Copperfish Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar is the newest darling of Tampa foodies. Located in the trendy SoHo neighborhood, the restaurant is quickly making a name for itself in an area known for its large selection of high-quality eateries. But this seafood joint sets itself apart with its fresh ingredients, expertly prepared.
Perhaps it isn’t that surprising when the owner is Gordon Davis - the person who first coined the term SoHo over a decade ago, as president and founder of the SoHo Merchants and Residents Association. Davis is a well-known Tampa restaurateur with other popular restaurants to his name, including Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club as well as Boca Kitchen Bar and Market.
Dive into towers of delicious shellfish at Copperfish — Photo courtesy of Copperfish Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar
It is not difficult to see that the star of the show at Copperfish is the immaculate preparation of the freshest seafood you can get. The fish and shellfish are expertly sourced and simply grilled over hardwood, allowing the natural flavors to shine through. Executive Chef Richard Pims was brought in from New York’s Sea Fire Grill to develop the menu, and early reports have him doing very well. The menu is kept small and focused, changing with the seasons and the daily catch.
After undergoing a complete renovation, the décor may not be first priority, but it does make a great first impression. Modern and contemporary furnishings are blended with rustic touches; exposed brick and industrial finishes add character.
The result is a warm, comfortable, somewhat masculine ambiance. Centrally located in a space of honor is the exposed grill station, where patrons can watch the chefs perform their magic. Full advantage is also taken of Tampa’s great weather, with their spacious outdoor seating area complete with romantic fountain.
Wherever you decide to sit, definitely start your dining experience with the oysters. If raw isn’t your style, go for the Copperfish grilled oysters with herb butter, parmesan and romano cheeses. Absolutely delish!
For your entree, you might try the black grouper or the Gulf snapper: both are drawing rave reviews. If you’re stopping by for lunch, the overstuffed lobster roll provides the perfect mid-day treat. If you’re not a seafood fan, the menu offers a selection of other grilled meat dishes, including a center cut filet and herb-roasted chicken prepared with the same attention to fresh ingredients and expert preparation.
Prices at Copperfish are fairly high, as expected for a menu of fresh seafood and handcut steaks. If you’re planning to visit Copperfish during peak dinner hours, a reservation will help avoid a lengthy wait. There is a $5 charge to valet your car, but you can avoid this charge as there is plenty of free street parking in the area.