Phantom Gourmet: Great 8 Seafood Restaurants

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BOSTON (CBS) – Being in New England, Phantom’s standard for seafood is pretty high. So when a seafood restaurant gets his stamp of approval, you might want to take notice.

These are Phantom’s eight favorite spots for fresh fish.

JOE FISH, North Andover

Kicking off the Great 8 is Joe Fish in North Andover. Hot off the grill, steaming out of the sauté pan, or served straight from the raw bar, seafood simply doesn’t any fresher, or funkier.

There’s the perfectly seasoned Haddock Maria with mushrooms and artichoke hearts, the Bayou Catfish served in a Cajun cream sauce, and overloaded lobster rolls, available in three sizes.

“Our lobster roll is claw and knuckle meat. Little mayonnaise, exactly the way it should be for a New England style lobster roll, exactly what you want. We got three sizes: the lobster roll, the big lobster roll, and the Big Kahuna.”

OYSTERS, Pembroke

Oysters in Pembroke cooks up seafood, steaks, scratch desserts and lots and lots of oysters. Considering the quality of what’s coming out of the kitchen, the value at Oysters will make you happy as a clam.

There’s Cioppino chock full of mussels, lobster, and shrimp in a light tomato broth and mouthwatering Shrimp Ceviche with avocado, cilantro, and citrus. And you definitely need to order the Scallops and Bacon, a dish that’s deconstructed and delicious.

“So our scallops and bacon is kind of a play on bacon wrapped scallops but separated. So we do delicious pan-seared scallops, crispy bacon and a bacon burre Blanc sauce. The most delicious bacon wrapped scallop you’ve ever had!”

UNION FISH, Plymouth and Hingham

Another Great 8 winner is Union Fish in Plymouth and Hingham. This ocean-side space serves seafood plucked from the waters just outside, like creamy chowder chock full of whole-bellied clams and a grilled cheese topped with tons of fresh lobster. But nothing satisfies seafood lovers quite like the Seafood Tower.

“Everybody asks their server, ‘What is that? What is that? Especially the lobster tail because it is right on the top.”

ISLAND CREEK OYSTER BAR, Kenmore Square

Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square is a sexy place to see and be seen.

It’s certainly much more than just a raw bar, with favorites including fried oyster sliders and local clam chowder. Whether you order the indulgent Lobster Roe Noodles or the classic lobster roll, you’ll get a true taste of the sweetness and freshness of New England’s favorite food.

FISH RESTAURANT & WINE BAR, Marlborough

Fish Restaurant and Wine Bar in Marlborough covers all of your favorite seafood dishes, like mussels floating in flavorful broth to luxurious plates of pasta studded with lobster and topped with creamy ricotta.

You know they’re serious about their seafood from the moment you step foot in the restaurant.

“You walk into Fish Restaurant and Wine Bar and you know everything is fresh because the first thing you see is this raw bar. Literally, it’s directly in front of you when you walk in the door. They have all the fresh oysters and clams: they’re from Cape Cod; they’re from Prince Edward Island; they’re from British Columbia, and these are some of the finest you can get anywhere in the world – shucked right before your eyes.”

42 DEGREES NORTH, Manomet

Another great 8 winner is 42 Degrees North in the Manomet section of Plymouth. This spacious, beachy space has all sorts of fresh seafood, but their lobster menu truly shines.

There’s a heaping lobster roll packed meat on a toasted, buttered bun. The lobster mac and cheese is made with penne pasta and blend of five cheeses. But the biggest and most decadent seafood speciality is the Lazy Man’s Baked Stuffed Lobster.

“It’s a two pound baked stuffed lobster… So we take the claw meat out of the claws, steam it, stuff that back into the lobster itself, along with some sautéed chopped scallops, some moist seafood stuffing, and we top that off with some grilled shrimp. Then we bake the whole thing. And the flavors are unmatched.”

SALT KITCHEN & RUM BAR, Ipswich

Salt Kitchen & Rum Bar in Ipswich is Phantom’s go-to spot for creative seafood on the North Shore.

This fun menu offers shareable seafood plates like Grilled Oysters with herbed butter and crispy prosciutto, delicate puff pastry stuffed with lobster, sophisticated salt block scallops, and a cravable dish known as “Crabbies”.

“Essentially it’s English muffins… We use an old English cheddar. You blend that with some fresh crab meat. We broil them off, get them nice and golden brown on top, chop them up, and really they’re addicting. You could sit there and eat plate after plate after plate of them.”

JASPER WHITE’S SUMMER SHACK, Multiple Locations

Rounding out the Great 8 is Jasper White’s Summer Shack. With locations in Cambridge, the Back Bay, Dedham and Mohegan Sun, this bustling eatery is armed with oversized tanks to ensure each luscious lobster is as fresh as can be.

While Phantom loves it all, he finds it hard not to order Jasper’s famous pan roasted lobster, made with bourbon, white wine, chervil, chives and plenty of butter.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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