Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
Quick question: Are you able to name a restaurant in Pittsburgh that specializes in seafood, besides Monterey Bay Fish Grotto? DO NOT answer Red Lobster or Long John’s Silver, because we will smack you! Well, we have one new contender when it comes to best seafood in Pittsburgh, Penn Ave Fish Company. Started in the Strip District by Angela Earley and Henry Dewey. They noticed that incredibly fresh seafood was not easy to come by in the Burgh. It started out with a small location on Penn Ave in the Strip District selling fish and shellfish wholesale, while also doing sandwiches, tacos, maki and specialty rolls. Last year they decided to open a small BYOB restaurant on Forbes Ave downtown and it was a major hit. D and I have never been to the location in the Strip (we will be going there in the very near future, trust us) so this post will be focused on the Forbes location, which we have been to twice.
A lot people may not realize how big of a difference there is between high quality seafood and just your normal run of the mill chain restaurant product. We feel that more people would enjoy fish and shellfish if they were first exposed to the “good stuff”. Well, if you eat here, you will notice the difference right away, the smell is different, the color is different, the texture is different, and of course the taste is different. Ok let’s get to the restaurant.
This restaurant is tiny, but in a good way, it holds about 35-40 people. Located a block away from the Capital Grille, this is another restaurant you may drive right by if you weren’t looking for it. Inside it is a colorful space, with a nautical theme, and a chalkboard menu featuring a specialty rolls, sandwiches, tacos and other items. Lunch is served Mon-Fri and Dinner is served Wed-Sat. One of the things I love about this place is that it is ALL seafood, no random chicken or steak dishes just to please everyone, which a lot of other places do. This place is appropriate for numerous occasions; Business lunch, quick bite to go, dinner with friends, romantic date night, or just a random night out on town. They also cater, and deliver lunch to downtown Pittsburgh.
This was our Valentine’s Day dinner (actually the day after Valentine’s day, but whatever). We grabbed a bottle of our favorite wine, the Eroica Riesling by Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington and headed down to eat. I highly recommend reservations even though they accept walk-ins this place fills up fast! The menu is good size when you factor in the Maki, specialty rolls, sashimi and nigiri (google them if you aren’t sure what those words mean), its what most of us would call Sushi. The entrees and apps change often, usually 4-5 apps and salads and around 6 entrees. We decided just to order a few apps and some specialty rolls. We started with a spicy citrus marinated octopus; it was light with just a small amount of heat. That was followed by a spicy crab salad served over cucumber and topped with slices of avocado, this was an awesome dish, creamy and peppery, with a crunch coming from the cucumber.
We then ordered the Green Dragon roll, the Flower roll, and the Yummy roll. All were delicious with different types of fish (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, eel), shellfish (crab, shrimp), veggies (cucumber, avocado, peppers, scallions) and different types of Tobiko and sauces as garnishes. All were not only delicious to eat, but also beautiful to look at, fresh seafood has amazing colors!
For dessert (it’s Valentine’s day, you don’t skip dessert!) we shared a vanilla bean cheesecake with caramel and chocolate sauce and a super rich chocolate terrine with fresh whipped cream. Both were delicious and a perfect way to end the meal.
If you are ready to see what awesome, fresh and high quality seafood tastes like we highly recommend getting to Penn Ave Fish Comp, ASAP.
Thanks for reading!
Penn Ave. Fish Company – BYOB
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:00am-4:00pm
Dinner: Wednesday-Saturday 6:00pm-10:00pm