A Rhode Island Fishmonger’s Fresh Catches Pop Up Around the East Bay

Sustainably caught scup and butterfish star in summer cookout recipes


Though the seas aren’t swimming with the same populations Mike Lapierre’s father sourced from in the ‘80s, the second-generation fishmonger brings a fresh perspective to our local waters.

“I grew up learning about quality, freshness, and how to be an adventurous eater and cook. I worked with my dad and in a few restaurants before I joined the United States Air Force. I remember a conversation my dad had with me before I joined about how I needed to choose a different career for myself because seafood was a dying industry,” says Lapierre, who laments that this is true to an extent. “We will never have the catch limits or the stocks of certain species that they had in the ‘80s, but it’s not a bad thing. There are other fish in
the sea, truly.”

When Lapierre returned, he decided to forge his own path, working on boats and at fish markets along the way, “my goal being to break the cod, salmon, and scallop trend of old and butcher everything I could that came from our waters,” he explains. Taking a uniquely sustainable and opportunistic approach to the industry, it’s only fitting that he named his own business Brightside Seafood.

A frequent sight at farmers markets around the East Bay, Brightside operates out of a retail space at the Town Made shared commercial kitchen in Wakefield. Lapierre sells only seafood sourced from Rhode Island waters, and butchers everything by hand to ensure quality. Spring brought species like black sea bass, skate, razor clams, and many more fresh off the boat and sold fresh. “Not many fishmongers buy on demand, less buy the variety I do, and even less cut what they buy themselves,” says Lapierre. “For the fish, my knife is swift and careful, and for my customers, you can taste the difference.”



Level up your summer cookout game by adding fresh filets and whole fish from Brightside Market to the menu. Lapierre shares a couple of favorite recipes for scup and butterfish.


Grilled Scup with Chimichurri Sauce

• Whole, cleaned scup or 4-6 oz filets

• 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley,
   stemmed and minced

• ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, minced

• 3 cloves of garlic, minced

• 1 tsp kosher salt

• ½ tsp pepper

• ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

• ¼ cup olive oil

• ¼ cup red wine vinegar or sherry

• 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat the grill to 375ºF.

2. Mix together the minced oregano,
    garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, olive
    oil, vinegar, and lemon juice in a bowl
    for the chimichurri and set aside.

3. Lightly season fish with salt and olive oil.

4. Grill filets for 6-8 minutes or
    whole fish for 15-18 minutes. For
    the whole fish, flip half way; filets
    can be cooked on the skin side only.

5. When the fish is done, drizzle spoonfuls
    of chimichurri on the flesh. Serve over rice.


Pan-Fried Butterfish

• 10-12 whole butterfish that have been been gutted, gilled, and rinsed

• ½ cup seasoned flour

• ½ cup bread crumbs

• Crushed nuts

• Equal parts olive oil and butter for frying

• 1 egg, beaten

• Orange slices

• Lemon wedges


1. Dip each fish in seasoned flour, then
    in a beaten egg, and roll in a mix of
    bread crumbs and crushed nuts.

2. Preheat olive oil and butter in a
    pan, and quickly saute each whole
    fish. For additional flavor, saute whole
    slices of orange with the peel on.

4. Serve on their own with a lemon
     wedge or add to a garden salad.


Follow @brightside_seafood or visit BrightsideSeafood.com to find when fresh catches are popping up at the Tiverton Farmers Market, Mount Hope Farmers Market, and more.


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