Turner’s Seafood Grill and Market- Eat Locally Caught Fish

Turner’s Seafood is family run business based on the Massachusetts North Shore. They have a full seafood line distribution center, market, and fish fry in Gloucester and a restaurant, that has a small fish market inside it, in Melrose. At one point in Turner Seafood history, they were so popular with the public that the Westin Hotel sought permission to use the Tuner’s Seafood name for their flagship restaurant in the Boston Copley Square hotel.

Turner’s has a dedicated dock-to-door policy. Dock-to-door means that Turner’s will provide you freshly caught seafood directly to your doorstep if you wish to order online or via the phone ensuring that your seafood goes through the least amount of processing and handling possible. This policy service reminds me of Legal Seafood’s ability to shop for seafood online.

The majority of the offerings at their market are caught daily and arrive at the restaurant or market by 9 am. They offer a wide variety of fresh fish fillets, steaks, fresh and frozen shellfish, chowder, bisque, as well as prepared seafood that you can make at home.

Turner’s Seafood is also a partner of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association (GFWA) and the Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community (CAFC). Both Turner locations are pickup sites for the CAFC Community Supported Fishery (CSF). The CSF is like a community supported agriculture program but you get locally caught fish- whole, fillets, – instead of locally grown produce. It helps to bring together local fishermen, shore-side operations and share members to directly deliver fresh, local, sustainably-caught seafood. The goal of the CAFC is to deliver the highest quality, seasonal, sustainably-caught seafood. This helps to bolster the local economy, help the environment and benefit the share members. A lot of the fish types you will see are Atlantic cod, pollock, haddock, monkfish and whiting.

Recently, I had dinner at the Melrose location. The location is clean and the people are friendly here. This is what we tried:

Warm fresh bread was good, but not great. The bread you receive is one of the marks of how good the restaurant really is and one of the first impressions. I really enjoyed that the bread was served on newspaper, like how the British serve their Fish and Chips. However, in terms of being the best rolls, they weren’t on the same level as other restaurants like Bertucci’s, Sel De La Terre or Joe’s American Bar and Grill, where some patrons go exclusively for the rolls or honey butter.

The Lifesaver Martini was a pleasantly sweet cousin of a Limoncello. Quite refreshing on a humid summer evening.

Fresh Onset Oysters. They were fresh, chilled and had a mild yet meaty flavor with no briny aftertaste.

Buffalo Scallops. I’ve had buffalo wings countless times, but never buffalo scallops. These were a first for me and I enjoyed them so much that I’m going to try making them myself soon.

Local New England Steamers in garlic, beer, butter and parsley broth. There was a bit too much butter for my taste, but it was more bordering on decadent than drenched in butter. It was a tasty indulgence for the week.

Orange-Ginger Salmon. This broiled Atlantic salmon wasn’t locally caught, but it was very good. According to our waitress, it is one of the most popular dishes they offer.

1.5 lb fresh steamed lobster that was caught near Maine. It’s difficult to not execute a lobster well. Nonetheless, it was tasty and the meat was sweet.

Overall, Turner’s Seafood Grill and Market is worth the drive from Boston to me.  The atmosphere is comfortable while the service is warm and welcoming. The prices are mid-range and the quality of seafood is wonderful. I’m looking forward to exploring their menu further since I’ve heard good things about their lobster bisque, sauteed mussels, and black ‘n’ bleu shrimp. I learned a lot about local fish during my visit there. I already participate in a CSA near my work and would love to join in on the CSF throuch CAFC for the biweekly pickup.

Turner’s Seafood’s partners GFWA and CAFC will be a part of the vendors providing filleting and cooking demos at the 2011 Boston Local Food Festival, produced by Sustainable Business Network, taking place on October 1, 2011.

Turner's Seafood Grill & Mrkt on Urbanspoon

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