Saturday, May 7, 2016

Delaware's Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront - Wilmington

While planning our quick trip down to Delaware from New York City, I looked for a spot in Wilmington we could eat lunch. One place jumped out at me: Big Fish Grill right off the Christina River. Wilmington is at the head of Delaware Bay and very close to Chesapeake Bay, so seafood sounded perfect. The Chesapeake Bay fried oyster sandwich looked extremely good after enjoying a fried oyster Poh Boy sandwich in Newport, Oregon in January. Big Fish also had some other menu items that looked worthwhile, including Maryland crab and middle neck clams. A no. 3 rating out of 455 restaurants in Wilmington on Trip Advisor also helped. 
The building was gigantic. We walked inside and it felt like we were at Sea World in an aquarium exhibit, giant fish floating in the air all over the restaurant. The space looks new and immaculate and was very open and comfortable. I took a quick look out a window and noticed the Christina River nearby. 

We started with a roasted garlic and tomato lobster bisque. Very creamy, very rich, outstanding. We were happy we were sharing it because it was so rich. Perhaps the best lobster bisque I've had.
At the same time we had middle-neck clams in a garlic wine broth with a highly buttered garlic toasted bun. We quickly devoured the first bun and asked for another, and were brought two more. The three buns were almost enough to soak up all of the broth. That buttery moist bun, completely soaked in savory clam broth was outstanding. Truth be known, I love the broth that comes with oysters and mussels much better than the shell-fish and this held true. This did not disappoint at all.
We also shared a lump meat Maryland crab cocktail. We got quite a bit of crab, but it was not as moist or as savory as I had hoped for. It had two side cups of melted butter and mayo which I used liberally on the crab, meaning that the crab was not all that great on its own. This was a little bit of a disappointment. 

For a main course, Judy got a sea bass with blue cheese bechamel, some cole slaw and risotto. The sea bass was cooked nicely, still very moist and tender, and the bechamel was bluey, bluey, as strong a blue cheese taste as I've ever had in a dish. It was very nice. 
Finally, my main course was the Chesapeake Bay fried oyster sandwich which brought us here, with flash-fried hand breaded oysters on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle and tartar sauce. It also came with a side potato casserole which was not particularly noteworthy. I was initially disappointed. The fried oysters looked like heavily breaded Kentucky Fried chicken, extra crispy. But as I put the buns together to form a sandwich, after slathering on the tartar sauce, I took a bite and the oysters were cooked quite nicely, still very juicy with a nice bit of crisp. The sandwich was great to the extent that the tartar sauce lasted. I should have asked for more to cover the last few bites, but overall I really enjoyed it. It was not as good as the fried oyster Poh Boy in Oregon, but still very nice. 
Overall we enjoyed everything about Big Fish, the great food and the great atmosphere. I would come back without hesitation.


  1. The decor looks as interesting as the dishes!

  2. Great food. I loved the pairing of blue cheese and sea bass. Yum.