Catch of the Day

4 Decatur spots that answer your seafood siren call

By Vanessa Pascale

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SEAFOOD that sings to your summer soul. Maybe it’s the peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, succulent lobster tails or plump, briny oysters that harken the aura of the beach. Or maybe you really just love seafood. Whatever the reason, when the mercury rises, seafood is like an irresistible siren song. Fortunately, you don’t need to be at the beach to answer that call. With a list of restaurants serving the best in fresh lobster, mussels, oysters, and more, Decatur has you covered. Here’s our list of top choices.

Kimball House
303 E. Howard Avenue

Seasonal, farm-fresh cuisine. A top-tier wine and cocktail list. If you’re looking to elevate your dining experience, the Kimball House is the spot. The Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant is a seafood lover’s dream, featuring more than 15 types of oysters from the East and West coasts, coveted caviar service, mussels, and more.

The raw bar boasts appetizing standouts such as its Shrimp Cocktail, Snapper Crudo and Salt & Pepper Rock Shrimp. And if you’re in the mood for a nice, juicy steak, there are several quality cuts available.

“Summertime on the patio calls for cocktails and oysters,” says co-owner and General Manager Kizzy Patel. “With lively conversations and a gentle breeze, the Kimball House patio is the perfect setting to celebrate the season’s beauty and the company of friends.”

Parker’s on Ponce
116 E Ponce de Leon Avenue

Parker’s on Ponce boasts seafood and requisite premium steaks. And, to relax while you wait, there is fruit-driven cocktail list that includes the Eagle Smash (Eagle Rare bourbon with maraschino cherries, black tea and cherry bark-vanilla bitters), Shanghai Pear (Asian pear-infused Belvedere vodka, pear nectar and ginger liqueur) and Decatur 75 (Murrell’s Row Tulsi Gin, Farmers Jam peach basil cocktail syrup and lemon juice).

The Grilled Octopus is impressive, with fresh slices served on a bed of celery root puree mixed with blood orange, grapefruit, shaved fennel, micro herbs and drizzle of EVOO. Surf ‘n’ turf is always a good idea – order the tender filet mignon topped with a 6-ounce fried lobster tail. The menu also boasts PEI mussels, fried calamari and baked, smoked salmon dip. If you need something sweet, we suggest the Chocolate Mousse Pie, which is rich, light and simply divine.

“My go-to seafood dish is the Seared Dry Pack U10 Scallops,” says front-of-house manager, Freddy Jones. “They are seared to perfection and accompanied with toasted coconut jasmine rice, snow peas, broccoli and carrots, then finished with a coconut-panang curry and crushed peanuts.”

On Wednesdays, Parker’s offers half-priced bottles of wine for Wine Down Wednesday.

BOHO115: Oyster Bar + Grill
115 Sycamore Street
If you’re looking for a more casual vibe, BOHO115 is your place. BOHO – short for boat house – serves delicious, fresh seafood in a relaxed atmosphere.

For the best view in the house, head to the second-floor counter, which is situated in front of open windows overlooking Decatur Square. It has a fun chair swing, bar seating downstairs and several tables. The seafood-laden menu features mussels, tuna sashimi, crab cakes, tacos, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, “Tin to Table” offerings (Espinaler’s gourmet canned seafood served in individual cans), octopus, ceviche, and the list goes on. The oysters are another must. On Mondays and Thursdays, it offers “Half Off Half Shells” all day.

“BOHO115 is truly a special place to us,” says owner Humberto Bermudez. “After years of creating and opening many restaurants in Mexico and Spain, I wanted to bring the coastal seafood concept to Atlanta. It’s not Mexican; it’s not Spanish; it’s a unique fusion of coastal flavors that makes it unlike anything else. It’s fresh and creative with a touch of spice and a love for food.”

For a meal that truly epitomizes summer, we suggest their refreshing Boho Skinny (El Jimador tequila, lemon, lime, agave syrup and triple sec), an order of the fresh guacamole and chips and a couple of lobster tacos. And don’t miss out on their Smoked Passionfruit Old Fashioned. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., with specials on cocktails and small tapas plates.

Wahoo Grill
1042 W. College Avenue

This quaint Decatur bistro serves appetizing cuisine with a European flair. Wahoo Grill’s menu is bursting with an array of seafood options, from their appetizers (crab bisque, shrimp cocktail, fried calamari and sous vide octopus) to their entrees, which include the Miso Glazed Sea Bass, Crab Cakes, Sesame-crusted Ahi Tuna and Shrimp & Grits.

In addition to its seafood options, Wahoo offers a number of crowd-pleasers. If you love fried green tomatoes, Wahoo’s is topped with citrus-marinated lump crab, pimento cheese and creole mustard remoulade. And for something sweet, order the Bread Pudding with bourbon glaze – it’s sweet, rich and the perfect way to end your meal. At the back of the restaurant is its lovely alfresco garden patio, an idyllic milieu perfect for sipping on their signature cocktails and indulging in fresh seafood.

“We source from sustainable fisheries, and we buy from local farmers,” says Executive Chef Zach Starr. “The miso glaze of the seared sea bass is salty and funky and is offset by the sweetness of the baby carrots brought out by roasting them. The zucchini and squash noodles provide another layer of flavor and mouthfeel to the dish.”

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