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Foodie File: Blackened, steamed or fried: DeLand Fish House has your seafood
Friendly faces — Owners Margo and Nick Costa strive to make DeLand Fish House a welcoming environment by greeting each customer. Their philosophy is that prime customer service and good eats will keep customers coming back to DeLand Fish House.
BEACON PHOTO/JAN GIROUX
Beaconites Jan Giroux and Karen Bures decided on DeLand Fish House for lunch.
The restaurant sits prominently on International Speedway Boulevard on DeLand’s north side, just east of Amelia Avenue. Some will remember when the restaurant there was called Cedar River.
It’s now DeLand Fish House, and it is home to a fresh seafood market as well as a sit-down restaurant with a comprehensive menu, and owners who strive to make the environment welcoming to all.
Husband-and-wife team Nick and Margo Costa were already veterans of the food-and-beverage industry when they bought DeLand Fish House in May 2011.
Nick came to Volusia County from New York 18 years ago, and has 25 years’ experience managing restaurants, including Inlet Harbor in Ponce Inlet.
“We strive to make the Fish House as close to home as possible,” Margo Costa said. “We meet and greet all of our customers and make sure they have the best possible experience.”
Nick Costa comes into the 124-seat dining room at least once every hour to greet each guest personally. The Costas pride themselves on meeting and knowing their customers, which is how they have gotten to know Jan Giroux, who visits often.
“Enjoying our family atmosphere and home-cooked food is what the DeLand Fish House is all about,” Nick Costa said.
When the Costas can slip away from the business, they often head out to play in a No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament. They travel all over the state to compete, when time permits.
But, usually, they’re at DeLand Fish House, working alongside their 20 employees. Jan and Karen were impressed with the service.
“The courtesy was beyond my expectations. It’s a very friendly staff,” Jan said.
The décor is — not surprisingly — fish. The walls are covered in fish images from all over.
“I don’t think I have ever seen so many kinds of decorative fish,” Karen said.
Jan and Karen turned their attention to the fish on the menu. The cuisine is a mix of shellfish, fresh fish, and seafood sandwiches, with chowders and salads, all made fresh to order.
DeLand Fish House also offers classic American food, such as rib-eye steaks and cheeseburgers, for those who do not partake in seafood, and a children’s menu with miniature corn dogs and other kid-friendly items.
Jan chose the wild local catfish with onion rings. Both fillets and fingerlings are available.
“My catfish was excellent, and the onion rings were the best around,” Jan said.
The onion rings, like the fish, are housemade and hand-battered.
Karen opted for the Ipswich whole-belly clams lunch. These clams are a specialty item from Ipswich, Massachusetts, and they are typically fried. More common in seafood restaurants are clam strips, which incorporate only part of the clam.
“Ipswich whole-belly clams are not something every restaurant offers, especially in DeLand,” Karen said. “One of the owners even asked me where I was from, because not many people order it.”
Karen is from Maryland, where the seafood specialty is more likely to be blue crab. She was introduced to whole-belly clams by a friend from Boston.
If you really like your meal at DeLand Fish House, you can buy the same seafood at the restaurant’s fresh market, for preparing at home.
A display case filled with fresh fish and other kinds of seafood greets customers when they enter the restaurant. The seafood is delivered almost daily from around the United States.
Cuisine: Fresh seafood
Beverages: Draft and bottled beers, wine and soft drinks. The specialty beverage is sweet tea.
Location: 310 E. International Speedway Blvd., DeLand
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Our bill for two meals: $27.88
*$ $1 to $10
$$ $11 to $20
$$$ $21 to $30
$$$$ $31 or higher
Seating options: Indoor
Types of service: Table service
Dress code: Casual
- Vanessa Petion, email@example.com