Fish Works, which opened last week in Edgartown, specializes in fresh fish - in this case mahi mahi, served with style. Photos by Susan Safford

Fish Works opens in Edgartown

By Tony Omer - June 1, 2006

The old Lawry's Seafood on upper Main Street in Edgartown has been a number of different restaurants over the past years - among the most recent were the popular Carolina's Barbecue and for the last three years, Fiesta Mexicana. Now there's a new restaurant on that spot and, like Lawry's, its focus is primarily seafood.

Fish Works is managed by the same successful husband-and-wife team of Cindy Flanders and chef Bill Courtney, who managed Fiesta Mexicana. The couple has years of restaurant experience and after the three years of Fiesta were ready for a change, according to Ms. Flanders.

"We are particularly proud of the care we have taken putting our new menu together and training our staff," says Ms. Flanders. "We have two new sous chefs and an eager staff. We are really excited about the new season. All of our fish is purchased fresh, from various local sources, depending on availability.

Fried calamari was a big hit as an appetizer, along with the soy-ginger sauce that
accompanied it.

"We really focused on making Fiesta a family restaurant," she added, and while they do welcome children and have a children's menu, the focus of Fish Works is on the food and the service. The redesigned dining room has an informal elegance, with a full bar and a tasteful selection of art on the walls. The medium-priced menu is complemented by a varied and affordable wine list, featuring mostly California wines. The Italian wine that we ordered, the Danzante pinot grigio, was perfect with the food that followed.

The menu is an interesting mix of fresh, mostly local seafood, prepared in a variety of styles. Tuna, swordfish, salmon, and grilled shrimp are on the menu as well as scallops, stuffed lobster, shrimp, and crab cakes. Steak and ribs are also offered. There is also a specials list that will change regularly with the availability of fish. Our table ordered mahi mahi with pineapple, baked grouper with pesto, and blackened snapper from the specials board.

Sushi, littlenecks, oysters, and mussels are some of the items on the appetizer menu. Our party shared the lobster bisque and fried calamari appetizers. The bisque was a unique blend of favors with a lobster aura, and the calamari I could have eaten all night. Its sweet soy-ginger dipping sauce was particularly hard to resist, so I didn't bother (resisting, that is).

A deliciously light salad, with tastefully prepared olive oil/vinaigrette was served to the entire table along with the hottest fresh bread I've been served in a long while. These were included with the dinners. My entrée was a spicy blackened snapper, served with a colorful mix of shaved fresh bell peppers, mushroom rice, and a healthy helping of fresh and not over-cooked broccoli. Most of the entrées come with their own selection of side dishes.

The baked grouper special - with pesto, mushroom rice, and broccoli - made a colorful plate.

Choosing from a short list of desserts, we had the chocolate lava cake. Similar to a great steamed pudding, it had us all feeling a little guilty - what a good feeling.

The staff was gracious and fun, the linen, cloth. We took our time and the evening was long and enjoyable.

Fish Works serves dinner only, from 5 pm until the last customer leaves, every day except Tuesdays. It will be open seven days a week beginning in mid-June. As the season heats up, outdoor seating will be available. There is plenty of on-site parking.