Flipper’s serves seafood cooked with care
It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time in my life that I didn’t adore seafood. Thankfully, I got over my fear of fish shortly after I discovered how good it tastes when it doesn’t come battered and frozen from a box. It’s a good thing too, or I never would have stumbled onto Flipper’s, just upstairs from Von’s in the Glebe.
This charming restaurant has worn wooden floors and a nautical themed décor that’s more clever than campy. With pretty Cézanne-like paintings by local artist Annik Després gracing the walls, Norah Jones playing softly in the background and an extraordinarily cheerful waiter, this restaurant conveys an easy tranquility that makes for a pleasant evening out.
The menu was filled with all the usual suspects – fish and chips, Alaskan king crab with drawn butter, and surf and turf, to name a few. The specials of the day were much more creative and appealing, so our ordering leaned towards those. There was an intriguing list of wine specials to choose from as well, with many of them available by the glass. My dad and I settled on a sunny and entirely likable white Côtes du Rhône.
I started with the shrimp scampi, a generous portion of black tiger shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, with fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of parsley. It was an uncomplicated affair with plenty of garlicky butter to spare for the warm pumpernickel bread brought to the table. My dad started with the soup of the day, a velvety smooth carrot and ginger soup topped with chopped roasted pine nuts.
Both of us ordered specials for mains. I enjoyed the halibut encrusted with hazelnuts, served with an orange Cointreau cream sauce, rice, and crisp-tender sugar snap peas, broccoli and red pepper. The halibut was ever so slightly over, but the well-balanced sauce was excellent, and the rice was cooked in stock, which was a nice touch. My dad’s pan-seared striped sea bass with ginger glaze came with the same rice and veg, and was topped with a trio of plump shrimp. The bass was nicely done, with its sticky Asian-inspired glaze, but the ginger could have been much more prominent a flavour.
We capped off the meal with a pair of desserts: a custardy rhubarb pie, and the chocolate-raspberry Decadence cake. With its truffle-like top and its dense dark chocolate base, it was intensely rich and every bit as decadent as promised.
819 Bank St.
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