Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DRW Preview #6: Detroit Fish Market

Photo from the website

How sad...this is my final official Detroit Restaurant Week preview! We've had a good time though, haven't we? All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

For my final DRW outing, I visited the new Detroit Fish Market at Paradise Valley. This is part of the Southern Hospitality Restaurant Group, a Frank Taylor concept that is already widely popular since opening in January. The place was packed during my visit, but I still had the chance to try some of the their best DRW offerings. (Sadly, they were so swamped the chef didn't have time to come chat with me, or bring me round after round of various plates of food and sit and chew the fat with me for a couple of hours...which is too bad, because a girl could get used to that! Oh, Restaurant Week, how you've spoiled me...)

I started with their New England Style Clam Chowder, a cream-based chowder with just the right dash of pepper, delicately shaved bits of clam and potato, and enough butter to make Miss Julia Child proud. This isn't really "traditional" clam chowder in the sense of what you might be accustomed to...or, it is, except add a stick of butter per bowl. But the best foodies know that butter makes things better, and you really can never have too much! Definitely the RICHEST chowder I've ever had, and probably my favorite of the evening.

I also tasted the Louisiana Style Seafood Gumbo, a departure from a typical gumbo and probably more easily likened to a chili (not for its consistency but rather for its flavor). Crawfish étouffée it isn't, but the spices are mild so sensitive tastebuds will be pleased.

For the entree, I tried the Crispy Fried Catfish-Belzoni Mississippi Style (Belzoni Mississippi is apparently the catfish capital of the world, or so they call themselves). Buttermilk battered and topped with crabmeat and lemon beurre blanc, the catfish was best with some fresh lemon squeezed on top and a splash of hot sauce. It also occurred to me that this might be the first time I've actually ordered catfish (I think one too many trips to Cedar Point where I would watch people hock loogies into the water and the massive catfish would hungrily gulp them down spoiled me on this particular aquatic-dweller), but I actually liked it!

I was actually interested in the Grilled Citrus Marinated Chicken with Cherry BBQ Sauce, though I thought ordering chicken at a fish house would probably be a poor representation of the restaurant. C'est la vie. It's probably a great dish for anyone fish-phobic who ends up getting dragged here by some crustacean-loving friends.

For dessert, I tried the Warm Bread Pudding with caramel sauce. Bread pudding has always struck me as an odd dish, mostly for the etymology: okay, so it's made with stale bread, but where does the pudding part come in? It neither has the consistency of pudding nor is any pudding used in its preparation...things that make you go hmmmmmmm... This particular bread pudding was moist and light, with raisin and apple lest my tastebuds do deceive me.

Overall, I had a thoroughly Southern-style meal (save for the chowder, which is a decidedly UN-Southern dish), though the options here abound with a multitude of favorite fish dishes. The menus are printed daily highlighting the day's "Fresh Catches," and they also offer some signature dishes, such as "Frank's Lobster Mac & Cheese" and "Detroit's Original Twin Fried Lobster Tails," as well as some oddities, such as the Pan-Roasted Monkfish (monkfish isn't really something you see on every fish market menu). For lunch, stop in for a New Orleans Style Oyster Po' Boy or a Grilled Shrimp and Cheese (yeah, I'm curious too).

The Detroit Restaurant Week menu will be served through Sunday, September 27--only 4 more days to experience the best in Detroit dining with 3-course menus at only $27.00!
I'm going to miss doing these previews. *Sniffle* Why can't Restaurant Week be every week?

Detroit Restaurant Week Menu
New England Style Clam Chowder
Louisiana Style Seafood Gumbo
House Salad
(Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Croutons & Choice of Dressing)
Caesar Salad(Crispy Romaine, Garlic Croutons, Creamy Caesar Dressing & Shaved Parmesan Cheese)

Broiled Lake Superior Whitefish
(Butter, Lemon, White Wine & Capers Sauce)
Crispy Fried Catfish – Belzoni Mississippi Style
(Buttermilk Battered topped with Crabmeat & Lemon Beurre Blanc)
Pan Fried Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
(Served with Jasmine Rice & Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables)
Grilled Citrus Marinated Chicken with Cherry BBQ Sauce
(With Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables)
Seafood Fettuccine
(Today’s Fresh Seafood tossed with Creamy Alfredo Sauce)

Banana Bread Pudding
Warm Apple Strudel Topped with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce