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May 24, 2012 06:43 PM

Dover sole

Can anyone point me to great Dover sole in the Philadelphia suburbs? Preferably the north/west burbs (i.e., Montgomery county) but that's not a requirement. Cost isn't a consideration, just looking for the best that can be had!


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  1. It's highly unlikely that you will find true Dover sole in the Philly burbs. The U.S, has really lax rules about fish labeling, so buyer beware. There's only one restaurant in the U.S. that I would feel confident ordering this fish, and that is Le Bernardin. And I would expect to pay through the nose. A good guide is how the fish is presented: If it's served whole, chances are good it's the real deal. If it's already filleted (as I was offered at La Grenouille recently) , it's almost certainly a lesser fish.

    7 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Considerable web items regarding how one can determine "real" Dover sole. The whole fish method is almost a sure thing when one know the look of the fish. At a very fine restaurant one can request that the fish be presented prior to cooking. Reluctance to do so may be a clue to the true identity. As noted by pikawicca; you will pay big bucks for Dover sole.

      1. re: pikawicca

        I had an excellent dover sole at Marea, but it cost $70/lb.

          1. re: pikawicca

            I did not actually see the whole fish, but it was sold as a whole fish (around 1.5 lbs) and served filleted. I don't think a place like Marea would trick you.

            1. re: deprofundis

              Don't bet on it. The NYT did an expose not too long ago about well-respected restaurants doing just that.

              1. re: deprofundis

                Same experience at Estia. They said a pound and a half (I assume that was approximate) and we were charged $86. No complaints; it was delicious. I get to Belgium and England about once a year each, and I always get Dover sole there (expensive there too, just not as much as here) so I think it was the real thing. But honestly, my taste / texture memory is not so reliable that I could catch them out on any substitution.