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Located on the ground floor of the renovated Dineen building, The Chase Fish & Oyster (@thechasefo) is the more casual sister restaurant of The Chase (@TheChaseTO), located on the top floor of the building.

The entrance is located in a narrow alleyway

While The Chase Fish & Oyster is the more casual restaurant between the two, it’s still a gorgeous space. Upon entering the restaurant, there’s no doubt that someone spent a pretty penny on renovating the space. The nautical-themed interior is stunning with its floor-to-ceiling windows and soaring ceilings which give it a bright and airy feel.

The street-level patio

The restaurant was pretty dead on a Friday night but I imagine they’re pretty busy with the suits who are on their power lunches.

The interior

The focus at The Chase Fish & Oyster is sustainability and seasonal ingredients. According to their website, their menu consists of small plates with big flavors; entrees that are satisfying and adventurous, but healthy”.

The bar

The menu is broken into the following sections: raw bar (including the usual suspects – oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster), raw/cold/hot appetizers and entrees. There are options for non-seafood eaters too including fried chicken (which has been getting some rave reviews), steak and a burger.

The menu

Mike and I started off with the Lobster Corn Chowder – clams, mussels, whipped mascarpone, beans & old bay crackers ($14). It sounded so promising but unfortunately it fell flat. The flavours just weren’t there. I expected a chowder that would have a strong lobster flavour but it was more of a vegetable chowder (which was a little bland, in my opinion) with a few bits of lobster in it. The worst part is, we paid $14 for this…

But on a positive note, the old bay crackers were delicious and they were more than happy to split our chowder into two separate bowls at no extra charge (I guess that was included in the $14 price tag).

Lobster Corn Chowder

From the cold appetizer section of the menu, we ordered the Crab & Avocado “Roll” – sweet corn & braised leeks, crème fraiche, charred citrus vinaigrette ($23). The “roll” consisted of meaty chunks of crab wrapped with creamy avocado strips… like a sushi roll without the rice. I loved the presentation – with all the bright colours, it’s perfect for the summer. The dish was light, delicate, beautiful and most importantly, delicious!

Crab & Avocado “Roll”

From the hot appetizer section of the menu, we tried the Oyster Po’Boy Sliders – house pickled garlic tartar sauce ($11). One order came with two tiny bite-sized sliders, so yeah, definitely on the pricey side for two small bites. Size aside, the sliders were delicious. The little teasers left me wanting more!

Oyster Po’Boy Sliders

With a great selection of raw oysters, we couldn’t resist ordering half a dozen. We opted for some of the smaller varieties which I find to be sweeter and more delicate.

Raw Oysters

Since we ordered several starters, we shared one entrée, the Steamed Mussels – garlic, white wine, laurel, grilled sourdough & apricot butter ($24). While the broth was quite nice, the mussels themselves weren’t the best – they were small and most of them were pretty dried and shriveled up.

Steamed Mussels

The mussels were served with grilled sourdough topped with apricot butter. I loved this and found the apricot butter to be a nice sweet touch.

Sourdough topped with apricot butter

I didn’t realize the mussels came with sourdough so we also ordered some Shoestring Fries ($7). Thin, crispy and incredibly addictive!

Shoestring Fries

Overall, I found The Chase Fish & Oyster to be a little hit and miss. For the prices they charge, I’d expect everything to be a hit. Would I come back? Maybe if it was on someone else’s tab.

At a glance:
• Beautifully renovated space
• The (more) casual ground floor restaurant of the sister restaurant The Chase
• Serving up seafood with a focus on sustainability and seasonal ingredients
• Our meal was a little hit and miss
• Prices are on the high side; not great value as you’re paying for the gorgeous space

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 2.5 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars

The Chase Fish & Oyster on Urbanspoon

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