This summer, Michelle Gelman shut down her namesake restaurant in the Highland/Sunnyside neighborhood and relaunched it a month later as Boston Fish Shack. As the name suggests, the new concept is built around classic New England seafood dishes like crab cakes, cioppino, and—on Fridays and Saturdays—a traditional clambake served with Maine lobster, mussels, shrimp, potatoes, andouille sausage, and corn on the cob.
I stopped in with a friend last week to check out the new approach.
The fried calamari appetizer was impressively fresh and goes well with the accompanying spicy chipotle mayonnaise. And while Gelman adds bright and surprising onion and fennel slices to the mix, there were simply too many of them, and the overall dish sufferred as a result.
The pan-seared scrod, served with a lemony basmati rice, French beans, and avocado salsa was nicely prepared and offered an enticing blend of flavors, colors, and textures. But the second entrée, the swordfish, was overcooked and overwhelmed by the accompanying side dish of roasted root vegetables, butternut squash purée, spinach, and white truffle oil.
Boston Fish Shack did regain points with dessert. The maple-pecan ice cream sundae topped with candied bacon offered a satisfying finale that blended creamy and crunchy with sweet and smoky. And the cornmeal pound cake—served with tangy ricotta ice cream and strawberries braised in red wine—had us wishing we’d saved more room.
The overall impression: Boston Fish Shack has great potential as a casual, neighborhood fish house, but there are still kinks to work out.
2911 W. 38th Ave., 303-458-0300