Best fresh seafood (prepared)

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TheBookPolice
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Best fresh seafood (prepared)

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:32 pm

Gimme the word. I know there's a lot of ways of manipulating the word "fresh." I know people get all up in arms about gas-treating certain fishes to make them look better.

But I'm not talking about stuff that I'd buy to prepare at home. I wanna know the foron opinion (if not consensus--heh) on the restaurants that serve the best/freshest seafood.

If you can discriminate between finned and shelled varieties of seafood, that would be great.

I am eyeballing Captain Bill's, Ocean Grill, Blue Marlin and Mad City Crab House. Do not come to me with Joey's or Red Lobster, or I will punch you. They may have their place in the market; they have no place in this discussion.

Opinions on Asian or Latin joints are fine, but be aware that they're not really what I'm looking for right now.

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:36 pm

Sushi Muramoto.

"... not really what I'm looking for right now."

fisticuffs
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Postby fisticuffs » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:38 pm

Really? Is Joey's that lame? I havent been but was thinking about it.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:51 pm

HV, always with the sass.

My impression (not bolstered by firsthand experience, just observation) is that Joey's is to an honest-to-God seafood spot as Claddagh is to an honest-to-God Irish pub. It's pretty much Red Lobster with a different brand of kitsch.

TAsunder
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Re: Best fresh seafood (prepared)

Postby TAsunder » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:02 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:I am eyeballing Captain Bill's, Ocean Grill, Blue Marlin and Mad City Crab House.


I have not been to Blue Marlin in years, but it used to be my favorite place for fish. I would recommend against Captain Bill's and Ocean Grill. Bill's is a little too supper-clubby with their seafood, and Ocean Grill is just the Johnny Delmonico of seafood (i.e. overpriced and mediocre).

I've been quite pleased with the fish at L'Etoile lately. Right now they have Dover Sole from a sustainable fishery off the west coast - only 200 lbs per year yielded. Good time to stop by, probably.

I don't know about other local places, but L'Etoile and Blue Marlin both fly in their fish daily, according to wait staff.

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Postby boston_jeff » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:16 pm

I think Muramoto is some of the freshest. Although Ocean Grill is the "Johnny Delmonico" of seafood, the oysters, scallops, and ahi I had there were very fresh and very good. If you can get over the concept, you may like their food. I've heard good things about Blue Marlin, not so good about the Crabhouse.

The meal I had at L'Etoile was excellent, although I didn't eat any fish. But I would bet that the Dover Sole is the shit based on my experience there.

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Postby TAsunder » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:23 pm

The comment about oysters reminds me... I've had good seafood dishes at magnus and eno vino as well (both of which serve decent oysters - if that's your bag). And the calamari salad during restaurant week at Harvest was really, really good.

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Postby Shipley » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:23 pm

I'm from Maryland. Anything labeled as "fresh seafood" here is a joke.

Its been 5 years since I've had a good crabcake, save for when I go home during the summers.

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Postby boston_jeff » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:39 pm

Crabcakes are fine and all, but they are not exactly the measuring stick for fresh seafood. I've had some good crabcakes here (El Pescador, Brasserie V), but its going to be tough to duplicate what you get in MD.

I too have had very good seafood at Magnus. The oysters at Johnny Delmonico's, Tornado and the Chophouse are very fresh as well. Typically, good steakhouses do them pretty well. The key to seafood is definitely the freshness. The bottom line is, the better chefs will go the extra mile to fly in the freshest best fish. Typically that means that you get what you pay for. If what you are into is fried seafood platters, it may not matter as much. But IMO, fresh seafood makes a huge difference even when frying. Prebreaded frozen fish is the worst...

I also dig the WI fish fry, fresh walleye and perch is pretty damn good here, but I guess thats another whole category.

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Postby auntgoodness » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:40 pm

I had a piece of pecan-encrusted swordfish at the Blue Marlin around Christmastime that was (not exaggerating) fucking amazing.

I've had really good melt in your mouth halibut there, too.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:46 pm

Shipley wrote:I'm from Maryland. Anything labeled as "fresh seafood" here is a joke.

Have you been to The Blue Marlin?

'Cuz I've eaten seafood on both coasts, on a cruise ship and in a few European locations and The Marlin is easily one of the best seafood restaurants I've ever eaten at. My parents, who have eaten seafood at even more locations around the globe, agree.

Occasionally, I've had less-than-amazing fish there, but I've never had a better King crab leg anywhere and their scallops are generally scrumptious.

Obviously, a crab leg in the middle of Wisconsin isn't as "fresh" as one near the ocean, but I'll take taste over proximity any day.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Veeder » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:46 pm

The mussels at both Brassiere V and Sardine work for me.

I've had decent oysters at Magnus. As for fish, I usually have good luck at Lombardinos but the selection is limited.

I've only had it once but the tuna steak at the Chophouse in the Monona Terrace Hilton was good size and fresh.

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Postby boston_jeff » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:50 pm

Mussels at brass V are def. great I agree, and they serve the frites just like in Belgium. Oysters at Sardine not so good, but other menu items were. I may have to go back and try them again...

What seafood dishes do you rec. at Lombardino's? Had the pasta bolognese there on Friday, very very authentic and delicious...def. one of my favorite places so far in Madison.

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Postby TAsunder » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:54 pm

Surprised how many posts went by before the obligatory "you can't get good seafood like you can on random east/west coast location".

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Postby Veeder » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:01 pm

boston_jeff wrote:What seafood dishes do you rec. at Lombardino's?


The Halibut is awesome. The grilled octopus appetizer that they currently have on the menu is one of the best things I've ever had in Madison (in my long 1 1/2 year tenure...).

As for non-seafood items, the 'Pizza Lombardino' WITH EGG is sublime (you have to specifically ask for the egg).


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