The Fish is Simply Wild in the Desert!

The Dish:  Oysters, Scallops, Shrimp with Crab
The Place:  Wildfish Seafood Grille
The Location:  7135 East Camelback Rd., Scottsdale AZ 85251

By Glen Davis

Every now and then, you see an article written by a foodie, attempting to inform us of where the “best and freshest seafood” in the desert can be found.  The reason for this is that getting and consistently serving fresh ocean fare, where we are constantly reminded just how far the desert is from the coast, is a very difficult proposition.

Enter Wildfish Seafood Grille.  Wildfish is part of the Darden group, which owns many well known eateries.  Here in Arizona, places like Eddie V’s and The Capital Grille are Darden standouts.  Wildfish is located in the trendy Scottsdale Waterfront and has been serving great seafood and steaks since 2005.  It was the perfect place to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday.

Wildfish, in addition to a great selection of seafood and wonderfully aged beef, has a well-stocked raw bar.  Our server told us that the Bluepoint oysters were in and were great so of course we had to begin with a dozen.  He was right.  They were large and meaty and were gone as soon as we could mix a bit of Atomic horseradish in the cocktail sauce.

My wife is Gluten Free and was pleased to see that Wildfish has a standalone gluten free menu.  Nearly everything they can make for wheat eaters, they can do a GF version.  She did miss out on the steaming fresh bread, but her loss is my gain.  My wife chose the scallops.  The dish is called “Georges Bank Scallops Sautéed with Citrus Fruit, Roasted Almonds and Brown Butter”.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The chef prepared the scallops to a wonderful medium rare with the perfect caramelization on the outside.  Delectable!

My choice this night was the Shrimp Grilled “Oreganata Style” with Fresh Jonah Crab and it was outstanding.   Five nice sized shrimp (I’m guessing they were 11/15 shrimp in size, meaning that there are 11 to 15 per pound).  Often times, when you order a crab stuffed shrimp, you’ll find the less desireable crab pieces that don’t qualify for the seafood cocktail on top of the shrimp.  Not here!  This was Jonah crab in jumbo lumps and tossed with a nice buttery, citrus concoction that was bright and flavorful.

My mother-in-law enjoyed the same shrimp dish as I , but in a smaller portion.  She loved it!

Together with the shrimp and her scallops, we all enjoyed two veggies.  We ordered the asparagus with Hollandaise as well as the Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Parmesan.  Both very nice accompaniments.  Dessert included a very nice crème brûlée (GF) and the birthday girl gobbled up some amazing blackberry cobbler.  There were very few words exchanged during dessert, but I think I saw some sparks fly off a dessert fork or two.

All in all, a great meal at a very well designed and trendy restaurant that consistently serves some of the finest and freshest seafood in Arizona.  We love Wildfish Seafood Grille and we’ll be back!

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