Taste: New and Noteworthy: Go Fish

Pelicans have landed on Locust Street—wooden pelicans, stone pelicans, even neon pelicans, transforming the long, narrow former Girasole space into Pelican Fish, a seafood spot that strives for both traditional and trendy. Boat sails float from the ceiling, seemingly blown by the air-kissing types who gathered in the cacophonous dining room as soon as the restaurant opened. The menu has the requisite martinis (served in clunky stemless glasses) and tuna tartare topped with wasabi-flavored roe (served in precarious long-stemmed martini glasses). In Washington Township, where chefs/owners/spouses Dominick and Jaishree Stulpinas opened Pelican Fish Co. seven years ago, it is enough to serve classic crabcakes with garlic mashed potatoes. But at this second location, in Philadelphia, they’ve paired those crabcakes with shiitake ­mushroom-grits cakes and a lemon Madras curry sauce.

Unfortunately, with many entrées (priced from $17 to $26) dotted with menu buzzwords, it’s easy to overlook what Pelican Fish does best: the basics. Try the crisp fried calamari, oysters Rockefeller (baked in the brick oven Pelican inherited from Girasole), and a selection of West Coast oysters from the raw bar—but skip the boring broiled-seafood options

Pelican Fish, 1305 Locust Street; 215-546-0711. Dinner only. Closed Sunday and Monday.