Disclosure: TPRG is a client of Scott Joseph Company’s consulting services.
EXCLUSIVE -- Typically a casual neighborhood seafood restaurant wouldn't have a critically acclaimed chef attached to it. But Cityfish, the popular eatery and oyster bar in downtown’s Thornton Park, has the advantage of Greg Richie as its new executive chef. Richie, who opened the Roy’s on Restaurant Row and is credited with reviving Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, is a partner with Thornton Park Restaurant Group. TPRG acquired Cityfish in December and is also developing the restaurant that will open in the former HUE Restaurant space as previously announced.
Richie recently introduced an updated menu for Cityfish, one that he says puts an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. “We’re sourcing a better variety of seasonal, fresh fish,” he said, “and we’re expanding our oyster selection, as well.” The goal, he said, is to improve a popular and successful restaurant in Thornton Park. “We’re making things better for our neighborhood, and we’re going to improve our focus on sourcing the freshest, preferably local, fish available.”
Which is not to say that Cityfish is going all fancy. It will still be the comfortable, neighborhood place that has made it popular with downtown denizens. New menu items include shrimp and oyster po’boys, shrimp toast and crab cakes. And the lobster roll that was already a favorite has been improved. There are several items from the previous menu that have been kept on, but according to Richie those too have been given a chef’s touch, with an emphasis on improved freshness and ingredients. Things as simple as sauces are getting the chef’s attention -- even the ketchup is made in-house.
Richie is also carefully selecting the oysters. According to TPRG, chef selected oysters are important and something often ignored. “Like a sommelier knows how to pick the right wines, a focused chef knows how to pick the right oysters.” Richie said the restaurant will be offering special oyster happy hours, a trend currently popular in New York City oyster bars. These is also an updated beer, wine and cocktail list.
And it’s not just the menu that’s been upgraded. Over the next few weeks the restaurant will be renovated, with several improvements and changes. The Cityfish website has been completely revamped, too (and includes the full menu with prices, thank you very much).
While working on the as-yet unnamed restaurant for the corner space, Richie is developing and training culinary teams for both restaurants.
More to come soon.
Cityfish Restaurant is at 617 E. Central Blvd., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-849-9779.