801 Fish in Park Place is the newest addition to the 801 Restaurant Group. Rather than the heavy and more traditional steakhouse feel of 801 Chophouse, 801 Fish is decked out in a light and contemporary nautical theme. Very expensive, but with a dock to door in 24 hours motto so everything is as fresh as can be. Accordingly, the menu changes daily depending on what the chef can get in.
We began the evening by sharing a shrimp cocktail containing four massive shrimp and an excellent spicy cocktail sauce. The shrimp were succulent and tasted as fresh as the water from which they came.
I started with a nice but unexciting squid salad with white beans and arugula and then moved on to grilled octopus. Though the dressing needed more oomph, the octopus was tender and properly prepared so it didn’t suffer from the rubbery texture that deter many people from ordering this mollusk.
The beet salad was beautifully presented and a nice light starter.
My husband enjoyed his seared tuna with soba noodles in dashi broth, a preparation that was more creative than one would typically find in a traditional fish house. He also tried the gnocchi with tomato sauce, choosing this side dish as his appetizer. They were light and airy, suggesting that Chef Alex Shifman’s expertise goes beyond fish prep.
The other couple with whom we dined each ordered the Roasted Branzino, a whole fish that was deboned by the server, and large enough to be shared. The bass was light and flakey and fortunately came with a side since it was one of the most expensive dishes on the menu.
Service was attentive, though they did forget our order of Brussel Sprouts until we brought it to their attention. When we opted not to place another order, we were offered a free dessert instead. Though we declined, it was an appropriate and appreciated gesture.
801 Fish is definitely not conducive for a casual meal. Though one could easily sit at the beautiful bar and quaff a glass of wine and slurp down some oysters, a full meal here requires big bucks, corporate expense account preferred, similar to its sister restaurant 801 Chophouse. But Jimmy Lynch, who also owns Pig and Finch, knows how to operate a restaurant, so I suspect we’ll see a second location of 801 Fish somewhere else in the city before too long.