This column offers a sampling of dining experiences in the area. It is not intended as a review of the restaurant other than to provide the reader with one diner's experience. It also appears in The Herald's Friday entertainment section, "Ticket."
LOCATION: 990 Market St., Fort Mill
HOURS: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday brunch buffet
WEB SITE: FishMarketBarandGrill.com
AMBIANCE: Upscale, casual comfort seafood restaurant
I was stuffed to the gills after lunch at Fish Market at Baxter Village in Fort Mill (at the former Inn at Baxter).
I started with a cup of she crab soup ($4), with sherry cream and chives. My business friend ordered the same, and Fish Market didn't know it, but they were being put to the test. My friend is from the land of good crab eating - Baltimore. In fact, he had just finished telling me his mother would be visiting Charlotte , and he had requested she bring him she crab soup from home.
Fish Market's soup stacked up. The flavor and chunks of crabs throughout were delicious. As I pulled bits of crab shell from my mouth, I learned that's the sign for good crab soup with lots of big crab chunks.
The three-page lunch menu -- although offering fish items such as tuna salad sandwich, shrimp and grits, baked tilapia, fish platters of Asian stir fry, Cajun or fish camp, crab cake sandwich, gumbo, shrimp, salmon, oyster and calamari -- also includes plenty of non-fishy dishes including chicken, roasted veggie sandwich, beef tenderloin, cheeseburger and salads. Lunches run $6.95 to $12.95.
The dinner menu has even more seafood offerings with mussels, lobster, yellow tuna, trout and more.
Our friendly and attentive waitress said Fish Market only started serving lunch a couple of weeks ago, and the new chef has shaken up the menu. Unfortunately, they were out of the calamari, so I didn't get to try that appetizer.
If my blackened mahi mahi sandwich ($8.95) is any indication for the rest of the menu, I'd be happy with anything here. Even the "Cajun tartar sauce" or as it's called here, remoulade, had me spreading more dashes to the onion bun. And, I don't usually care for any condiments on my fish. I was happy with my pasta salad choice because even the bow ties were awesome.
My friend enjoyed his double-handed po boy sandwich with a mix of crispy, lightly breaded (and not greasy) shrimp and oysters. Though the menu says "or," he couldn't decided and was accommodated with both seafood options.
Unfortunately, we left no room to try a dessert, even after we sat and talked some more. It's easy to relax and settle in at Fish Market in a beautiful, upscale setting of cool blue walls, big dark tables, shimmering lights above and water accents, such as the big water fountain at the entrance.
Before we left, we were sure to get a Fish Market "frequent diner reward" card. After nine lunches, the 10th one is free. Other features include wireless Internet, patio dining, a children's menu, full bar, extensive wine list and private dining room for up to 60 people for special events. Fish Market definitely would be the right place for any occasion, especially something special. The front has a beautiful garden and landscape, too.
As if Baxter's Market Street wasn't a unique treasure in a sea of dining and shopping options, now Fish Market jumps in to make a big splash by offering one heck of an impressive lunch.