Seafood lovers take note — there’s a new place to reel in a fresh catch on the North Fork. Situated in the heart of Wading River’s historic district next door to açaí-bowl café Brekky, the new Blue Water Fish market sells fresh fish and take-out dishes prepared by owner Tom Infantolino.
A second-generation fishmonger whose father owned a seafood market (the similarly named Blue Water Fish Market) in Queens for four decades, Infantolino moved to Wading River 25 years ago and started a wholesale fish trucking business with his family, while musing about opening a storefront that would also include cooked dishes.
Infantolino discovered his love of cooking at his father’s fish market when he was a young adult.
“I started off making three or four different items, and within a couple years there wasn’t enough room in the store for the amount of dishes I was putting out,” he said.
It took a car accident that left Infantolino unable to drive his fish trucks in 2019 to solidify his plans to open his own storefront.
“I got kind of bored sitting at home, so I looked at this place,” Infantolino said, referring to Blue Water’s current location. Then the pandemic hit and he had no choice but to defer his dream. When he found out the storefront was still vacant this past January, he pursued his goals in earnest.
The challenge then became renovating a site that need a lot of work — during a building-supply and construction staffing shortage.
“This place was a mess,” he noted of the former My Creperie location, now outfitted with a blue nautical theme. “It took a long time to open up. The cases I ordered six months ago with a six-week window came three weeks before the opening.” Though he was frustrated he wasn’t able to debut his market at the start of the summer, Infantolino said his first week has been a success.
“The people in this community are really supportive, very friendly and so happy to see a fish store here,” he said.
In addition to fresh-caught, local mahi mahi, tuna and swordfish, Infantolino sells his own-prepared daily specials, from lobster rolls to fish and chips, from shrimp salad to stuffed sole, baked salmon and clams on the half shell.
So far locals are hooked, with Infantolino selling out of most of his inventory during the first week. His lobster roll, in particular, drew raves. “I do it very simple,” Infantolino said. “Celery, a little onion, a little mayo, salt, pepper.”
Blue Water Fish, located at 2 Sound Road, Wading River, is currently open Wednesday through Monday.