The Fish Dock is like a little secret that Closter, New Jersey is not really ready to share with the rest of Bergen County. When we visited, the place was doing a brisk business to locals picking up fresh filets of fish imported from Iceland, the home country of the owners. The only clue from the outside is a small Icelandic flag in the window that is surrounded by a bouquet of USA flags.
The selection of fish is actually quite substantial considering the origin is all one far away country in the North Atlantic. I imagined finding a few selections from Iceland amongst an array of other more local catches, but they stick exclusively to their homeland, errr... waters.
In addition there is a small cooler with packaged goods that have been imported like herring and caviar, as well as their house-made tartar sauce and wasabi mayo. They even sell lemons and potatoes to make sure you can go home and make fish and chips easily.
In a brief conversation with one of the owners, I learned that on Thursdays they make their own fish and chips, outside of the summer season. Expect this to start back up some time in autumn, adding even more excitement to the little spot.
The cod loins ($13.99/lb) looked perfect for fish and chips, so we purchased enough for a big meal and fried up some potatoes as well. Apparently the dish is a popular one for tourists in the country, if not really the locals. Any way to eat Icelandic cod seemed like a no brainer to me, the fish is fantastic.
Our home spread included a beer batter with paprika for a bit of spice, as well as The Fish Dock's tartar sauce, which is excellent and generous with the dijon.
Pulling apart the cooked fish was like looking into the inner workings of a piece of art. The cod was exactly the right taste and texture for fish and chips, smooth and buttery and extremely fresh.
The shop also has a small assortment of kitchen goods with fun names that makes you feel like you are in an upscale IKEA, a land where oven mitts are $15 instead of 2 for $1. Just like IKEA as well, there was also chocolate. The semi-sweet bar we picked up was good but did not knock my socks off. For now at least, Switzerland is safe. We'll be back for fish though.
In addition to our cod, we picked up arctic char ($16.99/lb) and wolffish ($12.99/lb) and will post those meals when they are cooked. Please share your meals and ideas if you happen to go to The Fish Dock!
[UPDATE 20 July 2016: Those fish were delicious too!]
Fillets of arctic char.
Bouillabaisse with Icelandic wolffish.