Saturday, February 16, 2013

Penn Avenue Fish Company Lenten Friday Night Dinners

Fresh fish does NOT come from the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh.

Popular fishing spot on the Monongahela River across from The Waterfront in Homestead
I'm not hating on "The Mon".  I have a fabulous view of it from my own house, not to mention that it was named Pennsylvania's "2013 River of the Year" by popular vote.  However, we all know that the steel industry did a number on the river, and the fish in it aren't necessarily the ones you want to eat.

View of "The Mon" from my house (its right there, behind Kennywood)
But, somehow, fresh fish is available in Pittsburgh - thanks to the Penn Avenue Fish Company.

I ranted and raved about Penn Avenue Fish Company in a previous post, and since that visit, James has become quite the regular there, often stopping for "breakfast" before a marathon taco-slinging session at PGH Taco Truck.

It does stink for me, though, that this location (Strip District) is only open during lunch hours during the week, since I have a typical Monday-Friday job...BUT LUCKILY during lent they do special fish dinners!  WOO HOO!

James booked us a reservation the very first week.  Smart man.

And those Penn Avenue Fish Company ladies that you normally see during regular hours sure do dress up for the occasion - in sailor outfits.  Cute, yes, but...not entirely necessary.  Not their fault, though, I'm sure.

The menu was simple - "Hook" (appetizers) for $12, and "Line" & "Sinker" (entrees and sides) for $30.  The hard part was deciding what to pick, because ALL of it sounded so, so good.

James and I went back and forth quite a few times on our choices, but we each settled upon different "Hooks" - for me, the Smoked Salmon Plate, with mimolette cheese, wasabi creme fraiche, Ikura, and fresh bisquit:

Smoked Salmon Plate
For James, the Duo of Dips: blue crab smoothie, chunky guacamole, gulf shrimp, sour cocktail, and grilled flatbread:

Duo of Dips
Both were great choices, but that Smoked Salmon Plate was nothing short of infinitely amazing! I loved it.  I love love LOVED it.  Everything on the plate went so well together, and the salmon itself MELTED in my mouth - in fact, the only time I ever had anything close was at Russ & Daughters in New York City.  My favorite part of the Duo of Dips was definitely the blue crab smoothie, along with the flatbread - this was SUCH a great way to start off our meal!

Our entrees came,  Wow wow wow.  I chose well, and Susan, our waitress (who was so helpful, by the way!), agreed that the Cobia was a fiiiiiiiine choice:

Cobia, Lobster Rigatoni, Spinach salad
It was ancho-dusted, with grilled plantains, along with my "sinker" of lobster rigatoni and spinach salad, I was in seafood heaven.  I've been to restaurants right on the ocean in many states (and even in Mexico), and this was one of the finest fish dinners I have ever had.  In Pittsburgh.  Near a river.

James's entree was also superb - Chilean Seabass:

Chilean Seabass, Sticky Rice, Green Olive & Fennel Salad
His "sinker" was the sticky rice & green olive & fennel salad, a fine compliment to such a fish.  The fish was glazed in a chili-citrus hony mix, which made its flavor stand out.  I liked mine better, but I would order this dish otherwise.

Then - dessert.  We couldn't resist.  James called dibs on what sounded like the most incredible Ice Cream Sandwich EVER:

It may not look like it, but THAT is an Ice Cream Sandwich!!!
AND IT WAS.  HUGE oatmeal cookies, with vanilla ice cream, rolled in chopped pistachios, drizzled with chocolate and was outstanding.

I chose a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownie with raspberry sauce:

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownie
Warm brownie AND peanut butter?  Yes.  Raspberry sauce?  I could've done without that.  The brownie itself was rich and gooey, and for me, that's enough.

So, if you want to make your reservation (and I know you do), call (412) 434-7200 (from 9am-4pm Monday through Saturday) are at 6:00/6:30/8:00/8:30, and they run every Friday through Good Friday (March 22nd) - so there's only 6 more weeks to go.  Don't procrastinate.

You'll regret it if you do.  That's a promise.

Penn Avenue Fish Company 
2208 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)


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