When dinner calls for something light and fresh, seafood is on the menu. Philadelphia chefs are ruthless about their daily catch, making sure the morning’s best hauls are what are on your plate come supper. From infallible classics to innovative dishes, these top seafood spots serve up the sea’s bounty right.
They certainly got to the point when they chose their name, and the food at this James Beard-honored spot does not disappoint. Tucked into an adorable brownstone, the restaurant’s menu changes daily depending on what came off the boat or from the farmer’s market. Sample options include mussels in a coconut and lemongrass curry, skate wing with truffled spaetzle and peppercorn-spiked tuna with lobster fried rice.
Fish is located at 1708 Lombard St., 215.545.9600, www.fishphilly.com
Devon Seafood Grill
With its prime park-side location, including outdoor tables and a bar with windows that open out on the grass beyond, Devon has enough going for it to attract patrons. But the menu is what seals the deal, offering everything from simply grilled fillets of the daily catch to macadamia-crusted opah with an orange buerre blanc. The lobster bisque is one of the city’s favorites, and the warm biscuits served with each meal find themselves tucked into the most expensive of purses.
Devon Seafood Grill is located at 225 South 18th St., 215.546.5940, www.devonseafood.com
DiNardo’s Famous Crabs
If you don’t mind making your meal a little messy, a massive pot of DiNardo’s crabs, loaded with Old Bay-style seasonings, is the way to go. A side of fries and a cold beer and it could be one of life’s most perfect meals. Of course, there’s plenty of other fish favorites to choose from, like their fried crab cakes or spicy BBQ shrimp. Just be sure to ask for extra napkins.
DiNardo’s Famous Crabs is located at 312 Race St., 215.925.5115, www.dinardos.com
At first glance Estia is a Greek restaurant — and a fabulous one at that. But the fish here is as fresh as it gets. So much so, that you don’t just choose the type you’d like, you choose the actual specimen. A market-type display by the kitchen allows diners to peruse the day’s catch and pick theirs, which is then charcoal grilled and topped with lemon, oil, oregano and capers. Other best bets include the grilled octopus salad and swordfish souvlaki.
Estia is located at 1405-07 Locust St., 215.735.7700, www.estiarestaurant.com
When you think fish, you probably think simple, and that’s the name of the game at Seafood Unlimited. Despite it’s great Rittenhouse location, this spot is casual and unpretentious, serving up a full menu of everything fish. Choose a fish, a preparation (everything from fried to broiled in herb butter) and two sides for a homey meal, or go for a specialty like the stuffed lobster or scallops and mushrooms over rice. The front of the restaurant serves as a fish market, too, so if you don’t have time to sit down, grab a whole beauty and make some magic at home.
Seafood Unlimited is located at 270 South 20th St., 215.SEA.FOOD, www.seafoodunlimited.com