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About 100 yards from the eatery Luff’s Fish House in Boca Raton is the new similarly-named Luff’s Fish Market, offering fresh fish, shellfish and some prepared dishes.
Quietly opening a little over three weeks ago, the market is the latest from restaurateur Arturo Gismondi, the same man behind Trattoria Romana, La Nouvelle Maison, Biergarten and, of course, Luff’s Fish House.
And while there’s Arturo’s Restaurant, run by his son Vincenzo and daughter-in-law Rosaria, much farther north in Boca Raton, all of Gismondi’s restaurants are a few blocks from each other on a stretch of East Palmetto Park Road before the Intracoastal bridge. Even the gastropub Biergarten Boca Raton is nearby in Royal Palm Place.
“I like to joke that it makes me the Poseidon of Palmetto Road now,” Gismondi tells the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Some people come up with the idea and look for the location. I look at the location and then think of the idea.”
That idea really got going around October 2020 — while Gismondi had some time on his hands with pandemic protocols placing all kinds of limitations on restaurants — but Florida seafood has been in the back of his mind for decades.
“I remember going to the concierge at The Boca hotel, this was about 28-30 years ago, and I say to him, ‘All these people come down here from…out of town. And it’s Italian, Italian, Italian. There’s no Florida seafood,’” he recalls.
That introduced him to the local seafood vendors and commercial fishermen.
“And where’s the [seafood] market around here,” he asks. “There is none. People have to go to Pop’s [Fish Market] in Deerfield. And that’s just not Boca. Everyone goes to Boca, but people from Boca don’t like to go anywhere else.”
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Luff’s Fish Market is in the space that was formerly a salon and beauty shop. He says he also liked that the Meating Place butchery was a few doors down
“You go to restaurant, you’re paying $30-$45. You pay $25 at the market and cook it at your house. Guess what? It’s better than restaurant quality. How do you set yourself apart [from other fish markets]? No skin, no bloodlines, center cut. It melts in your mouth.
“You know how sometimes you get baked clams and there’s so much stuffing? I don’t even know what it is. You can’t get it down your throat. We have simple shucked clams. Simple stuffing. Sauce. You’re good to go. We have Dover sole, which you really can’t find in regular markets. And you know how you get tuna and it’s all veiny? We don’t have that. It’s the best of the best. And the Branzino, also the best.”
The proximity to his other properties means that some of the fan favorite side dishes, sauces and even desserts now have a retail platform.
“The synergy is great, being all on Palmetto, feeding off each other. No pun intended.”
So in addition to all kinds of fish, lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, octopus, langostino, etc there is also: eggplant pies and clam sauces from Trattoria Romana; pâtés, ratatouille and smoked salmon from La Nouvelle Maison; pretzels from Biergarten and fish dips, shrimp cocktails and Key lime pie from Luff’s Fish House.
- Luff’s Fish Market is located in Palmetto Park Shoppes at 261 E. Palmetto Park Road..
- The hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.
- There is metered street parking and a parking lot behind Palmetto Park Shoppes’ strip of stores, restaurants, salons and fitness centers.
- Call 561-668-2212. There is no website or social media account yet.