Phil’s Cioppino? Yes, Please!
Do you like to eat lil fish?
I like anything deep fried with tartar sauce!
Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery tl;dr
Ever see pictures of a beautiful bowl of cioppino posted by friends packed with seafood? Or heard about a local winner of the throwdown with Bobby Flay based on their family cioppino recipe? If so, it’s because it’s from the famous Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing.
Driving out to the location can seem a bit out there but trust me, it’s worth it. Parking can be a little tricky as the parking lot itself is extremely small but there is street parking. If you go the latter route, you may just need to walk a bit to the restaurant itself. Once you find a spot, join the many people already in line and wait patiently as it slowly moves towards the front where orders are placed at a cashier, handed a number and then find a table.
Surprisingly for as busy as they are, the food actually comes out fairly quickly and the portions are huge! Even though the wait is not that long, if you would like a drink, there is a bar where one can purchase a variety of drinks from wine, cocktails and beer. While in line to place my order, I saw a guy walking by with a beautiful bloody mary topped with shrimp and knew I just had to have that. The blood mary was around $11 but with two shrimp and generous with the vodka, it was a nice addition to the meal.
For our early dinner (we arrived around 5pm), we got:
- Pint of White Manhattan Clam Chowder: creamy and filled with lots of potatoes and clams. Not the best clam chowder I have ever had but it was pretty tasty.
- Bowl of Cioppino: the house special packed with fish, crab, mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp. For us, it needed a little kick so we added some tapatio but this was definitely a shining star and well worth the $20. It also came with a side salad (soggy and passable) and garlic bread
- Fried Smelt: the appetizer special perfectly fried and came with some tartar and cocktail sauces. This was seriously delicious and we’d get it again in the heartbeat.
- Lobster Roll: Lobster pieces in a buttery garlic bread served with french fries and a coleslaw. While I’m always a fan of lobster which was still fresh and delicious, this dish was OK and definitely nothing special or out of the ordinary.
- Half Dozen Blue Point Oysters: Sweet, fresh and delicious. You can’t really beat juicy and fresh oysters topped with some lemon juice, tabasco and some of the horseradish/cocktail sauce that came with it, yum!
Everything was approximately $70+ with tax and was more than enough food for two people. We probably could have got by with half but there was so much we wanted to try! We also ended up having approximately half of the cioppino left to take home. Around 7 pm when we left, the line was definitely a lot longer so I’d suggest going during off hours unless you want a lot long wait.
- Get there early or they might run out of things… Other than the Bloody Mary’s!
Do you love tartar sauce as much as I do?