12th and Pine Street was the home for many years of Pine Street Pizza. This summer on June 1st, Peter Dissin totally renovated the space to open his seafood restaurant, Pinefish.
Walking past the restaurants bright turquoise doors and outdoor planting will surely catch your eye. Stop in for a variety of small plates and affordably priced wines. Most enticing, however, maybe that they offer happy hour 7 days a week from 4:30-6:30 pm.
Dissin is no stranger to the restaurant business. His father, Henry Dissin, a Philly-born restaurateur, owned various restaurants in Philly and South Jersey area during the ’50s and ’60s. We can guarantee that diners will sense the flair of the restaurant by its brightly painted doors. Stepping inside, however, is a whole other story. Sequins, bright colored chandeliers, sequined floor cusions, and textiles adorn the restaurant. The main dining room is entirely magenta themed and the second dining room is a more subtle teal blue. The menus are even covered with painted canvas
Like we previously mentioned, the highlight of this restaurant might very well be their happy hour. Everyday from 4:30-6:30 pm diners can enjoy $1 oysters and clams, as well as $5 martinis, select glasses of wine, and draft beers. We tried the End of the Rainbow cocktail with LondonVodka, St. Elder Liquor, ginger beer, cucumber, and mint leaves.
Pinefish’s menu does include some conventional entrees for diners who don’t enjoy all the fun of small plates. Options like Ciopinno, Whole Grilled Fish with chimichurri, Lobster 1.5 lbs steamed and grilled, 12 oz. Prime Sirloin Steak, 8 oz. Hamburger made with a house brisket and short rib blend, or Brisket Sandwich (jewish style with onions and garlic), are served.
Our favorite dish of the evening had to be the Oysters Wakame with Tobiko. This dish surprised us with its unique flavors and there will be more oyster specials on the upcoming menu. Currently Bong Smoked Oysters, as well as a variety of East and West Coast oysters are served. The smoked oysters are seasoned with smoke drawn out of a blend of lapsang souchong tea, citrus, and peppercorns.
Dissin spoke to us extensively about how he enjoys preparing dishes “sous-vide”. A French method of cooking in which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times (usually 1 to 6 hrs, even up to 48 hrs) at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking. We were very intrigued since we had not tried much prepared with this particular style, but we can see why it may not appeal to everyone. The preparation is different, but it produces a unique texture in steak and octopus.
We really enjoyed the small plate seafood dishes the most. The Scallops were great with a nice sear and truffle oil. The Garlic Shrimp were inspired by Dmitri’s Shrimp Pil Pil which is a favorite dish of Dissin.
The Fried Cauliflower is also another favorite of the restaurant owner, with some anchovie paste however some bites were very salty. Our Sliced Sirloin Steak with red wine, shallot, garlic, and shitake reduction was prepared “sous-vide” as well as the Octopus with harissa. We also liked the simplicity of the Pan Seared Salmon with crispy skin, spinach, and Parmesan cream.
Dissin has surely created the neighborhood hangout, ample seating for dining and bar patrons combined with happy hour everyday- you’ll be stopping in soon I’m sure. Lunch and brunch service will be coming in the future. Currently no reservations are being taken.