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Ruinart Brand Ambassador
I've heard it called the "poor man's Le Bernardin" but it's not exactly cheap.... However, if you're willing to part with some green for ultra fresh, diverse and elegant seafood dishes, this is your spot. Concise but thoughtful wine list, ever changing specials, and a really lovely vibe. In the warmer months, sitting outside is perfection. Outstanding value!
Art Director, wine lover, passionate about all things culinary
I used to live right on sullivan street and this was my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. Not exactly cheap as you point out but well worth the price!
about 1 year ago
Culinary Instructor, Writer
I love that line....the poor man's le bernardin :)
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Beverage Director, Strip House 12th Street
Fresh fish. Simple preparations. You just can't beat olive oil and nothing else when eating seafood.
Moved to San Francisco, doing Istanbul-themed pop-ups every week with my wife at www.feastly.com/lauraandsayat
How about lemon juice? :) I love Taverna Kyclades. You beat me to this post.
New Jersey Restaurant Association 2013 Restaurateur of the Year, New York native, New York University, Dartmouth College,
Can't beat the price/quality
Executive Chef, Sr. Director of Product Development at Fresh Direct
I shouldn't say anything about Astoria Seafood because it is already a madhouse. I had driven by it a zillion times and not once did I give it a second look. It's actually kinda a dump, but in the best way possible. It will never attract the fancy pants, scene-seeking, okay-with-mediocre-food/service-give-me-another-pink-cocktail set. Never. So in other words, it's pretty perfect. Service is gruff, the set up is inherently chaotic and you actually have to pick up and hand over the animal you are going to eat. Astoria Seafood is a market that doubles as a restaurant. Customers are doing both things: shopping and eating. But mostly eating.
My friend and I shared a lovely and fresh and feta-cheesy, lemony Greek salad, a handful of smelts, one dorade (orata), roasted potatoes and artichokes and some badass garlic bread. I picked the fishes, asked for how I wanted them cooked (fried smelt, grilled dorade), handed them over, had them weighed, paid and sat. We grabbed a large bottle of Pellegrino. All in, about $35!!!!
Once sitting, a waitress who yells doesn't speak brought a stack of paper napkins and plates, plastic forks and knives, some cups. We asked for additional sliced lemons, hot sauce and napkins. You need lots of napkins.
The salad and bread came. Then the smelts, then the dorade and vegetables. They actually coursed it out for us! Haha. If only I could find cooks that could execute on fish so perfectly! The smelts were golden-crunchy and not obliterated. The dorade skin was charred with the flesh just coming off the bone- ever so slightly still gelatinous- flawless! The vegetables were (not inappropriately) olive oily, salty and herby; with all excess juices going over the top of the fish.
I think you can also have them cook your seafood to go but that doesn't make sense to me. I want to eat these things the second they come off or out of the heat. The seafood selection is comprehensive- nothing fancy. Like personally, I wouldn't waste my time with the shrimp- it's regular old previously frozen block. I haven't been enough times to elaborate more on the selection, but safe to say that the value is in getting any variety of whole fish beautifully prepared- whereas in ANY Manhattan joint (including Chinatown), this meal would have cost $100+ easy. Like many restaurants in the vicinity, this is a true gem. You wouldn't know it though by looking- you gotta take the leap and go in.
This sounds like my kind of place! I love the no frills spots that are all about delicious food. I just moved to this area so this will definitely be on my list!
Midwest girl, love to cook and dine out in NYC!
Digging your recommendations Tina....I need more spots out in Queens! Thank you!
I just moved out here so looking for ideas, this sounds great!
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