Stepping into the New Deal Fish Market in East Cambridge always makes me smile. Whole Foods might have good quality fish, but do they greet me by name? Do they remember which fish I bought last week? Do they take care scaling and gutting my fish as if they were going to cook it themselves? That’s why I love the New Deal Fish Market – they treat every customer like family, they educate people about fish, and they take pride in what they do.
Carl is the third generation owner, who quit his engineering job to continue his family’s business. If you need advice on how to cook any fish, just ask Carl. He’ll even give you his mother’s recipes from their family’s home town of Gaeta, Italy. His father, Sal is a walking encyclopedia of fish. First he asks you where you are from. Then he gives you a tour of the fish counter in YOUR language (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese). You should see him fillet!
In this age of prepackaged fish soaked in preservatives, it’s refreshing to see the New Deal’s fish counter packed with whole fish. Although you can have any fish filleted to order, I just can’t resist the chance to get a nice little fish that I can cook whole. It’s no extra work for me, since Carl or Sal will clean it for me, and the fish tastes so much juicier and more tender cooked on the bone. This weekend I got a couple of Sea Breams (also known as Dorade in French, Dorado in Spanish, and Orata in Italian). Stay tuned for the recipe.
New Deal Fish Market
622 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA
Hours: Mon 3pm-7pm, Tue-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 9:30-6:30, Closed Sunday