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Thursday, October 14, 2010

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Vino's owners reel in shoppers

Published: 10:52 p.m., Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  • Manager Andrew Cardillo, left, and owner Claudia Lia at The Brickwalk Fish Market at 1229 Post Road in Fairfield. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Connecticut Post | Buy This Photo


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FAIRFIELD -- When the family that owns Vino on the Brickwalk decided to go fishing for more business, they simply cast a line next door and opened a seafood market.

"We've been open for about 10 months," owner Clauda Lia said. So far, the public is biting.

Lia and her parents, who run the restaurant, said they opened the Brickwalk Fish Market, at 1229 Post Road, in Fairfield, when the space next door became vacant.

"There's no fish market on this side of town," Lia said.

Before the Brickwalk store opened, she said, those looking for fresh fish had to go to Swanson's Fish Market on Black Rock Turnpike.

The connection between the restaurant and seafood shop goes further than family ownership. Diners at Vino can come in to the market to pick the fish they want and the restaurant will cook it.

"Our customers have really gotten used to that," Lia said.

The fish market not only sells raw fish, but prepared entrees and hot lunches. A recent lunch menu offered fried calamari with marinara sauce and french fries for $9, or an 8-ounce, nut-crusted Atlantic salmon, baked and served with rice pilaf and a vegetable for $12. Sandwiches -- all served with fries and cole slaw -- included a fried filet for $6; three crab-cake sliders for $8; or Cajun tilapia for $7. A take-out order will take about 10 minutes to prepare, she said.

"We always have three kettles of soup going," Lia said.

Lia said they get their fish fresh every day from a distributor, who makes the daily trip to New York's Fulton Fish Market. "It keeps everything fresh," she said. "Nothing is frozen. Everything is made here. You'll see my father cutting up the 90-pound fish. The stuffing we use is made next door at the restaurant."

Although a distributor right now makes that trek to the Bronx, N.Y., Lia said her father wants the two of them to do it for themselves eventually.

Shoppers also can find pastas and risottos at the market to have along with their fish.

Lia also praised the work done by the Kleban family of Kleban Properties in revitalizing the Brick Walk.

"They did an amazing job," she said. "This has become a destination spot now. People park their cars and walk around."

For more information about Brickwalk Fish Market, call 203-292-5448. Hours are 10 a.m. to

7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.