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Jan 20, 2012 06:27 PM

Where can i get a whole, proper, European Dover sole? And some decent mussels!

the sole we get here tends to be smaller. One Dover ought to feed 2 or 3 people. I'm looking for one of these big tasty devils for a dinner Monday night. Anyone have any idea who might carry them?

While we're at it, maybe someone also knows where I can get some decent, plump, mussels right now. They're so sad and tiny everywhere!


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  1. You want to look for Mediterranean mussels to get the plump ones. Berkeley Bowl has them. Unfortunately, many of the local ones are not that species (I think they're blue mussels?) and tend to be a lot smaller when cooked.

    1. It would have to be imported, because it is a Northern European fish. Fish sold as "Dover sole" on the US west coast is a different fish.

      1. "Real" Dover sole probably not available here. Check this link.
        Petrale sole is probably a good substitute.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          Yep. Looks like I can't get it on the west coast. I suppose I could do 2 sole. It's just not as dramatic!

          And I'll try Berkeley bowl for those mussels. We do have the blue lip here commonly and they're usually great. Just the last two weeks they've been tragic.

          1. re: Mjtisor

            the local catch for these parts in season now (weather permitting) is petrale sole. saw some nice whole specimens last week.

            1. re: Mjtisor

              The "Dover " sole I buy at Tokyo Fish are perhaps 2 to 3 oz per piece. The Petrale are much larger. I seem to remember one being enough for my wife and I.

              1. re: wolfe

                I've gotten alleged Dover sole at Berkeley Bowl in the past and found it disagreeable--kind of slimy and lacking in body. Petrale sole is a wonderful local fish, and I think you should be able to get a large one. Go with that.

          2. a week or so ago I bought some mussels from 99 Ranch in Richmond - they looked like they always do but were very plump and much bigger than previous purchases. not sure how to tell that they might be like that again from the outward appearance ? but like oysters ...... maybe the winter months are better for the texture? if not the size ?

            1. Seafood Watch recommends Petrale sole, sand dabs and halibut as a substitute. If you're looking for a big fish, halibut is typically much bigger than the other two, though I've seen big sand dabs on occasion.

              Small mussels can be as tasty as large ones, just cook more of them.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Halibut is *always* bigger -- the legal minimum is California is 22 inches. Some petrale get to that size, but not sand dabs.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Interesting. And 32 inches in Alaska, where a lot of our halibut comes from. I often buy less than half a halibut to serve six.

                  Most sand dabs I've had were so small that one would be a small serving, but I've occasionally had them in Chinese restaurants that could feed three.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I'm guessing if it fed three it wasn't a true sand dab, but another flat fish.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Possible, though they reportedly get up to 16 inches and two pounds.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  But halibut doesn't taste much like sole. It's much drier. Not a substitute for Dover sole.