Restaurant in New York
Raw Bar Seafood Restaurant
Fishtag has become well known with locals on the Upper West Side since it opened at the end of 2010.
Three of us had an excellent dinner here the evening before New York City shut down for Hurricane Irene. The restaurant was full with a vibrant and positive buzz and no intrusive music.
We were greeted by the delightful Gianni who explained that renowned Greek chef Michael Psilakis’s concept for Fishtag is for guests to order sharing plates so one can taste lots of different dishes paired with appropriate drinks.
We therefore sat at the large black-and-white speckled granite-topped bar and enjoyed an aperitif and a sharing plate of Cheese and Cured Meat Charcuterie consisting of smoked tuna, cow’s milk cheese, buffalo cheese from Italy, Italian salami, Canadian Gaspe salmon and a lemon garlic yogurt. You can just stop by if you don’t want to have dinner and simply enjoy the Charcuterie menu and pair it with some of their wonderful sparkling wines, wines and cocktails, which they helpfully suggest next to each type of cheese, ham and fish. They also pride themselves on having a savoury cheese program rather than a traditional sweet or dessert menu, I counted 15 cheeses from France, Italy, Austria and the US.
We were then shown to our table in the main dining room at the back of the restaurant with its dark gray table tops and sculpted wooden chairs. The main menu is straightforward and on one large sheet, again with helpful drink pairing advice to the side. As there were three of us we chose four plates: the Bacala & Skordalia Brandae Melt with kefaloteri, smoked eggplant and tomato confit; Grilled Swordfish and Greek Sausage; the Heirloom Tomato Salad (house smoked ricotta, hearts of palm, pumpkin seeds and basil seed vinaigrette); the Sheep Milk Dumplings (house-made loukaniko, white anchovies, capers, olives and tomato fonduta) and finally the Grilled Branzino Stuffed with Head Cheese and grilled oyster mushrooms and broccolini. We liked the fact that as the dishes came out they were explained to us so we knew exactly what we were eating.
Gianni was also extremely knowledgeable when it came to choosing our wine from their very extensive wine list. Pretty much all of the wines are available either by the half glass, glass, half or full bottle, which is unusual but they score full marks for that. We started with a red 2008 Kuyen Alto Del Maipo Valley from Chile which was a delicate Syrah blend with a little spice. The second wine was a 2009 Casa Julia Carmenere Reserva, again from Chile which was full and bold, again spicy and you could taste the dark fruits. Wine number three came from France and was a 2010 Cuvée des Galets Côtes du Rhône and was lighter with some berry fruit and a little acidy to go with the swordfish. All three paired perfectly with our food. They have numerous wines from Europe, New World and the US. If you are a beer drinker prepared to get excited as they have a wide range of craft beers from Belgium, Germany and the US.
I have to just throw in that we agreed that the lighting in the bathrooms make you look like a super model when you look in the mirror (not sure quite how they do that)!
Opening times. Sunday to Thursday from 5pm to 10pm; Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 11pm. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3pm.
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Yes|
|Restaurant good for||Meeting up with friends|
|Cost per head||Medium|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual, Casual|
|Dining Options||Brunch, Dinner|
Exposed brickwork behind the front granite-topped bar and a cosy white walled low ceiling dining area at the back make for a bustling but not loud or stuffy down-to-earth atmosphere with first rate service.
Full Charcuterie Board: $55; Smoked Salmon Plate: $38 or individually from $6. Main plates range from $10 to $23. Wine starts at $6 for half a glass; $10 a glass; $18 a half bottle and $34 a bottle. Cocktails from $9.
Last updated on 06-03-2013