Seafood 101:
What is Dover Sole?

Oysters, calamari, and caviar are just some of the more popular types of seafood many diners love to enjoy. But seafood enthusiasts know to order Dover sole when it comes to a one-of-a-kind flavor.

You may have seen this particular fish on the menu if you’ve ever dined at a popular seafood restaurant or along the coast of Southern California. However, knowing what to look for in a true Dover sole dish allows you to enjoy this fish as recommended by today’s leading culinary experts.

At Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant, the best seafood restaurant in Las Vegas, we are excited to bring you award-winning dishes, including Dover sole. Read on to learn more about this one-of-a-kind flatfish and ignite your taste buds for refined seafood dining.

In some circles, Dover sole is dubbed the perfect fish for non-fish lovers. This inconspicuous flatfish, primarily found in the sandy seabeds of the northern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, is known for its distinct yet mild flavor. Its versatility lends well to a variety of cooking styles and is easily welcomed by all palates.

Over the years, the popularity of the Dover sole has enabled it to become one of the most highly sought-after fish varieties on the market. This demand has even sparked flatfish imitation dishes that seek to mimic the unique flavor and texture of Dover sole. A true seafood lover will know what to look for, of course! Today, the Dover fish is certainly a dish you’ll want to add to your seafood vocabulary

This fish gets its name from the cold waters of the Dover Strait found between England and France. This region used to be the largest producer of the Dover Coast in the 1800s and is still harvested today. 

Dover sole is a species of flatfish with unique features that make it easy to spot. The Dover sole fish is characterized by its flat yet elongated body and short tail. It has both eyes on the right side of its body, with its mouth located on the left side. This unique-looking fish can grow up to 30 inches long, but most harvests are typically around 12 to 20 inches. Because they stay close to the sea bed, they have drab coloring that allows them to camouflage well along the ocean floor.

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Whether you’re dining at a restaurant or looking to purchase this fish for at-home cooking, you’ll typically find two categories: True Dover sole and Pacific sole. But what’s the difference between both, and how will it impact your dining experience? Let’s bust some seafood myths!

Pacific Dover sole 

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. We’re here to tell you that the Pacific Dover sole is actually not Dover sole at all. Also known as West Coast sole, it is a type of flatfish, often flounder, that is farmed, passed off, and marketed as true Dover sole. Pacific Dover sole is generally farmed in areas like Baja, Mexico, and the Bering Sea.

True Dover sole 

True Dover sole is known to have a much firmer texture and a mild flavor profile compared to other flatfish marketed as Pacific sole. True Dover sole is also heartier and not as thin as the filet of a Pacific Dover sole tends to be. As such, a true Dover sole does not fall apart as easily as a Pacific Dover sole. 

Finally, it goes without saying that true Dover sole will be priced higher than the more affordable Pacific Dover sole.

If you’re a food fanatic, you’ll know Dover sole tends to be more expensive. There are many reasons for this, but scarcity is the driving force behind the hike in price. 

This flatfish is still farmed in the Dover Strait and the Eastern Aleutian Islands. Shipping Dover sole throughout the world, especially to popular destinations like the East Coast and Southern border, contributes to its high cost. 

Additionally, the unique mild flavor of Dover sole is not found with other types of seafood. Its unique flavor has created a demand among seafood lovers, especially among individuals who don’t necessarily like the taste of fish. 

We’ve talked about the unique flavor of Dover sole quite a bit, but what exactly does it taste like? For starters, you won’t have that fishy or aquatic taste you’ll find in most other fish varieties. Instead, you’ll find a distinct, mild, and sweet flavor. 

With this unique flavor profile, the Dover sole fish lends itself well to different culinary preparations. One of the most popular methods for preparing this flatfish is the French style, Dover sole meunière. Another popular preparation is the Dover sole béarnaise.
Along with its unique flavor, Dover sole is incredibly healthy. The health benefits of seafood like Dover sole include low levels of saturated fat, high omega-3 fatty acids, and an excellent source of protein.

Discover Dover sole at Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant

A group of people eating dinner at Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant.

Sample one-of-a-kind flavors, including true Dover sole, when you dine with the award-winning Michelin-starred maestro, Chef Shaun Hergatt. Discover a masterfully crafted menu and enjoy a refined dining experience at the best seafood restaurant in Las Vegas.

Join us for dinner and enjoy the best seafood in Las Vegas at Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant. Book your reservation today!