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The Original Fish Market Restaurant

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (5 Reviews)


Original Fish Market Restaurant Review

Original Fish Market Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Fresh seafood, imaginative presentations, and late-night hours (until 1am nightly) make the Original Fish Market a popular dining stop for residents and visitors alike. Ultimately, however, the best word to describe this bustling downtown Pittsburgh restaurant is "inconsistent."

The Scene

Located in the Westin Convention Center Hotel, the spacious, wood-paneled Original Fish Market boasts multi-level dining, sea-inspired decor, a bustling sushi bar, and exhibition kitchen. It can be a bit busy and loud at times, but comfortable booths, plus tables tucked into assorted nooks and crannies, afford the option for more private dining.

The Food

With certain exceptions, the menu at the Original Fish Market changes daily, offering a huge variety of tempting appetizers, salads, and entrees. Chef Daniel Mosedale keeps things exciting with such inspired dishes as olive crusted king salmon on saffron potatoes and ratatouille jus, sesame-seared tuna on a tempura vegetable roll wasabi aioli and spicy soy, and jumbo lump crab cake with ancho coulis and fried plantain. A variety of raw oysters and tempting sushi are also available.

Appetizers & Meal Starters
I began the meal with the 5 Spice Crusted Ahi Tuna appetizer. Served on a surprisingly tasty seaweed salad, the tuna itself was actually a bit bland and disappointing, despite the word "spice" in the description. The Cajun Blackened Sea Scallops entree, chosen from the "Fresh Catch of the Day" portion of the menu, was one of many varieties of fresh fish available either mesquite grilled, cajun blackened or Hong Kong style. The generously-sized scallops were done to perfection, although they could have benefited from more cajun seasoning. Vegetable side dish portions, ordered 'a la carte' with the "Fresh Catch of the Day," are huge (more than most people can eat), especially the popular roast garlic mashed potatoes. Both the potatoes and the sauteed baby spinach I tried were delicious and my favorite part of the meal.

While the desserts all sound delicious, I can personally recommend the Classic Opera Cake - thin, alternating layers of chocolate and yellow cake and vanilla cream, covered with chocolate ganache and then chilled and hardened. The presentation is dramatic, with Chocolate Kahlua sauce, raspberry coulis and chocolate shards making it almost (but not quite) too pretty to eat.


While the food at the Original Fish Market was suprisingly inconsistent - ranging from sublime to downright disappointing - the service was even more so.

Despite the fact that the restaurant had dozens of empty tables when I arrived, I was seated at a table for two directly across from the sushi bar and next to the serving station. Feeling a bit "out on display" I asked the hostess if I could be seated in a booth instead, but was told that "wasn't an option." I realize that this was probably because I was a single diner, yet still found it quite disconcerting. Especially the "take it or leave it" attitude. Many booths were occupied by couples throughout the evening and a few remained empty, so I felt there could have been at least some attempt to honor my request. My waiter redeemed things a bit, being prompt (at least at first), and well-trained in both food and wine. Even he, however, got a bit slow near the end - leaving me waiting longer than was comfortable for drink refills, dessert, and my bill.

Dining at the Original Fish Market

Overall, I'd give the food at the Original Fish Market a "good plus" and the service an "average," which is less than I would have expected from a restaurant with the prices and reputation of the Original Fish Market. It wasn't bad, but I also don't plan on a repeat visit anytime soon.

The Original Fish Market is open for lunch (weekdays only) and dinner. Reservations available.

Dinner prices: Appetizers $5.75 to $10. Entrees $17.50 to $37. Desserts $7 to $7.50.

Hours: M-F, 11 am to 1 am; Sat. & Sun., 4 pm to 1 am

The Original Fish Market
1001 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 152225
(412) 227-3657

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