Madison is on an isthmus. We're surrounded by lakes, we've got them coming out of our ears. I've seen lots of fish that we're medically discouraged from eating. One time, I saw a turtle from a bridge in the park near our house.
My point is simply that it's not weird to have a sea food restaurant in the heart of the midwest... where there's no sea. The lack of any sizable body of water does not deter the intrepid Blue Marlin. Like the great fish itself, it stands majestic, alone (with Ocean Grill) at the top of the high-end seafood scene in Madison.
The restaurant itself is much smaller than I thought it would be. Perhaps we should call it The blue shrimp? Blue Sardine? Anyway, it was very quiet and cozy and a nice place for a date.
As far as the food goes, thankfully, absolutely nothing was local. It was genuine seafood that you have to work pretty hard to find around here. I started with the mussels and my wife got oysters, both good if not great. For our main courses we had shrimp, which my wife liked, and I had salt encrusted baked salmon. Again, it was nice to have some fish, a good change of pace, and yet, I felt like it didn't exactly push the fish envelope. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high going in, but I can't help thinking that Blue Marlin rests easy knowing if it does seafood pretty well, it'll be the best seafood restaurant in Madison.
I don't mean to say it was bad. It wasn't, and I enjoyed my dinner. But next time we go for a dinner date, we'll try the local food. Okay, maybe more like this local food.