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Jun 29, 2012 02:07 PM

Where do you get good seafood?

Ok, I'm officially ready to give up. I am ready to write off our fair city when it comes to good seafood. We have top notch restaurants for every type of food except for seafood. Where oh where do you go for great seafood? Please help, I'm desperate! Do I have to go to out of state to satisfy my cravings?

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  1. What kind of seafood specifically are you looking for? What have you tried that was a letdown?

    1. I used to not eat fish at all. However, 2 recent events changed my feelings:

      1 - went to a pop-up dinner in Philadelphia and found seafood was used in just about half of the courses served and they were all delicious

      2 - watched a friend (who is well-known for cooking fish) cooked some flounder fillets and it was sooo simple

      So now I know. If I buy the best of fish (fresh or properly processed/stored), season it, cook it on the light side (either at lower temperature or over shorter period of time) the fish could be turned into something I don't mind eating.

      Had dinner at Black Fish in Conshohocken last week. The tasting menu offered 4 courses of cod prepared 4 ways plus a desert. Gorgeous meal - beautiful to look at and yummy to my tummy. I was totally satisfied.

      1. Depending on how you define seafood...

        Oyster House ...
        Ten Arts (Overlooked.. but an Eric Riepert related restaurant always serves great seafood.)
        Bibou ... their oysters are exquisite their monkfish divine... any fish served here is worth considering.
        Farm and Fisherman - I have loved scallops there, lobster, and whatever the catch of the day is.
        Little Fish - I had a spectacular dish made with sturgeon there.
        Fish skate over truffled spaetzle is one of their signature dishes
        Morimoto - black cod may be played out but their version of miso black cod is very good.

        I am curious what other places people would add... I know I am missing a lot of the italian restaurants that filet table side, as well as several in chinatown... among others.

        9 Replies
        1. re: cwdonald

          I can't tell if the OP means restaurants or seafood to take home and cook, but for restaurants, I'd go with morimoto and with Fish/Little Fish. Loved both places. Or all 3, I guess (I was at Little Fish before there was a Fish, haven't been back since).

          1. re: Bob Loblaw

            Well I wasn't sure either, though the OP did say we have top notch restaurants for every food except fish...

            I do find t interesting that the grand restaurant that was Striped Bass never really had anything take its place. Fish, Oyster House and Route 66 are either all smaller and more casual. Perhaps that just a reflection in the changes in dining rather than a reflection of featuring fish in general.

            Even on the more casual side, nothing really replaced Bookbinders, which used to be one of the iconic places in Philadelphia (though significantly deteriorating before each closed).

            1. re: cwdonald

              Throwing Estia into the FISH mix.

            2. re: Bob Loblaw

              For fresh seafood available for purchase, you can't beat Hill's at Rt 3 and Rt. 252 in Broomall /Newtown Square. You walk in there and you can't smell a thing. THAT is FRESH. I think there are a few other locations (Exton, Media and somewhere else).
              Whole Paycheck and Wegmans are OK but maybe not as carefully monitored as Hill's .

              1. re: Chefpaulo

                The best seafood I've had in the area was at Docks in Atlantic City. I wanted to love Oyster House, Fish, and Route 66, but they didn't come close to Docks. I wish that it was in Philly!

                1. re: Chefpaulo

                  Don't the h-marts sell the fish still alive? (Or at least, they're alive until the moment you pay for them?)

                  1. re: Bob Loblaw

                    Anyone ever figure this out?

                    Some people talk about
                    Barclay Prime, Snockeys, Rt 6, Chart house.

                    1. re: bombadilio

                      Hands down Estia for fantastic Greek seafood. (across from the Academy of Music)
                      For superb shellfish and lobster, Steve & Cookies in Margate fits the bill.

                  2. re: Chefpaulo

                    I think it can be beat or certainly equalled...Otolith is a newish operation in Philly that gets sustainably caught seafood from (mostly) Alaska. You can buy a share (basically a seafood CSA) and you can purchase at the Sunday farmer's market at Headhouse in Philadelphia. You are basically paying in advance for them to take a boat out and outfit the fishing trip. The fish is amazing, and I've been eating seafood my whole life and this is truly some of the best I've ever had. They also have special shares periodically -- shrimp, king crab and Dungeness crab in addition to halibut, salmon, and sable fish. Here's a link to their website:

              2. I believe that both Little Fish and Fish are top notch fish restaurants. I have never had anything less than superb fish there.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JanR

                  Has anyone been to Fish lately? We had friends that went recently and said they converted to small plates. They have very similar tastes to me, and said that it was much less enjoyable under the new concept than the old. Just wanted to see if anyone else had observed the same.

                  1. re: tfalbo

                    I haven't been to Fish since they moved. I just checked their menu online and I see that they have small plates and large plates to share. I've never been a fan of small plates because they seem to always come out at once and I prefer traditional dinners. I've always preferred Little Fish to Fish but (now that Mike Stollenwerk is exclusively at Fish and not spreading himself between restaurants) I'm sure the cooking is excellent at Fish too. Plus, those oysters can't be beat!

                    1. re: JanR

                      Just a heads up, Fish didn't just change the menu, they closed for a couple weeks amidst financial issues and had most (all?) of their staff besides Mike leave. When they reopened the menu was in the new small plates format. Michael Klein said the reason for the shift was to lower the price point and make it "less of a destination of restaurant." I haven't been there since that happened, would be great to hear more some reports.