Come visit us today!
15 Sarah's Way, Fairhaven, MA 02719 (CVS Plaza Rt.6)
Wednesday thru Saturday
11:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Or call (508) 999-7777 for take out!
Browse our menu to see some of our classic fish dishes and appetizer selections. We also offer daily specials, depending on what is currently in season.
We pride ourselves on serving the freshest seafood possible. From the ocean to our restaurant, we use seafood caught by our own fleet of fishing vessels. Our vessels fish out of our home port of Fairhaven. This allows us provide the freshest, highest quality, and of course, the tastiest dishes around!
Address: 15 Sarah's Way, in CVS Plaza, Fairhaven.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.
Handicapped access: Ground-level entrance; bathrooms handicap-equipped.
Credit cards: Yes.
Phone: (508) 999-7777
Food: 4.5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Atmosphere: 4.5 stars
Cleanliness: 5 stars
Price/Value: 5 stars
The Fish House may be the nicest fish and chips joint you ever visit. Well, to be honest, it's far more than a fish and chips joint. When I think back to the place we grabbed Friday lunch during our elementary-school lunch break, this is a palace by comparison.
The Fish House, successor to Mermaids, opened in early May, and wisely kept the same phone number. I could hear someone patiently explaining to a caller that yes, it's still a seafood restaurant, and yes, it still offers takeout.
The dining room decor is lovely, with a restful blue-green and light gray color scheme with white trim, and blonde wood furnishings. Applied with a restrained hand were some seashell and starfish accents; there is nary a lobster-pot buoy, glass net float or life ring in sight. Playing over the sound system were tunes by Sinatra, Martin and Michael Buble — all of which was right in my wheelhouse. Bud vases held pretty blue hydrangea blossoms. There's also patio seating outdoors, if you want an al fresco experience.
I had learned the restaurant was still waiting for its liquor license, and so came equipped with a chilled bottle of French rose, which Karen offered to open — not necessary, since it was a screw-top bottle — and supplied glasses for.
As we entered the restaurant on Wednesday evening last week, I was greeted by Jacqueline, one of the servers, who was a grammar-school classmate of mine, so my "cover" was possibly blown from the get-go.
We decided to order appetizers to share first, and then decide on entrees, so we asked Karen for an order of clam cakes ($5), which had been highly recommended to Loring by an acquaintance, and roasted shrimp cocktail ($8). While we waited, we snacked on the complimentary and very tasty smoked fish dip and house-made potato chips.
(Interesting trivia tidbit: Legend has it that potato chips were invented at a Saratoga Springs restaurant when a diner complained that his fried potatoes were sliced too thick. "I'll show him," the chef said, and thus, the crisp delight known as "Saratoga chips" was born.)
The half-dozen clam cakes lived up to their billing, with nicely browned, craggy exteriors and light, fluffy interiors studded with plenty of roughly chopped clams. They were served on a bed of greens, but Loring had to ask for Karen for tartar sauce. She also supplied more of the delicious citrus aioli (a spicy mayonnaise) that came with the shrimp cocktail. The six jumbo shrimp arrived chilled, which I didn't expect from the menu description "roasted," but they were well-prepared nonetheless.
Entrees come with vegetable and a choice of potato or rice, but Karen allowed Loring to swap for a salad instead. His Caesar ($7) was plenty for us to share, with crisp romaine, chunky croutons, shards of Parmesan cheese, and, the Holy Grail for Loring: anchovies on request.
After denting my appetite considerably with the apps and salad, I was glad I had ordered the fish sandwich, a ridiculous steal at $6. The twist here was pesto mayonnaise on the lightly battered portion of cod, accompanied by lettuce and tomato on a bulky roll. But with all the fries and the good coleslaw served in a lettuce cup rounding out the plate, I can't imagine getting a better deal or a more pleasing supper.
Loring, meanwhile, was scaling the Mount Everest of the menu, Fish House stew ($20). This dish was laughably enormous, a large bowl heaped with littlenecks, mussels, scallops, shrimp, calamari rings and fish steamed in tomato-spiked seafood broth flavored with garlic, peppers, onions and sliced linguica. It came with two slices of seasoned bread, and Karen supplied a bowl for shells, extra napkins and a wet-nap. (A lobster bib might be helpful, too.)
He was deliriously happy with his choice, and worked through a good portion of it, but still had plenty to take home. Everything was good, he said, though a couple of the large scallops were on the chewy side.
Jacqueline stopped by to see how Loring liked the stew, and commented that several diners sometimes order it to share as an appetizer, which makes great sense.
It's hard to see how they're making much profit on this dish, until you realize that a fishing boat owner has an interest in the restaurant — so not only is the seafood really fresh, there's no middle-man markup. In fact, a couple of dishes are named for his boats, such as Fairwind scallops ($9) wrapped in bacon, with balsamic glaze, and Ann M. scallops ($10), pan-seared with garlic butter.
Seafood — fried, baked and broiled — dominates the menu as you'd expect, but there are a few options for the non-fish lovers, such as pasta primavera ($12; add protein for an extra charge); chicken marsala ($15), grilled sirloin ($17; add baked stuffed shrimp for $5, baked stuffed scallops for $7); or a bleu cheese burger ($8).
Specials are in effect a week at a time (and are posted on Facebook). Last week they included lobster mac & cheese ($17), linguine and clam sauce (white or red, $18), grilled swordfish taco with pasta salad and pineapple salsa ($8), and the Fish House platter for two ($29).
While dessert might seem superfluous, we decided to share one, and chose chocolate chip bread pudding ($5). Served warm with whipped cream, it could have been a little more "custardy," but satisfied our sweet tooth all the same. Other choices included key lime pie and chocolate cake.
Not counting tip, the tab came to $47.08, which is a bargain in my book, especially as Loring had plenty left for another dinner.
Karen was a very personable waitress, taking a few minutes to chat, and quick with the extra napkins and dipping sauces.
We look forward to another dinner at The Fish House.
Dine Out's reviewer visits restaurants unannounced and at his or her discretion. The Standard-Times pays for the meals reviewed. The reviews merely reflect one diner's experience. Ratings range from 1 to 5 stars.
Stop by today to find out for yourself what all the buzz is about!