When you think of a seafood restaurant — a quality one for that matter — you typically assume they’re located near beaches, bays and rivers. Such is not the case for Legal Sea Foods; even still, after having dinner there last week, I can honestly say it’s one of my favorites in the Garden State — shore towns, rivers and bays combined. The funny thing is, it’s located inside Short Hills Mall.
I was seated at a booth and had a great view of other patrons eating. Legal Sea Foods is a family joint. Tables of four with both parents and kids dominated. Next to me was a group of three girlfriends out for a night on the town, drinking champagne and picking at appetizers. Across the way, there was a couple who appeared to be in the “honeymoon stage” of their relationship.
I got a generous helping of coconut shrimp (best I ever had, hands down), calamari (three different kinds in the sampler, the Asian-inspired one was the most tasty) and tuna tartar (which was so fresh) to start. Divine! For my entree, I asked for the Red Onion Jam Swordfish with a sweet sauce. Even better! Restaurant goers also clued me in on the heaven that is the Nutty Atlantic Salmon with capers and ravioli (pictured). I wouldn’t be surprised if the pasta is homemade.
At dinner’s end, I realized what made this restaurant really stand out: its intricately designed dishes (the kind you’d see at a four-star restaurant), carefully planned menu and twists. It’s like every dish had been reinvented for my own enjoyment. All in all, Legal Sea Foods trumped the other seafood chains I’ve been to — sorry, Red Lobster and Joe’s Crab Shack. And add to the list the seafood eateries by the shore. You are no match for this restaurant.
1200 Morris Turnpike
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Monday – Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday 11am – 11pm
Sunday 11am- 9pm
Ysolt Usigan is the beauty and style editor for iVillage, a lifestyle blogger for Huffington Post, and a total foodie. From hot dogs to escargot, if it’s edible, she’ll explore. She might not be the best cook, but what she lacks in kitchen know-how, she makes up for in her research and reporting skills. And oh yeah, she’s also proud to be a Jersey girl and will prove to any one who might disagree that the Garden State has a plethora of dining options that give the big city eateries a run for their money.