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New Deal, Court House, other?

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Hey folks. I'm trying to find a reliable and good fish market. I can't eat shellfish (allergic), but I do like to try to eat haddock, cod, sole, halibut or milder white fish once a week. I have tried New Deal Fish Market and really liked their fish. I have also tried Court House which was good. I went to a fish vendor at a local Farmers' Market and I normally have gotten good fish there, but the last time, I had bought a piece of hake. When I cooked it up, it tasted like ammonia. I threw it out and had researched and found that it probably was not fresh (it didn't appear spoiled nor did it smell that way, but the taste was definitely ammonia-like). I haven't been very keen on going back to that vendor. I have been told about Cyndi the Fish Lady at the Brookline Market. I got on her mailing list so I will try her out. In your opinion, where do you think the best quality fresh fish in the Boston/Cambridge area can be found? Are my best bets to stick w/ New Deal and Court House or are there other places I may not be aware of that offer good fresh fish? I figured it'd be good to try a few places and then decide who to use as my primary fish market. Thanks for your help.

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  1. New Deal has been my go to for many years and not even once has anything been less than completely fresh and amazing - Fresh Pond Whole Foods is also pretty consistently fresh but not always amazing - same for Fresh Pond Seafood in Arlington but their selection is very limited most of the time.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rlh

      Thanks for your input! Good info. I'm not far from Fresh Pond Whole Foods, but from what you're saying, it seems like I'd be better off sticking w/ New Deal. Oh, I did try the lobster place on Western Ave. in Cambridge...I forget the name. I got a piece of haddock there. It was ok. New Deal was still better. Maybe as others post I'll find that New Deal really is the place to stick with, but who knows. Always good to research.

      1. re: BackBayGirl

        Was that Alive n Kicking? I've bought very nice fish and lobsters there in the past.

        I love New Deal. Never a bum steer and Carl is so kind and always offers a tip or recipe advice if you need it. I do find that like most places it's best to go in looking for the freshest and best that day instead of 'I need a pound of halibut'. Who knows? Maybe you'll walk out with a daisy fresh barramundi you never knew you wanted.

        1. re: yumyum

          Oh yes, I try to buy whatever they have fresh that day, but I just mention the types of fish I can eat. Salmon & tuna for example are too strong for me and make me feel not so great. Shellfish I'm allergic to so that's out. At any rate, yes, it was Alive & Kicking I got some haddock at. I couldn't remember the name.

        2. re: BackBayGirl

          New Deal is tops, but I find Fresh Pond Whole Foods a very very good second, and I often go there when my schedule does not align with New Deal's hours.

        3. re: rlh

          Update - as New Deal is on vacation until next Monday, I broadened my horizons and stopped into Courthouse today - I was really impressed with the broad selection, freshness, VERY friendly service, and competitive prices.

          I can't wait to eat the fresh, never frozen from Alaska King Salmon fillets tonight - I don't think I've ever paid a lower price ($16.99 per lb - perfect skin-on filets with pretty much no bones at all) - they said it was plentiful currently but not to expect this pricing much longer.

          1. re: rlh

            I think Courthouse is just stellar. They cut to order [up to a point.] They tell you when the fish came in. You can call in the morning and they will save you the day's cod cages. The other folks in line chat about how their grandmothers prepared the fish, and the owners and workers are just plain nice.

            They also have a very nice selection of sausages and their homemade vinegar peppers for making RI calamari at home.

        4. North End Fish Market Mercado Del Mare is very good, and if your ever on the North Shore Rowans in Beverly is very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: phatchris

            i used to live in salem and, yes, +1 on rowan's. excellent.

          2. Probably a drive, but Burke's in Quincy is good and supplied some good restaurants

            1 Reply
            1. re: C. Hamster

              New Deal is my staple, but I find Court House very good and Cyndi is excellent. Captain Marden in Wellesley is also good but really carries primarily fillet though you can order whole fish. I love whole fish, head and bone, so New Deal is my best bet for bronzino, sardines, red snapper.

            2. I love New Deal, and so bummed I don't work in that area any more, but I will make the extra weekend trip there for my fresh fish. I have never had a bad piece of fish there, and I find their staff extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Worth the extra travel time in my book.

              1. I've been buying from Red's Best at the Copley Market on Fridays and have had excellent results. I like the fact that they use a tracing system right back from the boat. A chef friend recommended them and she is usually right about these things.

                I don't think Cape Cod fresh share at the Markets is really interested in retail sales. They give the impression they are there for the share customers only. Sometimes they have nothing for walk up customers or just one or two selections.

                Cindy is great and she comes year round. When the market ends she sets up at When Pigs Fly around the corner once a week.

                New Deal is on my regular list. They are everything you want in a fishmonger. I make it there once a month when I do a regular pick up from Mayflower Poultry. You should stop in both places if you're making a special trip.

                I split a share from Cape Ann Fresh Catch with friends for a season before they moved to the West Coast and that was fabulous. If you can find a cooking buddy that was a perfect fit for two couples. We often made soups from the frames if we decided to filet the fish. We bought the whole fish share but they do have a filet option.

                Penny
                http://www.bostonzest.com/

                5 Replies
                1. re: BostonZest

                  The fish at the Chelsea Market Basket is usually pretty stellar. Also, I've had really good luck with the fish from Dave's Fresh Pasta. I'm pretty sure they only have it on Thurs., Fri., and Sat. It's from Globe Fish Company and the prices are quite good, but of course you won't get the selection that you will at New Deal or another large market. You can sign up for their newsletter so you know what they're getting in for the weekend.

                  I'll also add Courthouse, right near New Deal, to the suggestions. We love to pick up some of their spicy chourico and linguica from Acoreana in Fall River while we're there.

                  1. re: bear

                    I get fish from Dave's almost every week. It's very good, but it's pre-packaged and sometimes the pieces are not a consistent thickness. It's available on Thursday and Friday, but not Saturday.

                  2. re: BostonZest

                    I dont think Cape Ann Fresh Catch moved, they are running a season right now, I have a share

                    1. re: jimboston

                      I had the same thought but on rereading I think it was the friends who moved :) Cape Ann Fresh Catch is still going strong and always excellent! Worth checking out.

                      1. re: jimboston

                        Badly worded it was my friends that moved not Cape Ann. Cape Ann is still wonderful.

                    2. I would add Fresh Pond Seafood in Arlington to the list too. They always seem to have a nice selection of fish and shellfish. I've never been disappointed with them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: RoyRon

                        It that the one right on the rotary in fresh pond? Looks sort of sketchy?

                        1. re: jimboston

                          No that location has been gone a long time ago, this is his son who set up a nice store just a few miles away 75 summer street. It also serves seafood made to order as well.

                          http://www.freshpondseafood.com/

                      2. Thanks for the great responses, everyone! This is very helpful!

                        1. I'm a confirmed New Deal, Court House or Cyndi the Fishlady fan but I've tried a new little fish market on Chestnut Hill Avenue a few blocks before Market Street - Brighton Fish Market - and got very good blue fish and very good haddock. It carried a variety of fillets and I didn't see any bone-in whole fish but I didn't ask so they may be able to order that for you. Nice addition to the neighborhood.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: teezeetoo

                            A friend just propose an exploration of that neighborhood because she keeps hearing about new food ventures opening there.

                            The fish market is on our list. Anything else you would recommend including in a food tour? Should I start a separate conversation on this topic?

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                            1. re: BostonZest

                              Penny - I would start a new topic, but there's some great chow to be had in Brighton these days.

                              1. re: kimfair1

                                That's a great idea Penny. There's a lot of action and I'd love to see support for these ventures in Brighton that are worth attention.

                                1. re: teezeetoo

                                  Here's the link to a new Brighton Chow tour conversation.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/912614