3rd & Ferry Fish Market

3rd & Ferry Fish Market

By Cathy Kiley
Photos by Ryan Hulvat

My husband Tom and I had been chomping at the bit for Mike and Rebecca Pichetto’s new culinary corroboration to come to fruition. And indeed… it has arrived. 3rd & Ferry Fish Market opened in December and has attracted a strong following with its unique interior and lively, fun atmosphere.

The energy in this place is amazing. We arrived early for our reservation so we could have a cocktail first. Eamon was preparing drinks behind the copper bar backed by floor to ceiling lighted shelves displaying liquor and barware that presented an attractively clean look. The 29 seats at the bar were nearly full that night but we were lucky to score two seats. I enjoyed a Cosmo and Tom a glass of Red Diamond Mendoza Malbec while admiring the decor. Another dozen or so people were seated at high tops lining antiqued side walls separating the bar from the dining area. The bar backs up to a bustling open kitchen and raw bar which, visible from the outdoors, emotes a very “come on in” attitude to on-lookers and a welcoming vibe as soon as you enter the door.

Eamon offered a pail of freshly popped corn seasoned with Old Bay to nibble on while waiting for our table. It was so good I shared it with others sitting nearby. The Old Bay added a great zip to an old favorite. Others at the bar were enjoying various raw bar combinations including oysters, clams, jumbo shrimp, chilled lobster tail, Blue Crab claws and mussels. Seafood arrives daily from Philadelphia and other vendors along the east coast up to New England. Seafood is guaranteed fresh which is the only option given the amount that is consumed at 3rd & Ferry each day.

Oh my goodness… it was rich and guilt-inspiring – truly a meal in itself. No wonder it is their signature dessert.

ThirdFerry1Other “Lite Fare” choices being enjoyed around us were The Burger, 8 ounces smothered with New England aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato and shaved red onion; and The New England Lobster Roll stuffed with fresh lobster salad. Fish ‘n Chips seemed popular served with classic tartar and malt vinegar for the fresh cut fries that accompany all Lite Fare items. You can upgrade to the specialty Market Fries – tossed in crab aioli for an upcharge of two bucks.

There is seating for 130 in the two level dining room accented with wrought iron railings. Supporting columns feature interesting decorative capitals that are original to the building as are the beautifully restored wood floors. It reminds us of many older seafood houses we have seen over the years. It feels like it’s always been here instead of opening only a couple of months ago.

Now back to the food. As an appetizer, I decided on a Soup Sampler – a tasting of the three soups on the menu – New England Chowder, Lobster Bisque and Spicy Crab Chowder. I loved them all but my favorite by far was the Spicy Crab Chowder, which Tom also ordered and enjoyed. This soup recipe was born at Mike and Rebecca’s first local eatery located a couple of miles up the road on Morgan Hill. It is loaded with crab and just the right amount of spice. No wonder it took the 2013 Judges’ Choice Award (chowder category) at ArtsQuest’s Souper Bowl. The warm freshly baked Asiago cheese rolls our server Anthony brought to our table were perfect with the soups.

Other starters include Caesar and Market salads, five variations of Ceviche and an interesting choice of appetizers from which you can create a fun sharing meal. We and some friends did just that on a subsequent visit by sharing the Rhode Island Style Fried Calamari with black olives, banana peppers, roasted peppers and parsley – a unique savory twist on the traditional calamari recipe which is also available. We also tried the moist, delicious Crab Cake Sliders served with pickled cabbage, daikon (Asian radish) and mayo along with scallops wrapped in bacon that were really tasty. Tom also ordered fresh oysters that were wonderfully fresh and beautifully chilled with cocktail sauce. He raved about them.

The specials the evening we dined were Paella as well as Skirt Steak and Filet Mignon (both 10 ounces). House entrees include Roasted Chicken Breast with za’tar (a Middle Eastern blend of spices), chicken glace, spaetzle and a lemon roasted broccolini as well as an interesting vegan selection of Smoked Tempeh (soy) Sausage with potato corn hash, Brussels sprout slaw with a sweet and tangy mustard sauce. A fresh seafood combination is available along with Alaskan King Crab Legs; whole fresh lobster (broiled or steamed) with clambake hash and broccolini as well as Poached Atlantic Haddock and broiled crab-stuffed Tilapia. These are just a few of the entree selections you will find.

I chose Grilled Grouper from the fresh caught selections that also included tuna and salmon. The fish was indeed very fresh, grilled to perfection and very moist, served with clambake hash and broccolini. I asked to try the mango/pineapple relish which was a sweet accompaniment as well. I enjoyed the blended flavors of this meal – one doesn’t often find truly fresh grouper in this area. I did order those decadent Market Fries with crabmeat aioli, which I suggest you share with your dining partner and perhaps even those sitting around you. I did just that and everyone gave them two thumbs up!

Tom ordered the Poached Atlantic Haddock. He doesn’t eat anything creamy and his request to hold the horseradish gremolata was graciously accommodated. His dish arrived with sides of sweet corn succotash and caramelized oyster mushrooms. Tom loved his very flavorful meal. He was curious about my clambake hash. This interesting blend of Chorizo, red bliss potatoes and corn on the cob bits was a delicious side and I highly recommend that you try it.

We enjoyed the last of our bottle of Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse that was crisp and perfect with the seafood. Rebecca Pichetto is one of only a few Sommeliers in the Lehigh Valley and many of the wine choices at 3rd & Ferry are interesting and moderately priced.

The dessert menu boasts a selection of local Aunt Jack’s Homemade Pie and Bank Street Creamery Ice Cream. You may combine the two for a la mode or enjoy a 3rd & Ferry Signature Pie Shake. Choose a piece a pie and they will blend it up with your choice of ice cream for a tasty shake. I must try Key Lime Pie whenever it is on the menu and this version was light and very good as was the Cranberry Pear Pie that was Tom’s choice. We were finishing up our coffee when Rebecca arrived with a sample of a peanut butter pie and chocolate shake. Oh my goodness… it was rich and guilt-inspiring – truly a meal in itself. No wonder it is their signature dessert.

There are many friendly, familiar faces at 3rd & Ferry. I first met Chef/Owners Mike and Rebecca Pichetto back in 2007 and have enjoyed watching their culinary journey ever since. Chef Javan Small came on board over a year ago when The Farmhouse closed its doors and has assisted in the preparation and opening of 3rd & Ferry. I spotted servers Sarah and Greg, also Farmhouse alum.

The Pichetto’s have restored the former Lipkin’s Furniture Store and given it a new and glorious life. The many floors of beautiful furniture may be gone and transformed into beautiful apartments but the spirit of the Lipkins lives on. Rebecca and Mike have named the private dining room on the lower level “Mr. Lipkin’s Room” with seating for about 40, featuring artwork by local artists upon the walls. Also familiar were the photographs in the dining room by Laini Abraham.

We loved 3rd & Ferry. The bar is hopping and the kitchen is bustling.  Mike is busy behind the raw bar and Rebecca oversees the dining area. Service by Anthony was proficient. The tables are close together but that’s fine. On the night we were there, everyone was talking to one another and simply having a wonderful time. The electricity at 3rd & Ferry Fish Market is “catching”. This is not a place for intimacy but a place for good food and fun with family and friends.

3rd & Ferry Fish Market is located just there – on the corner of Third and Ferry Streets in downtown Easton. Convenient parking is available on the street but because of busy restaurant row, I suggest the public parking garage. They open at 11 a.m. every day but Monday. Reservations are a must for dinner, so call 610.829.1404 or visit the website for online reservations and other information at thirdandferry.com.

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