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Talk Like A Fisherman: Notes from Tony, Our Master Fishmonger & Why Fairway’s Fish is the Best

We like to do things the old-fashioned way at Fairway–which means Captain Tony Maltese, the man at the helm of Fairway’s seafood department, is up before the crack of dawn, selecting the best-of-the-best treasures from the sea.

Here are some fish facts and lingo from  Captain Tony, and a little insight into how we do things at Fairway:


Trip fish come from a boat that goes out to sea for an extended amount of time—sometimes a whole month. When the boat comes in to dock, the fish are sent to the market. They’re called “fresh,” but some have been hanging out on the boat for weeks. At Fairway, we buy our fish from day boats whenever possible.


These boats leave at the crack of dawn and return by evening. We like day boats, and get the vast majority of our fish from them.  We’re lucky to be in the Northeast, where multitudes of fish swim. In season, we sell fish that were swimming only a few hours before they’re behind our counter. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. When we do have to buy from trip boats—as is the case with swordfish—we choose only the Top of the Catch.


The first fish caught on a trip boat could be out of the water for weeks. These are stored on the bottom of the boat. The last fish caught on the trip will be on top of the hold, and will be the freshest. Hence: Top of the Catch. How does Fairway make sure we get the Top of the Catch? There’s only one way: we’re at the dock each morning to see the fish come off the boat and we choose carefully, obsessively.


These are fish that are caught out-of-town locations, filleted and trucked to be sold as fillets. Once a fish is filleted, it starts to break down rapidly,  so preservatives and such get added to help the fish hold up through their journey. We partake in no such thing at Fairway. Our fish arrive whole to our stores, where they are filleted fresh every day, with absolutely no preservatives added.

All this passion, obsession, and love means Fairway fish are simply as fresh as it gets. Come visit our seafood counter and see and taste for yourself.

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