Dining Hacks

Why You Should Order a Whole Fish (When You Can)

By Kelly Dobkin  |  January 17, 2014
Credit: Derek Richmond

Welcome to Dining Hacks: helping you navigate your next meal with expert advice from industry insiders.

To avoid a bait and switch the next time you order fish, go for the whole thing, says Roberto Bellissimo, GM of Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina in NYC. "When ordering fish, if possible, always order the fish whole instead of filleted to ensure you're getting the right fish, says Bellissimo, "When filleted, many types of fish can look similar - like striped bass and tilefish, for example. Tilefish costs a restaurant just $3 a pound, much less expensive than striped bass, but it's virtually impossible to tell the different when they are filleted. If you order it whole, the fish will come with the skin on so you will be able to make sure that you're getting the fish that you ordered and not a less expensive replacement." Might we add: fish cooked whole is often more moist and flavorful than fish fillets (and less likely to be overcooked). Plus with instances of seafood fraud plaguing the industry as well, it might behoove you to know your fish (or at least know how to Google them).