Sunday, July 11, 2010
456 Fish - Norfolk VA
The walk down Granby Street feels longer when it is 100 degrees out and sunny. Tuesday was the first day 456 Fish was open for lunch and we wanted to check it out. They had a musician and hostess standing out front in the heat trying to attract attention and get diners to come inside. They were both really peppy and friendly, regardless of the weather. When we first entered, right after the noon hour, there were only 3-4 tables seated. By the time we left, they were fairly full.
The interior is modern and calming, using dark wood on the walls and a running water room divider to add to the ambiance. It was a cool oasis on a hot summer day. I was mildly disappointed in the lunch menu. Nothing really grabbed by attention. I think the salad choices are very pedestrian. I suppose they are famous for their potato chip crusted Crab Cake, but I wasn’t really in the mode for a $14 sandwich. I settled on the Chicken Panini with caramelized red onions, Manchego cheese and sweet basil aioli on Foccacia Grilled for $8.99. Sandwiches come with a pickle and choice of one side. White Truffle Potato Salad sounded good to me, so I added that to the order. My beverage of choice was un-sweet tea. They gain some serious points on their tea. It was good and strong. It was cold too. You know how some places have just made their tea and it is still hot, melting all your ice? Drives me nuts! This tea was perfect and the server kept it coming. My glass was never empty.
The sandwich was good. The chicken was plentiful and very tender. They were very light handed with the Manchego cheese and Aioli. I appreciated it with the Aioli, but would have like a tad more cheese. I noticed they had hearty portion sizes on all the orders coming out of the kitchen. The potato salad was excellent, and beautifully presented.
I liked 456 Fish and will go back, but I’d like to see them jazz up their salad menu first. Salads range from $6.49-10.99, sandwiches from $6.99-13.99 and Entrees are $9.99-13.99.
Finally, another formerly nighttime-only restaurant open for lunch! I saw the sign as I drove home one day and our friend, Brianna, saw an email advertising lunch at 456 Fish starting July 6th. We arrived on the first day of the new meal time and were seated quickly. The restaurant was not full, but almost half of the tables filled by the time we ordered. I have been to 456 during dinner just a few times and while the food was decent, I thought some was overpriced (three scallops for $13 seems high when that is all you get, as in not even some greens). I went in ready for an overpriced lunch. Lucky for me in my prepare for the worst, hope for the best thinking, 456 surprised me. The menu was quite reasonable, but I was slightly dismayed at the lack of dishes without meat or seafood. Most restaurants in any decent sized city have a couple of dishes that consist of only vegetables. The only options on 456 Fish’s menu were a caprese salad and a baked grilled cheese. I worried that the salad would not be substantial, so I went with the grilled cheese. Sandwiches come with your choice of side, such as fries, pasta salad and a few others. I chose the green beans because I needed to have something green on my plate. They do have a crab cake, tilapia, a turkey sandwich and some other fare.
Our food did not take long and while the three cheeses in the grilled cheese made it more flavorful than your everyday version, the bread was not crispy, actually a little too un-grilled. The green beans were cooked to perfection and hopefully, countered some of the cheese in my meal. I hope they branch out a little on the menu...a vegetable panini or pasta primavera possibly? You can do so many different things with vegetables. Our waitress seemed on cloud nine, but was friendlier as the meal went on. She was cognisant of refilling our beverages and I would rather have someone who scores high on attentiveness and seems out there than someone who acts like they are listening and leaves you stranded with an empty glass the entire meal.
I will go again, but I do hope they make some additions to the menu. My sandwich was under $10 and that did please me.
456 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 53510