Before they opened, Rockfish held a media tasting for some food bloggers. Dallas Food Nerd (DFN) was there to keep our readers apprised of happenings in the area.
The original, and successful, concept of Rockfish included a fly-fishing cabin kitschy theme that allowed you to grab some peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. This garnered lots of loyal fans and those 10 DFW locations continue to be successful. For their 11th DFW location’s opening, they decided to modernize their branding to appeal to a much broader audience.
Two nerds ascended on the tasting and this is what we found. I was a Rockfish veteran and Steve Smith had only eaten there a few times. We didn’t know what to expect but we’re envisioning a room full of foodies fighting over a limited amount of samples, served from a buffet line. Boy, were we wrong. There were only about 10 of us there from different food blogs.
They had us sit at 1 table and the manager and Executive Chef, Matt Baum, discussed the new concept and food. The new concept doesn’t stray too far from the original, but enough that you quickly notice a different vibe. Gone are the peanut shells, and stereotypical “fishing cabin” theme. In its place is a roomy, clean, fresh and contemporary with distressed wood and a few rope accents. Along with a few local works of art providing pops of color.
They first brought out a few appetizers for us
to all share, Shrimp Ceviche and Ahi Tuna Nachos.
The nachos come on a choice of cucumbers or tortilla chips. I found the chips to be way too salty so I liked the cucumber option better. Both had great flavor and very fresh tasting, the tuna was cooked nicely and topped with an avocado and mango salsa with a mild wasabi aioli. The ceviche tasted great but they did something that is one of my pet peeves. They used cooked shrimp. So technically it wasn’t ceviche, but they still use the word to sound more foodie friendly. Having said that, it was very tasty. Steve had no issue with this and it was one of his standout
The next course was individual samples of their soups. Here is where I found some familiar faces. They still had the Crab Bisque, New England Clam Chowder, Louisiana Gumbo and Jalapeno Cream. Each of these was as good as I’ve always enjoyed. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I enjoy the bisque and jalapeno cream more often than the rest. Steve also mentioned the bisque as well as the clam chowder. However, these are some pretty heavy and caloric options, so they have added a lighter Maryland Crab Soup. It was light, fresh and clean with lots of crab and no cream-based guilt.
Next came the entrees. Part of the new concept is that you can get options other than seafood, so they gave us the choice of steak or pork chop. Since we wanted to properly review all items offered, Steve and I made sure we got different proteins. It was a difficult choice since both sounded good, but Steve chose the Cajun Pork Chop and I chose the Hand Cut Ribeye Steak. Of course we share a few bites with each other. The pork chop was very juicy and full of herb flavor. Steve described it as remarkable and a nice surprise for a “fish place”. It came served with handmade horseradish mashed potatoes and rockin’ green beans.
My ribeye came out and it looked great, but when I cut into it to check the temperature I noticed that it was raw. Not rare, but raw. I have a pretty high tolerance when things don’t come out as I ordered, but this required some more fire.
When they brought it back it was perfectly med rare, just how I like it. For the sides, mine came with the same mashed potatoes, which were great and some even better homemade creamed corn.
Before we knew it, another plate came to us all. This time it was Panko Crusted Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa and Pineapple-Mango Butter. Steve’s first couple of bites was great, but then he began to wonder if the sweetness of the sauce could be tempered a bit. I found it very light, crisp and delicious. The sweet sauce and salsa brightened it up and there wasn’t too much breading so you could really taste the mahi. Along with the simple rice, the sugar snap peas were the perfect complement to this dish.
Just when you thought they were done feeding us, they brought out the final entree, Cajun Pasta. This had shrimp, crawfish tails, chicken and andouille sausage. This was a nice pasta option and had a variety with both seafood and meat flavors. It was served with their revamped Rockfish House Salad. They have elevated this with dried cranberries, candied nuts, bacon and feta cheese. This was very delicious and if I had more room, I would have finished it for sure.
I was so full at this point, but they sent us home with a dessert sampler. This included Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Brownie and seasonal Créme Brulée. I couldn’t eat this till much later in the day, so I can’t effectively comment on it. I am quite sure that they are extremely tasty fresh out of the kitchen.
The concept is a winner in our opinion. It will appeal to the younger generation who may not like seafood and enjoy the bar and patio, it is a nice place to chill with friends. Prices are quite reasonable. Sea Bass is $22. BBQ ribs and shrimp are $18. Pecan crusted trout is $15. Basket of fried oysters is only $10. With a selection of 10 draft beers, several wine options, full bar and Signature Drinks there is little chance you will go thirsty.
They offer a “Body & Sole” menu with lighter options that include nutritional information. They also have a Gluten Free menu, if you are into that.
Rockfish Seafood & Grill will have live music on the patio on wednesdays.
Tuesdays will feature half priced bottles of wine.
They are located near the Nebraska Furniture Mart, Top Golf and Studio Movie Grill (coming soon), nestled between The Colony, Lewisville and Castle Hills. (4740 State Highway 121 Ste. 400, Lewisville, Texas)
Disclaimer: The food was complimentary. All thoughts and comments are our own.