Notes from the Island Fishmonger

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The Island Fishmonger says “The new normal is the old normal…just different!”

   I hope this article finds you healthy and safe. I want to start by saying thank you all for your support during these crazy times. Because of you, many people are still employed, struggling restaurants are able to stay afloat (although not as profitable) and on behalf of all of us restauranteurs on Siesta Key and in Sarasota, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I also want to send a special thank you to all of the media sites who are promoting all of us and to Sarah Lansky who started the Facebook group “Curbside Suncoast Food & Drink To Go”.

   Like many people in this country, I have been staying home and respecting the social distancing guidelines, but I am very antsy to get back to work. I understand this call to reopen has been made by the Governor with restrictions, but I hope we continue to listen to the doctors and scientists who will guide us into a safe and healthy new normal. Our beaches reopened Monday, May 4th so please enjoy responsibly.

   Our hope is restaurants and small businesses will be reopened at 100% capacity on or before June 1st. Many of us are ahead of the game and already done or are doing a thorough deep cleaning of our restaurants and shops. In anticipation of everyone reopening, we are hoping that the new normal is similar to the old normal although I think we all know the old normal will require some tweaks and changes such as less seating and more spacing. This virus cannot be spread through food. So, how we eat and enjoy each other’s company will not be drastically changed. I’ll be ok with this new normal and as my mother always says…safety first.

   In the meantime, while we wait to get back to our new normal, please continue to support the local restaurants. Many restaurants will reopen at 25% capacity but at Big Water Fish Market, we will continue operating as is for the moment which consists of curbside take out and retail market. We don’t believe in a 25% reopening, so when we can go 100%, that’s when we will open the dining-in portion of our restaurant. The retail fish market is OPEN and the restaurant is highlighting a full menu for curbside pick-up until further notice.

   I also want to send my heartfelt gratitude to all of the first responders and all of those on the front lines from our law enforcement to doctors and nurses, grocery store workers, cleaning people and all of the essential workers who have been helping us get through this and a thanks to those who are supporting them and their families.

   Now onto the fish! This summer will bring us great bounties from the sea. Even though Stone Crab season ends May 15th, there will be plenty of delicious treats to follow. When one crab trap door closes, another one always opens, and Alaskan King and Snow Crab will be behind that crab trap door. In addition, Grouper and Snapper prices should be dropping in mid-May. Mahi prices will be going up, but Amberjack is always a great less expensive alternative. Cobia is in season and should be plentiful this time of year as well. Hogfish will still be available during the summer months.

   As far as imports go, the summer months bring us plenty of seafood from Alaska. In addition to the crab, we will also be seeing plenty of King Salmon and Halibut. Big Water Fish Market will continue to carry our specialty Irish Salmon all summer long. Also, Swordfish, Cod, Haddock, Sea Scallops, Clams, Oysters and Maine Lobster will be plentiful and will be shipped to us overnight from the Boston area.

Live Well…Eat Fish!
Scott Dolan
Big Water Fish Market
6641 Midnight Pass Road ,Crescent Plaza – 941-554-8101
6639 Midnight Pass Road, Crescent Plaza – 941-203-5972

Siesta Sand
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