Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Fish Sunday Night Prix Fixe

Touted as one of the better deals in Philly's BYOB scene, we packed up a bottle of Pinot Gris and headed down to the 'original' Little Fish in Queen Village for their $35 $28 Sunday Night Prix Fixe. We had 8PM reservations and the way they work the Sunday night dinner is to keep all the diners outside until 8 sharp, at which point they open the doors to the tiny establishment and begin the service.

Tacked to the wall is the menu for the evening...a five course set meal featuring what we hoped would be some excellent seafood.

Starter was a salad of bitter endive and green apple...a crispy, crunchy, tart & bitter way to open up the palette for the lighter style of fish to come.

Second course was the raw tuna served on a block of Himalayan pink salt, accompanied by a diced beet salad. We found that rubbing the slivers of fatty tuna against the salt block released a subtle saltiness that suggested the briny waters that these fish were pulled from. Unfortunately, my sense of taste just isn't refined enough sometimes to pick up on the show of flavors that raw fish is meant to provide the I'll take Elizabeth's word for it.

Next up was a portion of sustainable Scottish salmon cooked with a tri-layer effect that left the skin-side a crispy sear, while creating a strata of cooked and rare flesh. Every forkful was like a combination of three fish all at once...cripsy skin, flaky meat and a succulent rare edge...the consistency was incredible and it had me rethinking the way I will be cooking fish next time. The mussel & farro salad on the side was an earthy contrast to the fish.

The final savory course was hands down our favorite...a Vietnamese-Style Escolar. Resting in a light stock tinged with fishstock and showered with crisp, fresh veg & cilantro, the flaky Escolar had picked up the Southeast-Asian flavors, yet retained some crunch on the outside. It looked like it had been pan-fried briefly, creating a slight crust that sealed in the flavor of the fish while soaking up the character of the stock.

Only after the fact did we find out about the unfortunate side-effects that can befall some diners who over-indulge in Escolar...mercifully, Little Fish kept the portion sizes small enough where this wouldn't be an issue, although I was a little concerned for the staff, who were sharing a uber-generous portion of the Escolar amongst themselves as service wound down.

Dessert was a bit of pumpkin mousse & a little slab of chocolate ganache that was drizzled in a berry sauce. While it was a pleasant finish, I would've gladly thrown caution to the wind and wolfed down on another chunk of Escolar.


  1. When did the fixed price go from 28 dollars to 35?

  2. the staff was just fine!
    thanks for your kind words about your dinner with us!
    see you again soon.

  3. Right, $28. Thanks for catching that nicole! For the record, it was tasty enough that I'd pay $35!