Go Fish gets even better with its new iteration
When I heard word recently that a brand-spanking, new and improved Go Fish had reopened following renovations, my reaction was similar to that of a friend after seeing a TV spot on the Dominoes Pizza rebranding of a few years back:
"Doms got better? I thought Doms was always good."
Well, Go Fish Restaurant at Olde Mistick Village was always good. But I do think I like this newest iteration even more.
Walking into the newly reconfigured spot, you'll notice that things look different but not exactly foreign. The look still has its nautical touches — the glass fish sculptures are still at the entrance; sea themed artwork still hangs on the walls — but it's also a little more contemporary and grown up.
The color scheme feels a little darker, the music selection a little moodier, the layout less open, and seating more sectioned off. (There's also a nice covered patio for outdoor seating.)
The menu, meanwhile, is as good — if not better — than I remembered.
Entrees on the regular menu range from a standard beer battered fish and chips ($19) to cedar plank roasted sea scallops with mango-pepper relish, saffron rice, and vegetables ($32) to shellfish paella, a crustaceous-mollusk smorgasbord with sweet peas, chourico sausage, and saffron rice ($34).
There are also options for non-seafood eaters, both of the carnivorous variety (an herb roasted half chicken with hand-cut pomme frites, truffle-peppercorn aioli, and vegetables for $24; and a grilled bistro steak filet with red onion-bacon jam, roasted potatoes, and spinach for $27) and the vegetarian (crispy tofu bites small plate at $13, a miso ramen bowl for $15.50, and the black bean and quinoa burger for $13).
In addition to the fish and chips, there are a few other familiar seafood standards at Go Fish: lobster roll ($19.50), fried calamari ($14), mussel prepared uniquely with local ale and orange blossom honey ($16), and crab cakes ($15.50).
I tried the calamari and crab cakes and found both appetizers impressive. The calamari comes side by side with fried spicy peppers, accented with roasted garlic aioli, and served with a tasty marinara dipping sauce. The crab in the cake is moist, abundant, and cooked with a delightfully crispy exterior; it comes served with creole remoulade and a refreshing black bean salsa.
Be sure to check out the specials section, as there is quite a bit going on there. On my trip, there was a nice selection of local and not-so-local oysters priced at $2.50 each (Point Judith, Noank, and Prince Edward Island). There was also spicy tuna tacos ($15), grilled native swordfish over linguine ($24), grilled deckle of ribeye ($32), and a vegetarian-friendly Fuji apple and spinach salad ($12).
There's also a good sized list — nine items long — of sushi specials.
I tried the tempura scallop roll ($12.50), which was a textural awakening with soft and almost buttery scallop at the center. It's made of seaweed, rice, and the scallop meat rolled and tempura fried, then sliced and served with green onion and a sweet and spicy sauce.
I also went with the swordfish and linguine. The juicy hunk of swordfish was the standout here. While the roasted tomatoes and kalamata olives had their appeal, the tomato-basil butter it came served with tasted a little bland and not nearly as dynamic as the other options I sampled.
On the regular menu, I tried the lobster ravioli out for size ($30) and was very pleased. In this dish, distinctly ricotta-centric ravioli are paired nicely with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and chunks of lobster meat, served with a not-so-creamy sherry cream sauce.
The prices at Go Fish are by no means a steal, but the obvious quality of the ingredients and the exceptional preparation seem to justify the sometimes steep cost.
Service on my visit was prompt, accommodating, and very friendly.
Parking at Olde Mistick Village was ample when I stopped by on an early weekday evening, but based on some recent trips that way, it's worth mentioning you might run into a packed parking lot on weekends and need to circle around a couple of times.
As someone who patronized Go Fish in the old, pre-renovation days, I'd say this new look is a welcome upgrade, but there are definitely some things that haven't changed: namely stellar and cleverly conceived dishes, and first-rate execution.
If you go
Go Fish Restaurant
27 Coogan Blvd., Buiding 22, Mystic
(860) 536-2662, gofishct.com
Food type: Seafood
Service: Friendly, quick and accommodating
Hours: Lunch and dinner: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily (until 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays); sushi 4:30-9 p.m. daily (until 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays)
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
Handicapped access: Yes. Entrance at parking lot level; dining areas open and navigable by wheelchair.
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