|photography by Doug Davis|
WHY DALLAS FISH MARKET: Resurrecting the Main Street space of former urban brasserie Jeroboam, owner Mike Hoque is testing the downtown waters with upscale seafood, something that hasn’t happened since the nationally lauded Fish came and went in the 1990s. You see, Hoque has a thing for the sea, already operating Go Fish and Fish Express restaurants in North Dallas. His latest endeavor, however, is far more ambitious. In a city known for big beef, Hoque is hoping business diners will opt for the sublime pleasures of tuna poke and snapper ceviche. So far, Dallas Fish Market seems a hit. On each visit, a packed house of natty, pinstriped patrons feasted on executive chef Randy Morgan’s creations.
WHAT TO EAT: Appetizers like pan-fried red chili oysters and the ubiquitous crab cakes—done lovely with a serrano aioli—are perfect for light noshing (though heartier appetites will need a couple of orders). On the other hand, Morgan doesn’t skimp on his entrees. Grilled swordfish is deftly cooked, both flaky and toothsome, topped with a fragrant broth of brown butter, golden raisins, and smoked almonds. Fish and chips is elevated from common pub food to something special. It’s certainly presented that way: Large filets of Shiner Bock–battered Loup de Mare stack artfully on a sleek, white plate with small, square ramekins of tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and cocktail sauce. Other dishes that dazzle include the skate BLT, a tangy Caesar salad with white anchovies, and the black-and-white sushi roll featuring Kona kampachi, tobiko, yuzu, and marinated celery.
WHERE TO SIT: Dallas Fish Market’s minimalist mod decor couldn’t be any different than the urban French feel of the old Jeroboam. The space is done in whites, blacks, and charcoals with lots of Lucite and leather. Rather than cold, though, the space feels spry and hip. Communal tables in the bar area provide ample space to spread out while more private spots abound in the sushi den and sake room.
DALLAS FISH MARKET
1501 Main St.
THE FOOD: Upscale seafood and sushi
THE COST: $$ (Average lunch entree price: $14)
WHO’S THERE: Downtown bankers
FULL BAR: Yes