DENVER (KDVR) — It’s not a secret, landlocked states like Colorado don’t have saltwater fish. Most fish get shipped in from coastal states, but it’s not just the expected seafood states like Boston or Maine, local restaurants get fish from all over.
FOX31 asked local seafood restaurants where they get their fish from and how quickly it gets to the restaurant. Surprisingly, most of the answers were different:
Water Grill gets some its fish from a distribution center in southern California which gets them from all over the world. The restaurant offers over a dozen different oysters. Right now, the restaurant has Kumamoto oysters from California.
“We offer Kumamoto year round, but that’s probably our most varied oyster. So right now we have Kumamoto from California. But just a couple of weeks ago, we had some from Mexico, and soon we will start sourcing them from Washington. So we get them from all over the coastline, depending on the season,” said Mallory Fink, general manager at Water Grill.
As for when the fish arrives, it’s a unique circumstance. Some of the shellfish are kept alive through the shipping process and kept in live saltwater tanks in the restaurant. Guests can see them in the restaurant and pick out which one they want.
Blue Island Oyster runs an oyster farm in Long Island, New York and owns a hatchery that breeds oysters.
Sean Huggard, owner of Blue Island Oyster Bar, gets a lot of his fish from Boston. But it also depends on what he’s looking for. Specific seafood comes from all over. He gets his stone crab from South Florida, most of the salmon from Scotland and oysters from the Gulf of California.
While these are further away from Denver than most coastal states, the Denver International Airport usually offers direct flights which ship the fish only hours after they’re packaged.
As for how quickly fish arrives at the restaurant, it’s based on shelf life. For example, if it’s ordering stone crab, it will be shipped overnight within eight hours because they have a low shelf life. Other seafood is shipped on Southwest once it comes off the boat.
Most of what Stoic and Genuine serve is oysters, which it sources from the East and West coasts. Oysters don’t taste the same year-round, so the restaurant uses oysters anywhere from Oregon up through Alaska to the east coast of Virginia into Canada.
When it comes to timing, the restaurant tries to get the fish from the ocean to the table in five days, said Tim Kuklinski, the culinary director of Stoic and Genuine.
“So it depends on what’s available. What’s being harvested at the time is what we will buy,” said Kuklinski.
To no one’s surprise, the lobster at Maine Shack comes from Maine, which is shipped overnight on one of the many Southwest flights.
But it’s not Maine exclusively. The rest of the shellfish served at the restaurant comes from Ipswich, Massachusetts.
While the fish in Denver isn’t the “fresh catch” right out of the water, it’s still fresh. Even though the fish aren’t caught in state, they’re shipped immediately and arrive faster in Denver than in most other landlocked cities because of DIA.