Fish Tales

Upscale seafood shacks are taking the country by storm
Tasting Table: Fish Tales
The Ordinary | The Optimist | Smack Shack

Whether you're waterfront or landlocked, it has never been easier to eat well as a pescatarian. Here, the country's hottest seafood spots:

Péche Seafood Grill, New Orleans: The culinary brain trust behind Herbsaint and Cochon has turned its eyes to the coast. This just-opened concept from Donald Link and team features an oversize wood-fired hearth, which lends a kiss of smoke to dishes like grilled mussels with fennel aioli, and smoked tuna dip.

The Ordinary, Charleston: Chef Mike Lata showcases the pristine flavors of the local catch in dishes that you'll be thinking about the morning after. The shellfish preparations, like a five-minute lobster crudo, are stunning.

Barnacle, Seattle: Renee Erickson has created a mini empire of coastal-themed eating destinations. Her spot, The Walrus and the Carpenter, is one of our favorite oyster bars in the country, and this summer it'll be joined by a wine-bar annex called Barnacle. Look for additional oyster preparations paired with an expanded wine list.

The Optimist, Atlanta: We're still trying to figure out how Ford Fry encapsulated the beachside vibe so well, despite the fact that The Optimist is 200 miles from the coast. His Southern-style fish camp features classics like peel-and-eat shrimp, with Mississippi-style comeback sauce for dipping. 

Smack Shack, Minneapolis: This food truck turned brick-and-mortar offers casual excellence. The dive-y spot is rightly known for its outstanding lobster rolls: Buttery buns are piled high with claw and tail meat, shimmering with butter.

Connie & Ted's, Los Angeles: It's not open yet, but we expect great things of this new project from Michael Cimarusti. He has made his mark as one of the country's most talented seafood chefs at the upscale Providence; Connie & Ted's will showcase a more casual approach to the ocean.

The Optimist 914 Howell Mill Rd. Atlanta GA 30318 404-477-6260 Peche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St. New Orleans LA 70130 504-522-1744 The Ordinary 544 King St. Charleston SC 29403 843-414-7060 Barnacle 4743 Ballard Seattle WA 98107 206-395-9227 Smack Shack 603 Washington Ave. N. Minneapolis MN 55401 612-259-7288 Connie & Ted's 8171 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood CA 90046 https://www.facebook

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