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NY food guide: Best fish

New York food guide: Best fish restaurants, by MiNDFOOD.

NY food guide: Best fish

Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin is French to the core,
and a New York fixture for 22 years, but chef Eric Ripert’s energy—and
intelligence— keeps it vibrant and endlessly exciting.

The menu defines modern classicism, embracing the flavours of the world while never, ever, succumbing to trendiness or cliché.

One
of the signature appetisers, fluke ceviche in four variations,
progresses across three continents; another, hamachi tartare, involves
ginger, coriander and wasabi.

Few of the treasures of the sea are omitted on the generous entrée menu and only occasional bits of meat.

Ripert
has the courage to include a surf and turf of white tuna and Kobe beef
grilled Korean style and served up with kimchi; black bass arrives
spiced with Masala and paired with a salad of Peking duck and green
papaya salad.

Otherwise, carnivores and vegetarians who insist can request from a special, short list of fishless entrees.

Desserts
here reflect the penchant for an inventive global view—three riffs on
corn and chocolate, a kind of homage to New World ingredients is a fine
example.

The service at Le Bernardin hews to the finest French, correct, unobtrusive; no gimmicks here.

155 West 51st St

212 554 1515

website

Esca

Esca
delivers its self-described “Southern Italian seafood” with lots of
modern style, centreed on the central principal of high-quality
ingredients.

A selection of crudi is good for starters; the
fabulous pastas include whole-wheat spaghetti with fresh sardines and
walnuts; for this reviewer, the spaghetti with chillies, mint and the
lobster from a one-pounder is irresistible.

The Sicilian
fish stew is deeply flavourful and satisfying, and a better fritto
misto, at least on this side of the Atlantic, is hard to imagine.

Whole
fish vary with the market and can include grouper with artichokes,
dressed with olive-fennel vinaigrette or whole bass with wild
mushrooms.

In the “nowhere to hide” category, there is grilled lupo – sea bass – with nothing other than a drizzle of olive oil.

Try the whole-wheat foccacio from the breadbasket and add a contorno or two (side dishes) for the table to share.

The
list of Italian wines here is superb, and the sommeliers extremely
knowledgeable; there are bottles in this collection you’ve not seen
before. The lemon tart should not be avoided.

402 West 43rd St

website

The Oyster Bar

For
nearly a century, New Yorkers have gathered under Rafael Guastavino’s
vaulted tiled ceiling, bent over plates and bowls of chowders,
pan-fries, smoked, fried and grilled fish, and a full range of oysters.

In the age of minimalist menus, this one challenges your
decision-making skills. It helps to go with the seasons; some of us
make annual pilgrimages for fried soft-shell crab sandwiches, herring,
and shad roe.

Grand Central Terminal, lower level

website

Pearl Oyster Bar

When
it opened in 1997 Pearl launched a bit of a craze for lobster rolls, a
treat New Yorkers knew and loved, but only from excursions to Maine or
Eastern Long Island or Cape Cod.

Steamed soft shell clams,
fried oysters, New England clam chowder, shoestring fries and corn
pudding, among other all-American classics live up to the most intense
memories of briny summer meals.

Hot fudge sundaes and blueberry crumble pie put the sweet finish to such real or imagined reveries.

18 Cornelia St

212 691 8211

website

Mary’s Fish Camp

When Mary Redding bolted from Pearl Oyster Bar some fans felt that sides needed to be taken.

We
think you should love the one that’s nearest. Besides its terrific
lobster roll Mary’s lobster pot pie under puff-pastry lid, salt-crusted
shrimp and fried clams are favourites.

Finfish – cod, bass, whatever is good that day – are simply and carefully prepared.

Mary’s
is tiny and waits can be long. One strategy is to put your name on the
list, leave your cell phone number, take a walk to the river and come
back when your spot at the counter is free.

64 Charles St

646 486 2185

website

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