total enjoyment of the meal.
Here is what we had:

1st course: Bibb lettuce, Vinaigrette dressing, fine herbs.
2nd course: Risotto with mussels, white corn, thyme with a culinary foam on top.
3rd course: Skate Sicilian style which consisted of olives, tomatoes, capers in a light sauce.
4th course: Mahi Mahi with marinated grape tomatoes and cous cous.
5th course: Key Lime tart with blueberry sauce and whipped cream.

All the courses were distinctive, flavorful and wonderfully prepared. We honestly can't say which was a favorite as the were all great.

Little Fish is a TINY restaurant although the tables are spaced such as you have your own area and don't feel crowded. Maybe room for 24 inside and a few tables outside.

Service was warm, friendly and very efficient.
Little Fish is BYO making it even more of a bargain, we enjoyed a 2004 Kosta Browne Pinot with dinner.
The chef here is quite talented and we can highly recommend Little Fish based on our meal last night

Little Fish
600 Catharine St. (at 6th)
Philadelphia Pa

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  1. your review sounds very nice... we've been to little fish and were very impressed... one question though... what exactly is a "culinary" foam?

    2 Replies
    1. re: sanfrantransplant

      Sanfran, good question. The foam was the only thing of the tasting that I didn't know what it consisted of so I used "culinary foam" as my generic term :))
      We get to Philly often and enjoy the restaurant scene there. First time to Little Fish but won't be our last.

      1. re: tom246

        I have eten here three times: once for their "regular" dinner and twice for their Sunday 5-course dinner. All three times were fantastic. Their chef is quite talented and creates amazing dishes in a very small (open) kitchen. The servers are very friendly and very professional. And, as an aside, their bread (from Faragalli's in South Philly) is fantastic as well. Little Fish is, in my opinion, one of the few "shouldn't miss" and "can't go wrong" restaurants in the city and, as I have said elsewhere, is perhaps the best bargain in the city as well.

    2. I'm looking for Philadelphia fish and seafood when coming to town in a couple of weeks. I would probably love the prix fixe but I don't know if the other folks would. Is the prix fixe the only thing available on Sunday or can you also order off the regular menu?


      2 Replies
      1. re: mdg

        mdg, on Sunday only the prix fixe is available. Two seatings, at 6:00 and 8:00.
        Your companions need to enjoy fish or seafood (scallops, mussels etc) as the tasting menu revolves around these ingredients.

        1. re: tom246

          Thanks for the clarification! It sounds wonderful so I will see how much the others like fish and the whole tasting menu idea.


      2. My girlfriend and I went there Friday for our 5 year anniversary... I normally am not very adventurous when it comes to fish, so I was a little worried; however, I loved every bite of my meal. The scallop appetizer was amazing... and I had the Skate Entree. For someone who is not very adventurous with fish, skate is quite the meal... I LOVED it! Will go back for the 5 course tasting on Sundays, for sure.

        4 Replies
        1. re: itown

          ooooh, i've not yet had the skate from them but it's often one of my favorite dishes elsewhere. i agree with everyone else here that the chef is a major talent, and i think little fish has ousted my former top 3 and claimed the spot of my favorite restaurant in the city! i'm going to get there for that sunday night dinner just as soon as i can.

          yes, that scallop app is melt-in-your-mouth amazing, and the halibut entree is equally to die for! :)

          1. re: rabidog

            The Sunday Tasting menu is awesome and a great value. Just don't go expecting monster sized portions, just enough to enjoy.
            The ability to produce the variety of flavors during the tasting makes this Chef especially talented
            We'll be back soon.

            1. re: tom246

              Thanks so much for recommending this. We went last Sunday and had a great time. The menu was:

              1. Bibb lettuce with a fines herbes vinaigrette.
              2. Marinated corvina with cucumber, lime, and chilis.
              3. Corn soup with crab and shiitakes.
              4. Mahi mahi with cherry tomato confit, summer squash, and black olive tapenade.
              5. Cheesecake with pine nut crust and blueberries.

              The corn soup and cheesecake might have been my favorites, but it was all excellent and made for a wonderfully balanced meal. There was some really nice tarragon in that salad. The lightness of touch throughout was particularly welcome on such a hot day. We brought a 2007 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc which paired very nicely.


              1. re: mdg

                not that this does any good, but i was there that night too! and the corn soup was perfecto indeed! i love little fish, never had a bad meal there. the best two things that i ever had were the octopus carpaccio and the sicilian squid soup. NOM!

        2. We had planned to be back in Philadelphia today for an exhibit at the Art Museum and took advantage by again going to the $28.00 5 course Sunday tasting.
          How Chef Mike and crew can turn out such quality for that price is astounding. If we lived closer, this would be a regular stop. Here is what we had tonight:

          1st course: Butternut Squash soup, mussels, julienned pears, curry oil.
          2nd course: Marlin, runner beans, Wagyu short rib
          3rd course: Creekside Baby Greens, green apple, goat cheese.
          4th course: Mahi Mahi, Brussel Leaves, Oyster Mushrooms, Grain Mustard.
          5th course: Pumpkin Bread Pudding, vanilla soaked raisins, whipped cream.

          Every course was full of flavor, beautifully created and presented. The warmed bread with pureed herbs in olive oil is addtictive and the servers are friendly, helpful and eager to please.
          Little Fish is BYO and we enjoyed a August West Graham Vineyard Pinot with dinner.

          If you want to sample some outstanding and creative cuisine, run don't walk to the Sunday tasting at Little Fish.
          Also thanks to Chef Mike for stopping by to say hello after a very busy stint in the kitchen.