There’s something new and different happening at 590 Valley Road in Montclair. Fish Delish, a fast-casual seafood restaurant, just opened its doors. The restaurant is an international project with roots in Croatia. Read on to learn more.
About Fish Delish
Fish Delish was founded in 2020 on Murter, an island in Croatia. The restaurant features fresh fish served in a casual atmosphere, with homemade sauces, salads, and sides. Vesna Stamm’s nephew Stefano is the founder, and when she got the chance to visit the restaurant in person, she knew it would be a hit in the US. There are six locations throughout Croatia, and this is the restaurant’s first American location.
Being able to open this restaurant is an incredible opportunity for Vesna to spend more time in Montclair and with her family. “I’ve been in the US since 2001. My first year I lived in Weehawken and took classes at Montclair State and learned the area. I love Montclair, it’s such a great neighborhood” she said. “When I saw the space on Valley Road, I said, ‘this is it’. This is where our business needs to be.”
Nephew Stefano and several of Vesna’s extended family members are in town from Croatia to help with the opening. “We have tots of family in town to get things going,” she said. “The quality here has to match what we have in Croatia.”
Vesna has a background in property management but has always been in and around the restaurant world. “My parents had a restaurant when I was going up, so I worked there,” she said. “I was a private chef for a while. I worked in property management for a long time but I realized that cooking is where I am happiest.”
Vesna is excited about the possibilities now that the restaurant is open. She said, “I’m very proud of my nephew, and this big project that he started. Now we can work together and bring his baby here and share it here in the US.”
What to Expect
Vesna said that the restaurant will be a welcome change for customers. “It’s something different, not what you think when thinking of fish,” she said. “Atmosphere is very casual, very easy going, very fun.”
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Certainly fish is the main draw of the menu, but it’s how the fish is served that’s unusual. The fish is served on sandwiches, salads, sandwiches, and as an entree. It’s also served hot-dog style on a brioche bun. For example salmon in sesame with coleslaw salad, arugula, fried onions, smoked mozzarella and mustard honey sauce. “It has unexpected flavors,” Vesna said. “ The menu is a great combination of sandwiches and sauces. salads, veggies, and fish salads like tuna salad, salmon salad. The combination of ingredients is a little different.”
Burgers and dogs are served on brioche buns, and all of the dishes are served with housemade sauces using recipes that Stefano developed himself. The restaurant is open daily from 11AM to 7PM.