Mitchell’s Fish Market Review
I usually don’t like to review chains…and that’s because most chains just aren’t very good. I do, however, make exceptions for certain ones. I enjoy Yard House (http://wp.me/p3jVIR-3R), and Mitchell’s Fish Market (http://www.mitchellsfishmarket.com/) is another one I’ve always liked. It’s been at Newport on the Levee forever…since the Levee first opened in 2001. Mitchell’s is a somewhat upscale (casually elegant?) seafood restaurant that sits on the banks of Newport, Kentucky with one of the best views you could have of the Cincinnati skyline. I’ve had some great times eating there, with friends, family, and dates with my wife. As a matter of fact, my wife and I had our first date there, following a great time at the Funny Bone comedy club, so this place has a special place in my heart and always will.
When you first walk in, you can’t help but notice the nice bar on the left of the entrance. Looking in at the dining area, it’s a spacious room with a couple of dividers, but large and opened up for the most part. There is a lot of dark wood for the furniture and lower part of the walls, with lighter colors on the ceiling and upper part of the walls. Large windows which bright it up and afford some diners some wonderful views of Downtown Cincinnati complete the look, and it’s really nice, actually. There is some outdoor dining, both in the front with a view of the Levee plaza so you can people watch, and in the back where you can relax with the city and river view.
Unlike most chains, the food is where it’s at here. On this particular visit, my mother in law, wife, and myself sat on the back patio area with the river view. As always, we started with their sourdough bread, which is lightly buttered and always soft and perfectly warmed. My mother in law had the Cedar Plank Salmon (balsamic glazed and oven roasted, grilled zucchini and peppers, sautéed asparagus, sun-dried tomato pesto and goat cheese) and my wife had the Chesapeake Bay Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (Our signature recipe, smashed redskin potatoes, sweet corn sauté). Both were really good and the crab cakes actually consisted of mostly crab, which is shocking at some places. Even the smashed potatoes were good, and definitely not a forgotten side dish. In general, the fish is really good. I’m particular to the Chilean Sea Bass (certified sustainable, of course!) prepared Shanghai Style (steamed with ginger and scallions, served with sticky rice, sesame spinach, and rice wine soy sauce). As usual, that is what I ordered and was very pleased with it. Actually, throughout my many visits to Mitchell’s, I don’t remember ever having a bad meal. I’ve had the Surf and Turf (surprisingly good steak, by the way), Mahi Mahi, and several other types of fish and have always enjoyed what I ordered. Their wonderful Sharkfin Pie (Butter fudge ice cream, honey roasted peanuts, fudge, peanut butter, Oreo cookie crust) is out of control and simply amazing.
Overall, I’d say this is the place to go if you want seafood in Cincinnati. McCormick and Schmick’s on Fountain Square is pretty good, but I’d go with Mitchell’s without a doubt. Don’t let that it’s a (small) chain turn you off…this is a quality place and I’d highly recommend it.