The Salt Fish Brings A Taste Of The Islands To Pleasure Island

By Jessica Maurer, posted Oct 31, 2018
One of the dishes at The Salt Fish is a pineapple stuffed with shrimp and Chinese sausage fried rice. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)

Open now for just over a week, chef Kirsten Mitchell said it’s been smooth sailing at The Salt Fish.

“Like any new restaurant, we’ve had some hiccups and are ironing out the kinks,” Mitchell said. “But the locals have been so welcoming and supportive and things have gone really well so far.”

The self-trained chef has built a menu around the food of her childhood, much of which was spent in the Bahamas and South Florida. She has incorporated flavors from throughout the Caribbean as well as Polynesia.

Mitchell said some of the top sellers so far include the Tahitian beef skewers and the conch fritters. When she saw that guests were shying away from ordering the pork and squid salad, she began sending samples out to tables and the orders started rolling in. 

“It’s a Filipino dish with papaya, tomato and peanuts,” Mitchell said, “very bright and flavorful.”

Highlights from the menu include smoked pork steam buns with a guava barbecue sauce, tuna poke with spicy mayo, seaweed, green onion and avocado, a house-made smoked fish spread and a whole smoked fish platter, a banana leaf-wrapped fish of the day topped with mango chili butter, a smoked pork chop with coconut creamed greens, jerk chicken, a Caribbean seafood curry stew, and a pineapple stuffed with shrimp and Chinese sausage fried rice. Mitchell said she is working closely with area markets to bring in the freshest local seafood and will begin offering daily specials shortly. 

“People might be expecting more of a fine dining element given my background,” Mitchell said. “But I really wanted to do something fun.”

To accompany the flavors of the islands, The Salt Fish offers a full bar with festive Tiki drinks, as well as beer and wine. 

The space, formerly occupied by Holy Smoke That’s BBQ!, has undergone a complete transformation, now reminiscent of an island plantation. It’s casual and welcoming, festive and funky. Much of the décor was selected by Mitchell’s mother, Donna Mitchell, an artist and former restaurant owner, who will be serving as front of the house manager. 

Mitchell told the Business Journal in September that she wanted a visit to her restaurant to be like a mini-vacation, the kind of place where you can dress up if you want to or come in your flip-flops. 

“I like to think of it as a trip to a secret island,” Mitchell said. 

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