Saturday night in Philly we went out for a special dinner. We had planned on Mercato, a small BYOB, and had called to try to make reservations or see if they do any kind of “call-ahead” seating. They said no. We showed up the sign out front listed specials, and a phone number with the following: “Call this number to make dinner reservations!” – Wait what? We went inside and the hostess says, “are you already on our list?” (NO, of course not, you said you don’t take names or reservations) “No.” Then she proceeds to tell us that they are not taking any more names for the evening.
Frustrated, freezing and famished we pulled out the smartphone and attempted to figure out Plan B. We decided to go to fish. where we wanted to go in the first place, but didn’t since it wasn’t a BYOB. At this point it was getting late, we were hungry and it was freezing outside so we talked a few blocks and waited for a little while at fish. before grabbing a couple seats at the end of the bar where we wound up staying for the next 4 hours.
Everything happens for a reason. I am so glad that we planned on Mercato, that it didn’t work out, that it was freezing and thus motivating us to act fast, that Phil had thought about fish. It was the best meal I have ever had in my entire life thus far. No exaggeration.
Phil ordered a dark beer he has had before, but Theo, our bartender/one of fish’s managers, suggested what he called a “gem” he had found earlier that day. It was a similar beer, but better. It’s called Maduro and Phil absolutely loved it!
I went with Allagash, which was great! Similar to a belgian white beer (surprise, surprise! I know:) ).
First course: Oysters
A la carte! So we eat just got one. I asked what the difference was between East and West Coast oysters, and our Bartender/Manager, Theo, told us that there are 2 types of oysters: the more brine-y ones (taste of the Ocean) and the creamier ones. We went for the creamier and decided on the Hama Hama West coast oysters. They were delicious! I don’t like raw clams on the half shell, but oysters… mmm 🙂
Second Course: Scallops
We had a tough time deciding between appetizers, but since we were getting oysters, we skipped the mussels and went with the scallops, one of my favorite seafood items. Absolutely to die for. The plate came with two GIANT scallops, perfectly cooked: soft on the inside, not chewy even a little bit, and seared on the outside with just a little bit of crisp. The garnish was shitake mushrooms which were also to die for! I ate slowly and savored every single bite.
Main Course: Salmon and Sea Bass
Phil got the Sea Bass and loved it. I tried it and it was very, very good!
I went with the Salmon, my favorite fish, and it was so simply, elegantly prepared and delectable. The skin was crispy and salty, and the meat was moist, flaky and perfectly seasoned. It came with sesame gnocchi, a farmer’s egg, mushrooms and asparagus ribbons. Every single bite was absolutely amazing. The only thing I did not finish was the farmer’s egg since yolks tend to upset my stomach. Everything had just the right seasoning, oil, moisture, flavor, texture, and worked so well with all of the other flavors on the plate. It honestly can not be fully explained in words.
Late Night Happy Hour: Lobster Donuts
All of a sudden around 11:30 pm three small groups of people came in for the Late Night Happy Hour (11pm-1am). fish. has a special menu that varies from night to night. Saturday we had Sol and Yardley Brawler to drink, 2 more oysters each (only $1/ea !) and we just HAD to try to the Lobster Donuts.
I am not a fan of donuts at all, but this was too unique to pass up. They were absolutely delicious and almost nothing like donuts. Think crab cakes, but small balls, and the outer breading is a thin, sweet, crispy outer layer. The inner lobster filling was super flavorful and the outer layer added an additional texture and sweet flavor. SO glad we ate something new! 🙂
There are no words that could adequately describe these flavors and taste combinations. They were unlike anything I have ever experienced. I was impressed with every single course and fish. gets my highest recommendation. I hope hope hope we make it back there one day!