Best Bounty of the Sea

Seafood makes a splash in Plymouth.
Shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta from Sunshine Factory Bar and Grill.

Minnesotans sure like their seafood. Fish dishes are popular choices throughout the day and that even includes breakfast. Tuna, salmon, walleye, white fish, scallops, shrimp or crab —take your pick. All this great seafood can be yours and no fishing license is required. Plymouth restaurants showcase seafood dishes with splendor worthy of the deep seas.

Tuna Sub

Firehouse Subs

Enjoy a sub and make it a tuna. On the menu since 1994, Firehouse Subs has the tuna sub down pat. Served cold with a thick slather of tuna salad, the sandwich makes an ideal portable lunch or dinner. An old fire department recipe blends tuna, mayonnaise, relish and black pepper. The namesake sub gets the “fully involved” treatment stacked high with lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard with a snappy dill pickle on the side. This endearing combination of fish, veggies and condiments provides real satiety and won’t break the bank. Thirsty, too? A touch-screen fountain has 120 beverages on tap. Medium $6.97, large $9.65. 2855 Glacier Lane N. #400; 763.276.9514.

New Orleans Shrimp Pizza

Gina Maria’s

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? Put shrimp, Cajun spice and southern-style veggies on the pie and you are well on your way to greatness; the New Orleans shrimp pizza makes its menu debut this month. Festive colors and lively flavors scream, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Let the good times roll for your taste buds. Picture shrimp, onions, fresh tomatoes, green peppers, sweet piquanté peppers and fresh cilantro gleaming among a perfectly melted blend of mozzarella, Applewood and smoked provolone. Lovingly made by hand, this one-of-a-kind pizza is all about fun. “We love what we’re doing. We love making pizza,” says owner Steve Olson. Don’t wait. The New Orleans shrimp pizza is a limited time specialty pie that will vanish all too soon. $11.49 small, $13.99 medium, $16.99 large. 1400 Hwy. 101 N., Oakwood Square; 763.473.0055.

Fresh, Wild-caught Alaskan Cod


The long name tells no fish tale. Word for word, the meaning is spot-on correct. Fresh caught Alaskan cod sports a genuine freshness that sets the dish apart from others, according to general manager Kevin Letnes. “You can really tell the difference,” he says. A crusty herb coating seals in moist tenderness. Creative accompaniments of butternut squash puree and wilted spinach complement the meaty fish. The squash almost acts as a gravy. Toasted almonds add a pleasant contrasting crunch. Light, fresh flavors predominate in a tantalizing fish dish that makes a “pretty healthy portion” for lunch or dinner, Letnes adds. $16. 220 Carlson Parkway N.; 763. 476.1011.

A tempting plate of Hunan scallops from Chef Lee’s Plymouth. Photo by Emily J. Davis

Hunan Scallops

Chef Lee’s Plymouth

takeout (or dine-in for that matter) should be a little adventurous.
Enter the Hunan scallops – a traditional Chinese dish renowned for spicy
flavors, captivating aroma and deep brown color. Chef Lee’s experienced
cooking staff hails from China and knows how to do the dish right,
albeit with a tamed mild to medium level of spiciness. Delicious
scallops mound over fresh-cooked broccoli. Housemade Hunan sauce melds
everything into one irresistible dish. A generous portion will “feed
about two people,” says manager Marissa Ma. “If someone loves scallops,
they’ll probably love this.” Served with white rice or fried rice for an
additional $1.50. $14.50. 1400 County Road 101; 763.473.2518.

Walleye BLT

Lucky’s 13 Pub

Make no mistake, this is no ordinary BLT. It’s a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato served with a good helping of Minnesota nice – all made from scratch. Blackened walleye meets bacon on wheat toast with a fresh snap of lettuce and tomato. The fish does have a bite! A bright orange-red, paprika-fueled Cajun seasoning packs some heat. No worries, the spice level is negotiable. Butter braises the zesty spice mix into the fish. More butter goes on the toast. A hearty, happy play on a tried and true traditional American food, this sandwich is a real catch. The unique protein paired walleye BLT is “a new twist on a Northwoods staple,” says manager Ben Yau. $14.90. 3000 Harbor Lane N.; 763.746.0071.

Smoked Salmon Benedict

Rock Elm Tavern

Fish for breakfast anyone? A little smoked salmon in your eggs Benedict is just the thing. This weekend brunch feature builds on the lavishness of salmon. Housemade hollandaise enlivens the smoked salmon Benedict with rich tart creaminess. The scent of fresh squeezed lemon juice radiates from the sauce. A good dousing of the hollandaise cloaks a big biscuit topped with cold-smoked salmon and a perfectly poached egg. The biscuit adds a crumbly, buttery texture with more interest than your ordinary eggs Benedict English muffin. Served with a house salad, the smoked salmon Benedict is filling, but not too heavy – ideal for the beginning of your day. $11. 16605 County Road 24; 763.208.4451.

Twins Rolls

Sakana Hibachi and Sushi

Big, bright and bursting with Japanese umami flavor, the twins rolls are a sushi treat. A medley of fresh fish goes into the Technicolor rolls. Rock shrimp tempura and spicy snow crab fill the inside. Sheets of vivid pink soy paper form a lovely edible seal. A mosaic of raw yellowtail tuna, salmon and avocado adorn the outside. Nine huge pieces surrounded by pickled ginger, wasabi paste, eel sauce, mango salsa and chili oil make for a sushi feast. The dish hails from a menu with larger than average serving sizes, says waitress Sammie Moua. Dive in if you dare, your taste buds will be glad you took the plunge. $18.95. 4345 Nathan Lane; 763.559.0755.

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill

Shrimp dresses up pasta into something more satisfying, flavorful and delicious. Enter the shrimp scampi, a Sunshine Factory specialty with a genuine Italian-American presentation. Large shrimp are sautéed in garlic butter and white wine sauce with roasted red peppers. The toss nestles over a bed of angel hair pasta. Flecks of fresh parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese shreds make a tasty finish. The light, but substantial, dish accents the delicate flavors of shrimp. Top to bottom every component is house made —typical of this independently owned restaurant’s commitment to fine food. “We take pride in creating and using our own recipes,” says general manager-partner April Hanson. $13.50 lunch, $14.95 dinner. 4100 Vinewood Lane N.; 763.535.7000.

Sole Fillet with Scallions

Tea House

Simplicity is the secret to this spectacular fish dish. The sole fillet with scallions makes a statement on subtlety. All attributes lean healthy: made fresh, not fried and no MSG. A housemade ginger sauce coats a sauté of fresh fish with a confetti of chopped scallions for a showy topping. Pillows of tender flaky fish stand out against the deep green of the onions. The ginger sauce mellows any sharpness and pulls everything together with “no fishy taste,” says restaurant worker Yvonne Tang. White rice makes an ideal base to soak up remnants of the delectable fish and sauce. $16. 88 Nathan Lane N.; 763.544.3422.