Caribbean-style haddock from Paella Seafood, a new restaurant on Forest Avenue. Photo by Meredith Goad

When Miller Brothers Seafood failed to reopen this year, I was one of the many fans mourning the loss of its incredibly fresh, well-prepared and reasonably priced seafood. The owner of the tiny space on Forest Avenue said he was trying hard to get another seafood restaurant into the spot, and he kept his promise when Paella Seafood opened there in August.

Before ordering my first meal, I scouted around online and found the place to be getting only rave reviews. People appear to be particularly enamored with the restaurant’s signature paella dish, the lobster mac and cheese bites, and its seafood minestrone, which customer photos show filled to the brim with shrimp, haddock and calamari. A bowl costs $9.75 on the menu, or $10.73 through a delivery service.

Hot soup seemed just the right antidote to a recent chilly night, so I ordered the other soup on the menu, potato leek with seafood (again, with shrimp, haddock and calamari). I also tried the Caribbean style haddock (to make myself feel like I’m in a warmer place on the map). The haddock fillets are marinated in pineapple, coconut, ginger, mustard, lemon, lemongrass and fresh coriander, then breaded with coconut and deep fried. The dish costs $13.99 on the menu, or $15.39 through a delivery service.

Potato and leek soup with shrimp, haddock and calamari from Paella Seafood. Photo by Meredith Goad

I ordered delivery because 1) it was crazy cold outside and 2) the indoor restaurant space is tiny. Even when Miller Brothers was there, while some people did eat inside, most of the business was takeout. (There are a couple of picnic tables outside for warmer weather.) If you are on a tight budget, go for takeout over delivery. My bill came to about $21, but by the time I added the delivery fee and a respectable tip, I paid $40.

Everything arrived still steaming hot. The soup (which comes with two rolls) was delicious and did have a lot of seafood in it, although not so much that I would gush about it like online reviewers did. The haddock was a huge portion – two large pieces, enough, really, for two people, and an interesting twist on the more traditional fish and chips. It comes with pineapple chutney and fries. The fish was good – fresh, hot and moist – but the fries were oddly dry and tasteless.

Paella Seafood offers a lot of tempting dishes, including a seafood lasagna, seafood kabobs (made with salmon, shrimp, haddock and sea scallops) and a salmon steak burger served on a squid ink bun. A lobster roll is also on the menu, at tourist prices ($27.95 on the menu, or a whopping $33.54 for delivery). I have to admit the lobster roll looks delicious and appears to contain a huge amount of lobster meat – and I have seen great reviews of it online. If you can afford it, go for it.

I can’t say, after just one try, that Paella Seafood is better than Miller Brothers, but I’m eager to give it another shot, and I’m sure Mainers will welcome another spot that serves fresh, well-prepared seafood.

Paella Seafood on Forest Avenue. Photo by Meredith Goad


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