Why would a great seafood restaurant only be open for dinner two days a week?
That’s a question we have pondered more than once when savoring some of the freshest fish around at Joey’s Seafood Shack, which only serves dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
Even though packed with in-the-know diners on those two nights during season, Joey’s has chosen to remain first and foremost a seafood market – the best place in Vero (every day but Sunday) to buy beautiful fresh fish and take them home for grilling. I stop in there for fish most every week.
But it’s only on those two end-of-week evenings that proprietors Kim Coveny and Joey Fenyak dim the lights, the place takes on an entirely different vibe, and those fortunate enough to nail down a dinner reservation get to enjoy the great seafood without preparing it themselves.
In addition to greeting customers, Kimmy shares culinary responsibilities with Joey. He prepares the seafood, and she whips up wonderful soups and pastas from old Long Island family recipes.
On our most recent visit, we ordered a bottle of wine (Broken Dreams chardonnay; my husband’s a sucker for these fun names) from a reasonably priced wine list, and a basket of tasty bread made it to the table even before the wine.
This time, I decided to start with the Manhattan clam chowder – a relatively light version of this tomato-based chowder – and my husband went with the lobster bisque, which was very flavorful with a dash of brandy instead of the more customary sherry.
We next were served the large Greek salads that come with all entrées. The salads included strawberries, which go surprisingly well with feta cheese.
For entrées, I had the seafood special ($39), my husband ordered the swordfish ($29).
The seafood special at Joey’s is a heaping bowl of little neck clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops, served in either a white wine garlic butter sauce or a very light marinara sauce over linguini. I absolutely love this dish. My husband’s entrée consisted of a gorgeous piece of swordfish – perfectly prepared.
On previous visits, we have enjoyed the broiled grouper, a beautiful piece of fish, again expertly prepared. We also gave high marks to the Scottish salmon, which came to the table with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and artichokes, along with wild rice and seaweed. The artichokes and seaweed played perfectly off the brandy cream sauce – a very successful dish.
Beyond the great food, this restaurant has the homey feel of an Italian family kitchen. Twice on the night we visited, Kimmy took a seat at the piano – and she sometimes also sings.
On weekend nights, Joey’s is a most enjoyable place to have a wonderful seafood dinner. Which brings us back to the question – why is it not open in the evening five or six nights a week? Our theory: to give other restaurants serving seafood a chance.
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The reviewer dines anonymously at restaurants at the expense of Vero Beach 32963.
Joey’s Seafood Shack
- Hours: 5-9 pm, Fri. & Sat. only; Reservations strongly recommended
- Beverages: Beer & Wine
- Address: 1800 US1
- Phone: 772-918-8855