By Wini Moranville
Having covered the local dining scene for over two decades, I’ve interviewed a lot of chefs. Many of them have said fascinating things, but one quote that continually sticks in my mind is what executive chef Dom Iannarelli said when I asked him why Splash Seafood Bar & Grill endured while so many other fine-dining venues have come and gone.
“Everyone’s committed to fresh seafood,” he said. “We will not get distracted.”
I kept thinking of this quote as I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Splash the other night. I’m glad that other chefs seize the edgy and experimental – we’d have a pretty staid scene without some game-changing going on. But isn’t it nice to know that you can go somewhere and consistently have terrific oysters and sparkling-fresh seafood? Splash’s sharp, unwavering focus makes it happen again and again. In fact, in the two decades I’ve been going there, I’ve only been disappointed twice.
That Splash excels at seafood is not by any means news – and it was further evidenced the other night by our thorough enjoyment of a dozen oysters and two terrific entrees: a halibut special served in a heady lobster broth with shrimp dumplings, and a swordfish entree with a lush Oscar preparation (béarnaise, king crab, asparagus).
What gave me another angle of appreciation on this visit, however, was how hushed and serene the atmosphere was. White tablecloths and muted music may feel a bit fuddy-duddy in the days of high-volume, high-energy venues, but it was such a pleasure to hear and truly converse with my dining companion. On this particular night, it was just what we needed. And Splash delivered.
Splash is at 303 Locust St., 515-244-5686; splash-seafood.com.