Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fat Fish Blue (Perrysburg, OH)

(Photo courtesy of FFB website)

Blink and you may just miss Fat Fish Blue! In fact, one may not even know FFB exists until he/she has driven to the far end of Levis Commons (and by far end, I mean next to Nagoya.) I certainly didn't until a friend alluded to said restaurant. But trust me, this place is worth the extra drive/walk/[enter means of commute here]. For those of us who have been craving some Southern and Creole cooking for some time now, we should be thanking our lucky stars to have such a restaurant in town. Southern favorites such as Crawfish Etouffee and Po' Boys can be found on the menu, as well as everyday favorites such as ribs and crabcakes.

My favorite crew (of seven, who enjoy ethnic dining just as much as yours truly) and I swung by without reservations for Cinco de Mayo at 5:30pm to find only a handful of diners in the dining area. Typically, this never bodes well, but in the case of FFB, I can only blame the restaurant's lack of publicity. Of course, it was also Cinco de Mayo. We were immediately taken care by a friendly server and drink orders were taken. Due to a lack of communication between the employees on both floors, one dining companion never got the beer he ordered and had to settle for other options.

Once drink orders were placed, we were faced with the rather difficult decision as to what to order when faced with the myriad options of delicious sounding entrees! Just as an aside, nothing from the appetizer menu particularly stood out (or at least for me it didn't); I personally think that they have just about every single crawfish preparation method possible on the list of appetizers, hence, my opting for entree and dessert instead on this dining escapade.

I simply could not pass up ordering Crawfish Etouffee ($17.99) in a city that lacks authentic and/or ethnic dining. The gravy had just the right blend of green pepper and bayleaf and there wasn't one spice that was overpowering. Also, despite having requested less butter when preparing the gravy, I honestly could not taste the difference as it was still rich with flavors a-bursting. The crawfish themselves were well-prepared, as proven by the firm yet slightly chewy texture of the crustacean. The so-called house rice was rather pedestrian and a bit too hard to be enjoyed. Needless to say, a good portion of that left untouched, while I happily polished off the crawdads.

I managed to sneak in a couple bites of the blackened salmon and catfish -- both of which were juicy, well-seasoned, and left very little to be desired. Another dining companion, a pesketarian, opted for the wild mushroom ravioli, which was equally delicious. If portabella and shitake stuffed ANYTHING was this delicious, I might consider becoming a vegetarian myself :)

The dessert menu, while limited, was quite impressive. Two options particularly caught my eye -- namely, the Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding ($5.29; topped with buttery bourbon sauce) and the Carpetbagger ($6.99; described as "the amazing chocolate sack, loaded with sponge cake, fresh fruit, and Godiva white chocolate mousse.") Yes, I eventually settled with the latter. How could I not with its superfluous, mouth-watering inducing description?! Well, it was all the aforementioned presented with a firework on the stick, which prompted wishes of a happy birthday from my friends -- a wonderful touch had it been my birthday :)

If the thought of my finishing the behemoth dessert all on my own even crossed your mind, think again. Even with half of the group attacking the chocolate sack, we were rather hard-pressed to finish it. Fluffy, light, rich, delightful... not enough words could be used to describe the Carpetbagger. It easily tops my Top 10 favorite desserts list.

The aftermath of the nicely presented dessert was... well, not so nice, but that's not important. What is important was that it was enjoyed by all. However, full stomachs were not all that we walked away with as everyone was presented with beads to take home.

All in all, despite a few minor glitches here and there (including the plucking of certain items from the menu online), Fat Fish Blue was a solid dining experience. The food was outstanding and the service attentive. The atmosphere, in addition to the great selection of music, makes FFB a good place for catching up with friends over drinks and, of course, the Southern culinary delights. However, food and drinks are not all that FFB has to offer, as this is a comedy club as well. Talk about the perfect trifecta for winding down after a long day or simply to recharge for the rest of the week!

Rating: ****

Fat Fish Blue
6140 Levis Commons Blvd
Perrysburg, OH 43551
(419) 931-3474

Fat Fish Blue on Urbanspoon

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