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Mar 31, 2011 11:43 AM

Milford Fish Market and Aspirations???

DId they both close? I haven't seen anything going on at the Fish market since Christmas. With Lent this is their best time to be open.

Aspirations looks closed but I haven't gone in.

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  1. I actually recent posted about is 100% closed. The equipment is gone and the sign is down. Not sure about something else going in there.

    I'm also curious about the Fish Market. They always close down until spring, but they have been pretty slow for awhile, so it really seems like they may not actually open up again this time around...

    6 Replies
    1. re: solargarlic

      MFM was absolutely disgusting the last time we went in--smelled of grease, the selection was very limited, and the staff was unhelpful. What a shame, they used to be great at the old location next to the County Stores strip mall.

      1. re: whs

        place was good near the mall..I think she bit off more than she could chew by moving into such a dilapidated building. Used to go there, but watched as it went downhill fast. Piles of old fixtures/unremoved junk from old restaurant not far out of eyesight and had one waitress sometimes when it was busy didnt help.. I had a sales route that went through Milford twice a week and made a point of swinging in ofr lunch on a semi-regular basis almost 2 years ago now, but got run down real quick.

        1. re: ctroutman

          If you want fresh fish in the Milford/Amherst area, Elisha Ewing delivers, and in the summer has a stand at the Amherst Farmer's Market: Not a huge selection, but everything is pristine.

          1. re: whs

            yes, another vote of confidence for Liberty Fish..used her almost exclusively for some time..with the occasional trek to Free Range in Manch

          2. re: ctroutman

            I only went into the new location once and it was pretty uninspiring. I think the move was a bad one as well; the old location was in a more heavily trafficked part of town.

            1. re: Msample

              I think the move to a larger building itself was a mistake. The place was not well run by any means...that many tables and servers and they were still using a regular register and hand written tickets, pretty easy for the employees to do whatever they want.

      2. i drove by, what had been Aspirations yesterday, and the new sigh read {I think} PASTAMORE, a friend of mine and i were planning to go to Aspirations soon, but after having read some of the comments decided against it. Iam not sure if the new restaurant at the Aspirations location is open yet or not..

        1. Ugh, got this email today from Elisha Ewing. Apparently Massachusetts has gotten stricter about allowing fishmongers to transport fish across state lines:

          Dear Fishfriends,

          I hope this hello finds you well and your week is off to a good, albeit wet, start. I wanted to take a minute of your time to update you on some changes that have occurred at the state level (Massachusetts) and the impact it has on out of state based business' such as "Liberty Fish"....since as many of you know, for the last seven or so years, I have been using one fabulous supplier at the Boston Fish Pier as my source for the great seafood I bring to you each week.

          I want to preface this email by saying that as I began to draft this email, I recognized that I had a variety of ways that I could approach this conversation with you, and frankly with myself. What I continued to come back to was this: From the start of this great, great "Liberty Fish" adventure, I repeatedly recognize how valuable it has been to hold myself, both personally and professionally, to a certain level of integrity. For me, that level of integrity is based in part on open communication, respect and honesty...and basically, "doing the right thing". Simultaneously, I VERY much recognize and wholeheartedly appreciate the continued support you fabulous Fishfriends have shown me throughout the years. Consequently, I realized as I was drafting this conversation that I had only way one to go with it. An open and honest conversation with you. After all, it is what my business and our truly special relationship has been based on :)....and ONLY good things have grown from that foundation.

          Very recently, a trio of local agencies (Department of Marine Fisheries etc) came together and devised a new set of regulations for out of state business' traveling into Massachusetts that pick up product such as mine and then return back to their location (for the purpose of this conversation I will refer to New Hampshire since that is the situation that pertains to us). Prior to the establishment of these regulations, the way that I and others in the fish retail business were transporting fish (coolers and ice) met the criteria and the industry's standards. The authorities at the very local level (respective Town Boards of Health) completed their respective inspections, and away we went

          With these new regulations, however, what is now required is a "mechanically insulated unit" aka: a reefer unit. There are a few other requirements but this is "the biggie" so to speak. Such a unit is now required to transport my product from Massachusetts back into New Hampshire. I have been in communication with the representatives from several of these aforementioned organizations in order to review the nature of my unique business. What was reinforced to me was the requirement of a mechanically insulated unit in order to for me to continue with my business across the border from Massachusetts into New Hampshire. Of course it is important to recognize that ultimately these changes are to protect you, the consumer. So the good news is there is a solution: A reefer unit. The not so great news is that despite being a "mover and a shaker" is not a solution that I can pull out of my Fishlady bag of tricks in the immediate future :) . I am, however, a believer that every challenge has a solution.

          So what does it all mean? For the immediate future, I need to put "Liberty Fish" on hold. My goal is to use the month of April to continue to educate myself and determine a viable solution for obtaining a reefer unit that would allow me to continue to successfully run "Liberty Fish" while simultaneously managing my other personal, financial and professional responsibilities. I will be in touch by ends month to update you on the where I am at in this process.

          It is important to me that you understand how very special each and every one of you are to me both personally and professionally..Together, out of nothing, we have created something pretty amazing. I do of course recognize that this is all coming out of left field and if I could have given you more notice I would have. Ideally I would have preferred to call each of you personally to have this conversation but I have been blessed with an,ever growing number of fishfriends so a mass email is the most effective form of communication.

          So I sit here tonight in a moment of great uncertainty but it is in the moments of uncertainty in which the greatest moments of growth, creativity and possibility are developed. I am open to your thoughts and any feedback and direction you may offer. Thank you so very much again for listening and I will be in touch in the very near future to update you on the latest.

          3 Replies
          1. re: whs

            there are many smaller ways she could go about it, laws permitting. used to have a onsite catering truck that would show up at place of employment with a large cooler that had a refrigeration unit built onto it, on his front seat for ice cream and frozen desserts. I wonder is she got a few of these, if it would meet the requirements. These were not permanent/hard wired units, but like a large cooler (with built in temperature gauges/cooling fans) that plugged into 12v

            1. re: ctroutman

              Why don't you communicate with her? She runs a small one-person operation, so I'm not sure she has a lot of capital resources.

              1. re: whs

                just sent her an email with specifics..see if it helps her any.

          2. RE: Milford Fish Market. There was a recent article in the 9-15-11 Milford Cabinet. They just reopened - new owners. They didn't heavily advertise so they'd have a slow start up to get business off to a good start by conversing with the customers for feedback, etc. They will go to Boston daily for fresh seafood. Sounds promising. I went to it once under previous ownership and wasn't impressed. I'm hoping the new owners will have top notch food and service.

            10 Replies
            1. re: PHOTOG

              Just went this past week...

              First off, I won't even bring up the service. Let's just say there was a lot of confusion...but, first week open, I'd never expect anything better anyway. We went early enough to avoid any sort of wait. We went with the simple favorites of seafood chowder and fried clams. The chowder seemed fresh and homemade, but for me was over salted and over spiced (too many herbs). I unfortunately couldn't really eat much of it. The clams were really fresh and sweet and cooked just right. The one complaint we'd have for those was that the breading was too thick. The clams got pretty lost in the breading, though you could still taste the larger bellies. I would definitely give them another try whenever I'm in the mood for some seafood.

              Oh, they also have the fresh fish counter still, which was really well-stocked. I'd be happy to go in there and just pick up something to make at home too.

              Forgot to add...the owner was a former Newick's manager, so hopefully their experience will help in this new business endeavor.

              1. re: solargarlic

                granted it is early days, but was the fish counter "standard" new england....haddock, flounder, cod & salmon filets?

                1. re: qianning

                  No, surprisingly they had quite a selection. I didn't look carefully, but I noticed swordfish, king crab, clams...I'm sure there were a few others too, plus the usual NE selection.

                  1. re: solargarlic

                    thanks for the report, i'll have to make it over there soon, trudging all the way to cambridge for fish sure does get old. meanwhile if anyone knows/finds out i'd be very interested to know if they cut their own fish.

                    1. re: qianning

                      Even if they cut their own, I'd be curious about turnover. Granted, having a restaurant allows them to use stuff that is getting old, but that location doesn't strike me as having enough traffic to ensure fast rotation of product. I've often wondered why nobody has opened something like that more towards Nashua along 101A or downtown Nashua.

                2. re: solargarlic

                  Have gone to Milford Fish Market twice now that it has reopened. Once we ate there and once was takeout. I was not impressed either time. Prior to the original Milford Fish Market moving from their Elm Street location to here, the food was excellent and well priced for what you got. When they moved to the new location, the food changed becasue the original cook did not come with them and the prices went up and the portion went down. I believe the move was their downfall. When this place opened by a former manager of Newicks and a former cook (2 owners) I thought we would have a chance. The time we ate in there were more "family of owners" there eating for free and learning how to clean and such than actual customers. My husband and I decided to share our meal because we were not that hungry. Like above we tried the chowder and like above felt it was way oversalted. We ordered the seafood platter to the tune of $23 and it came in a little plastic yellow basket with about 4 overcooked scallops, 5 shrimp a couple clams and a small piece of fish. The basket consisted of mostly fries, which you could see between the small portion of seafood when the basket was delivered. We decided to give them another try and paid $35 for a small haddock and a large haddock dinner to go. The portion of fish on the large haddock is the normal portion most places serve as the small. I was not impressed. In fact when I went to get my takeout order, one of the owners was informing the cook he had way too many bacon wrapped scallops on the appetizer plate he was making. He ended up putting on 4 of them and god knows how much they charge. They offered me a "sample" since they had too many, but I refused. The baked was burnt and the scallop looked way overcooked. I won't be going there again and am still in search of a good seafood place.

                  1. re: cj1234

                    The fact that both reports on soup mention oversalting make me wonder if this is due to it being held for too long and reducing down over time due to low traffic/slow turnover. That location is kind of a dead part of town IMO. For what they appear to be charging and the reports so far sounds like an easy one to skip.

                    1. re: cj1234

                      Have you tried Fishbones in Chelmsford yet? Love this place. Worth the drive and fills up quick

                3. Has Milford Fish Market closed permanently? The sign outside has read "Closing at 4 today" for months, and it never looks open earlier than that. There's a Nashua Telegraph article about it from March, but I can't access it (having used up my free views).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Tante

                    This appears to be the same article from the Cabinet, no paywall ( which is a joke for a site like the Telegraph ) .


                    Bottom line, I'd say its toast.

                    1. re: Msample

                      Thank you, Msample. (Agree about the Telegraph.)

                    2. re: Tante

                      Not so much a great loss tho, no?

                      1. re: cringle22

                        Hadn't been there in years, but if the reviews are anything to go by, then no, no great loss there.