POINTS NORTH ATLANTA —  By Julie Hostetter

You may just have to pinch yourself, or let the crab dish
do it for you, because you’ll swear you just stepped into your favorite beachside hangout. Alas, Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar may not be able to serve up an ocean view, but it does dish out fabulous sea fare in a fun atmosphere. Owned by brother and sister team, Arte Antoniades and Nik Panagopoulos, Tin Can is nestled discreetly like a pearl in the City Walk at Sandy Springs, and is adjoined to the duo’s popular Mexican restaurant, Teela Taqueria. Inside, the ocean-colored walls are teeming with schools of copper fish and the outdoor patio is a quiet, private spot for warm, sunny days.

But it’s the food that is the real catch, and I assure you won’t be disappointed. The extensive menu offers a delicious bounty of oysters, shrimp and mussels. My friend and I dove into the oysters and came up smiling. The Southern oysters with collared greens, bacon and bread crumbs and the Rockerfella won’t disappoint, and the cornmeal crusted fried oysters topped with bacon and crab combine the best of both worlds.

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The newest concept from Nik Panagopoulos and Arte Antoniades, Tin Can Fish House and Oyster Bar, aims to re-create the flavor of casual dining at the coast. The brother-sister team behind the defunct Fishmonger opened Tin Can late last year in a storefront adjoining their funky Mexican joint, Teela Taqueria.

The look: Nestled in the upscale City Walk at Sandy Springs strip mall, the space is surprisingly secluded, especially compared to the gridlock on nearby Roswell Road. Inside, the ambience is kitschy seaside cafe meets party hearty spring break bar, with tropical colors, fish art and beer signs. On sunny days, the spacious patio makes a breezy refuge.

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Looking around Tin Can Fish House, I recalled past visits to Florida with its waterfront cafes. If the decor doesn’t make you feel like you just stepped off the boardwalk, the food sure will. We kicked things off with some oysters, Thai mussels, calamari and my favorite, Bang Bang Shrimp. The general consensus was that the oysters, (we sampled both raw and fried), were so-so, which was slightly disappointing as it does have the word Oyster in the name. The mussels with the cilantro-curry-coconut flavor were a crowd-pleaser and the Bang Bang shrimp, which I’ve had in taco form at Teela Taqueria next door, was also a delicious start to our meal. My only regret is that we didn’t order the Ahi Tuna. After talking to several other diners that evening it seemed to be the most-liked appetizer.

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Start with standard or ramped-up oysters like “Southern” style w/ collard greens, bacon & bread crumbs; half-pound pots of white, red, or Thai curry/chili mussels; seafood stew, or three-app platters that can include crawfish tails & grits, soft shell crab sliders, or crab balls — ask for this elsewhere, and hopefully you have some prescription shampoo. Next up’re fried baskets (clam, catfish, cod & chips), po’ boys w/ pulled pork or brisket, surf or turf burgers (Angus, “bang bang” shrimp…), and entrees like spicy Madagascar prawns or one of 35 possible fish dinners (blackened mahi mahi, sweet-chili-brushed grouper) from their Catch of Day section, which unlike Catch of Day-O, will not be bananas.

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tin-can-fish-house-oyster-bar-227-sandy-springs-place-atlanta-ga-hushpuppiesThe owners of the now-defunct Fishmonger (which had Roswell and Buckhead locations) have opened their newest venture – another seafood restaurant, Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar – it does not disappoint. Being a Florida girl – born and raised on the West coast – I was used to fresh seafood almost literally my fingertips, and moving to Atlanta was an eye-opener – how much we Floridians take our seafood for granted! Tin Can brings back memories of eating in fish houses on the Florida coast, complete with Po’ Boys, raw oysters, and the all-important hushpuppies (pictured, in all their crispy fried glory, right).

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 KNUCKLE SALAD by Kristina Ackerman


Back in October, I was invited to try out a new restaurant called Tin Can Fish House in Sandy Springs. From the name, I wasn’t expecting a lot—I half expected to find Heathcliff and his pal Riff Raff shaking down patrons by the dumpster—but to my surprise, I loved it. The paella was warming and generous, the bang-bang shrimp were tangy and crisp, and the key lime pie was tart and silky and not too green. All the way down to the beer list, Tin Can was a lot better than it had to be, I thought, especially for a family joint in the suburbs.

I was especially impressed by the ceviche, which was served as an appetizer in a little crock with saltines. I had never had particularly good ceviche before. I might blame my distaste partially on the squick factor of fish cooked without heat because it seems like maybe it isn’t really cooked, which, I know, is not only scientifically inaccurate but also stupid coming from someone who inhales sushi by the boatful, but I was a baby about it. And I hadn’t tasted a ceviche that could change my mind. But at Tin Can, the ceviche was light and fresh-tasting, with a perfect spicy kick and no trace of a raw-fish texture.

Mind changed. Just like that.

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For breakfast this morning, I had blackened shrimp, cheese grits, hush puppies and sweet potato tots. Not the most conventional first meal of the day, but certainly a delicious one. I feel as if I should send a thank you note to the Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar for what is arguably the best leftovers I’ve had in ages … and for opening in my neck of the woods. Tin Can is the latest creation of Nik Panagopoulos and Arte Antoniades, the brother and sister behind the original Fishmonger Restaurant and Teela Taqueria (also one of my favorites).

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he grouper itself was really tasty, but I preferred my selection. I had the standard cod and fries with slaw, and if there’s a better seafood meal around town for nine bucks, I never heard of it. The cod was flaky and delicate and just wonderful. The shoestring fries were almost just right; they could have used a hair of the salt from Marie’s rice. The slaw was really good, with just the right blend of vinegar and thin mayo. I also ordered a side of fried green tomatoes, unsurprisingly. A side order comes with three slices and a small cup of spicy remoulade.

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I love finding hidden gems, it’s even better when the food is muy delicioso. Tucked away in Sandy Springs sits Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar. The restaurant prides itself on the oysters and if you happen to love oysters you’ll love Tin Can, as the options are endless. With the bar fixated just at the entrance and patio dining out back Tin Can is a sure place if you’re ready to have a good time.

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