Besides Kroger and Mitchell’s Fish Market, there aren’t many places to buy fresh seafood in Northern Kentucky—and grocery store fish is modestly fresh at best. Enter fishmonger John Lafontaine of Friendly Market’s seafood shop, Afishionados. The Ohio native worked under Tom Keegan (Keegan’s Seafood) and Kevin Smith (Newton’s Lobsta Bakes of Maine), but wanted to open his own shop. Eventually, Lafontaine came across a space inside the year-old Florence market and opened up in June. “There are so many areas like this one that don’t have fresh seafood and people want it,” Lafontaine says.
The shop sells about ten different types of fish daily. He likes to keep the supply small because he’s still feeling out what people like and will buy. Freshness is the key ingredient to the shop not smelling too fishy, and he tries hard to purchase sustainable, wild-caught, and ethically farm-raised fish. Lately, Chilean sea bass and stone crab claws have been popular with customers, as have prepared foods such as smoked trout spread, cioppino (a San Francisco-invented seafood, wine, and tomato soup) and clam chowder, which are all made in-house with organic and local ingredients. If you don’t know how to prepare fish, don’t worry—Lafontaine’s happy to offer tips and recipes. 9950 Berberich Dr., Florence, (859) 869-4186, a-fish-ionados.com, Tues–Sun.