By Anna-Marie Menhenott
STUART -- The name says it all.... Fresh Catch, a seafood restaurant located in Stuart, serves locally caught fish that more than likely was swimming right before it landed on your plate.
"Our fish is fresh," said Eric Olson, owner. "We have fishermen who go out on our waters, catch fish, and then come straight here with it so we can buy it from them. We clean the fish and fillet them on the premises. You can tell how fresh everything is with one bite."
He wasn't kidding.
Mr. Olson and his wife, Jocelyn, have been at the helm of Fresh Catch since April, 2013. Their spacious restaurant on the corner of Indian Street and Aster Lane is remarkable. The comfortable, casual setting is home to some of the best seafood in town.
"Seafood is one of my passions," Mr. Olson said. "I've been fishing all my life and really have a love for the water. We don't buy fish from brokers, we buy straight from the local fisherman who brings it to us straight from the ocean. The only fish we don't buy locally is salmon and pollock, but that's because it can't be caught this far south. But all of our fish is fresh."
My dining companion and I sampled some of the amazing seafood dishes during a recent lunch time visit.
We started with the Smokin' Smoked Wahoo Fish Dip which was served with freshly made tortilla chips. The delightful dip had perfect flavor and was incredible with jalapeno peppers.
The next appetizer we tried was the Fire Cracker Shrimp. This amazing appetizer is served in a margarita glass and contains some of the most delicious shrimp I've tasted.
The calamari we sampled was a hit with my dining companion. He had never tried the delicacy before, but after trying the perfectly seasoned seafood, he vowed to make it something he'd eat again.
The soups and sauces are made fresh every day at the restaurant, and we were able to try two of the favorites. The corn and shrimp chowder was light and creamy with perfect flavor and the red conch chowder was absolutely delightful.
My guest and I tried the shrimp and fish tacos. The lightly breaded seafood tacos were a hit. They are topped with lettuce, cheese, homemade salsa and ranch dressing. They can be served as single appetizer or as an entrée with waffle fries and cole slaw.
I was privileged to try the amazing puttanesca. This incredible dish can be served with the fresh catch of the day, shrimp or scallops. The sauce is simply amazing and the side of homemade mashed potatoes and julienned fresh vegetables were perfectly matched to the seafood dish.
"Although we specialize in seafood, there are plenty of menu items for those who would rather steak or chicken," Mr. Olson said. "However, if someone tells me that they just don't like seafood, I beg them to take a bite of something we prepare. I've made many wary customers into seafood lovers."
The restaurant has a covered outside seating area and has live music Friday and Saturday nights. They have a very popular raw bar and have happy hour from 3-6 p.m. daily.
Fresh Catch is located at 1411 S.E. Indian Street, in Stuart. Visit their website at www.freshcatchstuart.com or find them on Facebook. For more information, call (772) 286-6711.