Feb 062002
Authors: Melissa Belongea

The Old Town district of Fort Collins has received another new restaurant. Perhaps restaurant isn’t the most accurate word; it’s a fresh fish market, appropriately named, Fish.

While the seafood you get from Fish isn’t right off the dock, it is no more than two days out of the water, “which ain’t bad for Colorado,” according to owner Mike Reeves.

Of course, there is more to Fish than the fare. It has a California-hip, sushi-bar-esque feel to it. In fact, Reeves says he got the floor plan from Ace Cafe in downtown San Francisco. Jade green is the main color of choice, resembling that of the sea. Various fish-themed knickknacks line the shelves behind the bar, as well as fish art along the walls.

The environment is very fitting to the Fort Collins crowd; Birkenstock to businessman, Reeves says Fish is a teahouse of sorts, a community place. The waiters are outfitted in plain white polo shirts, with a sophisticated touch of a long white apron. Butcher paper lines the tables; “We are not so much a tablecloth place,” Reeves said.

As for the food, it’s all about the sea. Items on the menu include sesame-seared ahi (tuna), fish and chips, steamed king crab legs, fried oysters and more. Reeves says they don’t do chicken or steak because they focus only on bringing fresh, quality seafood to Fort Collins.

I had the grilled Asian salmon. The salmon itself melted in my mouth, and the blend of lo mein, snow peas and grilled peppers complimented the fish.

Elizabeth Elliott, a long time Fort Collins resident, says she is not much of a fish eater, but that she has been to Fish at least 100 of the 120 days they have been open.

“I think that speaks to how good the food is,” said Elliott, whose favorite item on the menu is the shrimp cocktail.

The fish come from as near as Maine and Idaho and as far away as the Philippines and China.

Reeves orders mostly farm fish. He says he likes to use fish that are a renewable resource, which is why he does not carry red snapper, orange roughy and for now, swordfish.

Seafood lends itself to a variety of specials. Reeves says they like to keep the specials interesting, with Mediterranean, South East Asian, East Coast and Mid-western preparations.

Reeves is a local Fort Collins resident, although his restaurateur career has been varied. He began at the Pelican Fish, Fort Collins’ old time seafood hub, where he was a chef; he then worked in Boulder while attending the University of Colorado. And just before Fish, Reeves ventured to Canada, where he owned a Mexican restaurant. n

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