The White Anchovie: Great Seafood in Richmond/Short Pump

I had been bemoaning the lack of a good seafood restaurant in the Short Pump area of Richmond — we wind up having to go across the river to the Bonefish Grill or down to Red Lobster, and since both of those are chains, they still aren’t really what I’m looking for.

But that’s changed! Opened right in my neighborhood is The White Anchovie, a new restaurant with emphasis on simple, fresh, quality ingredients. My parents and I had a lovely evening out sampling classic seafood dishes. The fried oysters, crab cakes, and calamari were all excellent. The lightly fried calamari comes without sauce, a chef’s choice that isn’t too popular but easily remedied by a wonderful, helpful waitress/menu guide. The fried oysters were done with cornmeal, surrounded by a remoulade that was the freshest I’d ever had. The crab cakes were nothing but meat, drizzled with a saffron aioli sauce.

That same sauce was one of three choices for the main course fish filets, the others being an adziki (with jalapeno) or a red pepper-based pimenton. (I was impressed that I’d never heard of either.) Mom and I split a rockfish, accompanied by a delicious, comforting goat cheese polenta. We also shared an amazing arugula salad garnished with tomato and duck bacon.

The only downside is that the restaurant is a bit too pricey to be an everyday “too lazy too cook choice”, with entrees over $20, although there are a selection of gourmet pizzas at $10-12. I’d love to try the mushroom/pork belly pizza, the duck/fig/gorgonzola, or the orange chili shrimp with mozzarella and manchego cheeses. And I would definitely get the wine, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, again. Oh, and I forgot to mention the “della nonna”, a lemon chess pie with a strawberry puree drizzle that was the perfect light meal topper!

The next time I want a special night out, I know where I’m going!

Update: The White Anchovie is now Iron Fish, with a new menu.

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