The Dish: Moby Rick's

Seafood Mac & Cheese? Fresh EVERYTHING? Check out our gallery above for all the yumminess at Moby Rick's! 

Happy new years everyone! We made it to 2017 and it was a beautiful evening. Huge, soft snowflakes floated down throughout the night in a peaceful and cleansing way and we greeted the new year with a potluck, a bonfire, some champagne and lots of joy. I hope you all enjoyed your evening in the way that made you content as well.

            Now that we’ve gotten past the celebration, the dreaded guilt of new year’s resolutions and the memories of holiday calories consumed creep in. I’m here to tell you to take a deep breath and be kind to yourself- take your time and no, you don’t have to do that cleanse if you don’t really want to. There are other ways to treat yourself without killing yourself at the gym or depriving yourself of your natural cravings for chocolate (yes they are natural and yes, you should indulge them in moderation). This week I have a cool place for you to check out for a fresh and healthy meal that will also leave you satisfied.

            I wandered over to Moby Rick’s seafood market on the corner of Lake Avenue and Warren Street on Tuesday, recognizable by its blue and white awning, red door and cheery, fluorescent “Open” sign blinking in the window. Also, for those that remember, it’s the former location of Pepper’s Market. Fair warning, the reasons for why I hadn’t yet been into Moby Rick’s are annoying but they may ring true for some. I don’t cook fish very much at home- there’s no real ethos behind it other than that I fall victim to thinking that chicken or pork or beef are easier to prepare (untrue).  The other reason I haven’t been in is because my Virginia Beach-born fiancé has been persnickety about buying fish in Saratoga given that we aren’t in close proximity to the ocean (valid point). Well people, it’s due time (actually overdue) that we broaden our fish horizons and head to the market to disprove those theories.

  Moby Rick’s is a true seafood-lovers fish market and although they sell various accoutrements, sauces and spices as well, the focus here is on the fish and on the freshness of it. Rick’s is an offshoot of Pura Vida Fisheries of Hampton Bays, Long Island- a fishery operation started and run by Captain Rick Lofstad and named for his trusted fishing boat. Rick is a third generation fisherman with an immense passion for sharing not only the bounty of the oceans but also his beliefs in sustainable fishing. You can find Rick’s catch at 25 farmer’s markets throughout New York including Saratoga and Troy or you can head into Moby Rick’s any of the week to see what’s on ice. We can thank this business for bringing the ocean to us here in Saratoga.

            Daily offerings change with the season at Rick’s but you’ll almost always find varying oysters, shrimp, Ahi tuna, red snapper and seabass among other delicacies. Rarer seasonal offerings such as smoked eel, monk fish, Alaskan salmon and deep water john dory can also be found on the right day, all of which is filleted and on full display in Rick’s wooden glass-topped and ice-filled cases. Today there was also New England flounder, Icelandic Steelhead trout, striped bass and Norwegian Ocean raised salmon as well as Alaskan King Crab legs and three live lobsters. Moby Rick’s is all about the “ocean to table” experience, serving fresh fish with pride from small boat fishermen in Long Island and Boston. Rick is from a family of fishermen and intends to bring that experience full circle by supporting his “brethren”, if you will. 

            The fishmongers at the shop, David and Adrian (as well as Rick), know their stuff and are great resources for what’s what, where it came from, including how far offshore and how deep of water, and how to cook it. They’re also eager to have you sample some of the prepared foods available- all made in house- including Mediterranean seafood salad with octopus and Ahi Tuna salad. Having had a tuna sandwich just yesterday with albacore from a can, I can say this Ahi tuna salad was a serious upgrade.

          What I like most about Moby Rick’s, besides the fish itself, is the purist nature of the place. Walking in you feel transported to the shore, fish on ice, fish nets and buoys hanging from the ceiling, chalkboards detailing the “daily catch” as well as the fried fish menu. It’s nostalgic and no frills. The guys here are passionate about what they do and part of that job is to supply people with highest quality cuts of fish that’s come in overnight from the coast. In addition, they use the surplus of supply to make house made soups which are available daily from the crock pot behind the counter, as well as prepared foods and dips, in one of the refrigerators by the door. In the other fridge, you can find vacuum packed fresh fish that’s been sealed and frozen here, in case you want to stock up or for a meal later in the week. On the shelves, you can stock up on your highly necessary Old Bay seasonings, artisanal ketchups and sauces, malt vinegars, small batch Fisherman’s Wharf spice blends, Zatarains Crab Boil, and our very own local Saratoga Spicery custom blends- everything you need for your feast of fish- no matter the way you prepare it.

            This is the kind of place you can go, shoot the breeze with the fishmongers, and get the key ingredients for the special meal, weekday treat or the party you are planning. Raw bar? Get your oysters shucked and stock up on your clams, shrimp, cocktail sauce and lemons. Lazy night in? House-made seafood mac and cheese, chock full of chunks of scallops, crayfish and lobster, will do the trick. Feast of the seven fishes? Get ‘em all here and support not only this local business but also the livelihoods of the small boat fishermen on the coast. 

            I’ll be back and so will my fiancé, who’s sold. I’ve got some fish ‘n chips with my name on it, new years resolutions can wait…

Posted on January 5, 2017 and filed under FOOD.