Coastal Fish Company

 For Dad

Last month, my sister and I treated our Dad to dinner at one of the most popular restaurants in Memphis. Coastal Fish Company is known for great dining experiences in an atmosphere that oozes elegance and picturesque views of Hyde Lake. Judging from all the photos that I've seen from my friends of the lake, I knew it was a place that I really wanted to see. Apparently, it was also a place that my Dad wanted to visit as well, so me and my siblings granted him his wish.

Upon arriving there on a Wednesday night, I was surprised at the number of people dining there (it might have been a result of it being the first day of Lent). Fortunately, my sister Kathy made reservations ahead of time so we were seated immediately after arriving. It didn't take long for our server to arrive with menus that we were anxious to get. Speaking for myself, I knew I was going to get something with a fish in it (after all, I was at a "fish company") even as my companions got pasta dishes. Unlike my Dad's favorite restaurant (Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen), I knew my father wasn't getting one of his favorite dishes (fried catfish) but he seemed vey content with what he was about to get.

Block Island Swordfish from Coastal Fish Company

Before I get to what my Dad had, I want to start off with what I got, the Block Island Swordfish. I chose this because I reminisced about my times in Florida where I had great times dining on exotic seafood. By comparison, the swordfish (a fish that tastes similar to salmon) was decent, with the Caper Lemon Piccata accenting the flavor. Along with cherry tomatoes, arugula and Yukon Gold Potatoes, the Block Island Swordfish was a good meal that I give three out of five stars.

Fruits of the Sea, a pasta dish from Coastal Fish Company

As for my Dad, he got the Fruits of the Sea, a pasta dish loaded with seafood. An impressive-looking plate, the pasta has four mussels on top and loaded with shrimp and calamari in a marinara cream sauce. My Dad seemed very happy with his pasta, and he is not easily impressed. Given the amount of pasta on his plate (which more resembled a bowl), he generously gave both me and my sister small samples to try. In my opinion, I felt that the "cream" in the marinara sauce muted the tomato flavor in it and undercut the zestiness of the seafood. Compared to other seafood pasta dishes that I've had, I would give Daddy's pasta dinner a "C+" for being a good and decent entrée that can pass muster with people who don't have a lot of experience with Italian cuisine. In the end, what matters is that my Dad thought it was a great meal.

Just like my Dad, my sister Kathy got a pasta dish as well. Instead of a noodle-based pasta, she opted for the Maine Lobster Ravioli. Unlike with my Dad's plate, I didn't get a full picture of what my sister got. However, she gave me a couple of bites to indulge in for the purpose of this review. So while I can't give a full assessment of what my sister had, I will say that the ravioli itself was quite tasty. Although the ravioli wasn't super meaty, the lobster inside was quite good and made even better with the cream sauce that had more savory flavor than Daddy's entrée. Overall, the ravioli was good and something that my sister enjoyed.

Blackened Shrimp and Brie Dip from Coastal Fish Company

Before we got our main courses, we decided to get an appetizer for all of us to share. After some deliberation, we decided to get the Blackened Shrimp and Brie Dip. Compared to our entrées, our appetizer was the most satisfying thing that we ate. I loved the crispy pita bread that was crunchy yet soft on the inside. The dip was a great combination of a zesty cheese dip with flavorful shrimp and other spices, which put my taste buds in a frenzy. In all, the appetizer was excellent and gets a collective thumbs up from my family.

Tropical Cheesecake from Coastal Fish Company

For dessert, I got the Tropical Cheesecake. This unique dessert is topped with strawberry and other fruits and the cheesecake itself had a distinct key lime flavor. With a glass of Pinot Grigio, the dessert rounded out a nice dinner.

Housemade Sorbet Selection from Coastal Fish Company

As for the birthday boy, it seems he got the Housemade Sorbet Selection with a little something extra. Topped with fruit, Dad's sherbet..., er, sorbet, looked very appetizing and delicious. Although I didn't taste it, my Dad ate it up and seemed very happy with it, much to the delight of my sister and I. For my Dad, the dessert was a nice finish to a memorable evening for my family.

In the end, my family had a lovely time at Coastal Fish Company. Although we didn't view a picturesque sunset, the atmosphere of the restaurant was cozy and inviting. Our server was excellent, for she was very attentive to our needs and extremely helpful in explaining the menu. Overall, the restaurant's personnel was very hospitable to me and my family, making my Dad's birthday memorable. If I ever have a "special occasion" to celebrate something, Coastal Fish Company is on my short list of restaurants to go to.

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