Tastings: The Italian Fisherman
photos by Elise Poché
An old friend has returned to Mobile, and his devoted following of customers has returned to him. John Weichman, formerly of Constantine’s and Weichman’s All Seasons, opened his new venture, The Italian Fisherman, on Old Shell in early August after several years away from the Port City. The familiar location, formerly Chuck’s Place, is a building owned by Weichman and his wife, Maria.
“What I like about The Italian Fisherman is its size and Midtown location,” Weichman says. “I feel we offer an ambience and comfortable setting unequalled in Mobile, an at-home feeling.” His cuisine is a combination of traditional Italian fare, including spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant Parmigiana and several veal dishes, as well as the old-school seafood specialties long served at both of Weichman’s former establishments.
Most of the dishes, including the ever-popular scamp amandine (served the same way since 1934), are local favorites straight from Weichman’s All Seasons. “Customers have said they have waited 16 years to taste this again,” he says. (Weichman’s All Seasons closed in 1995.) Other signature standards he has brought back include Crabmeat Dauphine, oysters en brochette and Seafood la Louisiana. Osso bucco is served on Thursdays and roasted prime rib on Fridays and Saturdays. And, Weichman hopes to bring back the much-requested broiled calves’ livers the first week of each month. Desserts range from classic caramel custard to cannoli, below. There is a nice, well-priced wine list. Reservations are recommended as the restaurant draws an early crowd starting at around 5:30 p.m. The Italian Fisherman will be closed for the Christmas holidays (Dec. 24 - 26). However, the restaurant will be open New Year’s Eve with seatings at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; reservations are required.
Crab and Cream Soup
This lush, classic, slightly sweet, cream-based soup is brimming with crabmeat.
Fresh Mozzarella and Roma Tomato Salad
Triangles of snowy fresh mozzarella atop tomato slices are all scattered with ribbons of fresh basil and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
A Mobile favorite from years past — a sizable fillet of scamp, lightly fried and served with a light, slick, savory “secret” sauce and a generous hail of sliced almonds.
The Italian Fisherman
5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. T - Sa.
2503 Old Shell Road.