Business

Fish Bowl restaurant opens in Langley

The new Fish Bowl restaurant in Langley made a successful test run Wednesday when staff, their families and friends were the first to sit down and dine at the cozy, 10-table establishment.

“The staff was just thrilled with the menu,” said Maureen Cooke, who with her husband, Ray, opened the restaurant to fulfill a longtime dream.

The Fish Bowl is located in the Cookes’ Kitchen Shoppe building, on Second Street overlooking Langley Park. Both the Kitchen Shoppe and its companion business, The British Shop, continue to operate in the spacious structure that was originally built as South Whidbey’s Oddfellows Hall.

The Cookes are not new to the dining business. They owned a bed and breakfast on Langley Road where they also served dinner. In her prior life, Maureen Cooke and her former husband owned a hotel and several restaurants near Montreal, Canada.

Besides the owners, a staff of four headed by Chef Micah J. Noack will make sure guests at the Fish Bowl receive the freshest, most delicious seafood possible.

Cooke said South Whidbey has long needed a restaurant specializing in seafood. “We live on an island surrounded by water,” she said. “We’ve been wanting to do this for years.”

Chef Noack is a native of Whidbey Island, having graduated from Coupeville High School. Although only 21 years of age, he has a solid background in fine cooking.

Noack received his start by working as a teenager at the Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville. He was inspired to attend culinary school, and graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Seattle. He has been a chef at such highly regarded restaurants as Reiner’s and the Salish Lodge.

Cooke is thrilled to have someone with Noack’s skills heading the Fish Bowl kitchen. “He’s returned to his native soil,” she said.

The restaurant offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, including salmon, halibut crab cakes, sea bass and a variety of soups and stews. There will be daily specials. Dinner prices range from $14.95 to $21.95, not counting appetizers and beverage. The Cookes have a liquor license to serve wine and beer.

The Fish Bowl officially opened Thursday night to a full house. The Cookes strongly recommend reservation, as seating is limited to 32 patrons.

Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday; closed Wednesdays. Call 221-6511.

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