Small Fish, Big Pond

I have a tiny fish fetish.

At home, my new pre-dinner snack routine goes like this: uncork a bottle of wine, pop a few pieces of crusty bread in the toaster, and crack into a can of Casa Lusa Portuguese sardines. Drizzle the toasted bread with olive oil, spoon a few hunks of sardine over top, and enjoy.

I've come a long way from the days when, nose wrinkled in distaste, I'd stare in disbelief at my dad as he downed a can of sardines packed in mustard.

Small fish — anchovies, herring, sardines — are getting some good press lately. The oily little guys are fabulously healthy thanks to high levels of omega-3s and a sustainable choice. Jane Black checked in on the Sardinista movement for The Washington Post this summer, with some great recipes.

Health benefits and sustainability aside, they're also really damn tasty. I've been buying those Casa Lusa sardines in tins at Whole Foods. But when I head out, my go-to for petite poissons is Bar Pilar, where you can almost always find Spanish anchovies served on grilled bread and, occasionally, whole grilled sardines. Perfect with a glass of Cava.

Other places I hit for a fishy fix: Oceanaire for the free pickled herring on the bread platter, BlackSalt for wood-grilled sardines from the Mediterranean, and Dino for white anchovies and whole roasted sardines.

Have a favorite brand of sardines or anchovies? Or a favorite restaurant dish? Do tell.