As I sit down to write this, I’ve just finished a wonderful Friday night dinner of delicious rainbow trout. It’s one of my favourite types of fish, which I picked up at De La Mer on Bayview. I also happen to be a big fan of their king crab, which is a New Year’s Eve staple in my home.
I had a chance to sit down with David Owen, one of the co-owners of De La Mer, and Kate, the Bayview location manager, for an excellent education in all things fishy.
De La Mer is celebrating seven years on Bayview Ave., and is the first store of Dave and co-owner Blake Edwards’ three-store chain, with locations on the Danforth in the east end and Roncesvalles in the west end. I asked Dave why he and Blake decided to open up a seafood shop (or “seafood boutique,” as I like to call it) on Bayview, and he answered pretty quickly that they noticed a fishmonger was the missing business on the Bayview strip. No science behind their decision, but they both have a background in food (as professionally trained cooks) and sales, so it worked. How lucky for our seafood-loving community.
The shop prides itself on bringing Leaside the freshest seafood from Canada and around the world. Front shop staff are trained in all aspects of the seafood they sell, and they take great pride in educating the customer and creating an overall pleasant experience. In fact, if a staff member can’t answer a specific question from customers, Dave will personally call them in the evening to offer information. Talk about personalized customer service!
Currently the top sellers in the shop include Oceanwise Salmon, crab cakes and Oceanwise Smoked Salmon. Those all seem like pretty safe seafood choices. But why not expand your palate a little and try some of Dave and Kate’s suggestions. Dave suggests the Petrale sole, a west coast sustainably caught fish and the “Gone Fishing” smoked salmon, which is coated in a rub of cumin, coriander, oregano and garlic that’s fabulous with a salad.
Kate enthusiastically endorses the “Spicy Fish Lover’s” seafood pizza or the lobster mac & cheese. Or on a cool rainy day, you might want to try one of their soups, such as potato leek or saffron fish. Except for the chowders, they are shelf stable for up to a year, so you might want to consider picking up a few for your pantry.
De La Mer carries a wide range of fish from across Canada. Their rainbow trout is from St. Thomas, Ont., pickerel swims in from Lake Erie, and yellow perch from Lake Huron. Canada’s east coast provides De La Mer with the freshest haddock, while the west coast brings us halibut, wild salmon, sole and black cod. All these choices arrive at the store within 24 to 48 hours of being processed, so you’re guaranteed the freshest seafood. If you’re looking for recipes for any of these offerings, look no further than the De La Mer website – www.delamer.ca, which offers a wide variety of recipes as well as some easy how-tos.
Starting on the May long weekend, the shop resumed its Saturday BBQs, which run until Labour Day weekend. The salmon burger or smoked salmon sausage costs only $5 each – easily the most wallet-friendly lunch on Bayview.