Posted by: Hungry Korean | February 6, 2012

BLT Fish

Dinner with Chicken Friday night and rather than our usual hemming and hawing on where to eat, she came up with a great suggestion and we dined at BLT Fish.  There’s two versions – the BLT Fish Shack which is supposed to the be the more casual dining room on the main floor and then there’s the higher end version up on the 3rd floor which is where we ate.  It was seriously like date central in there or dates and their parents haha.

We started with some cocktails. She had a dirty martini while I chose something from their cocktail menu called Siren Call.

Very refreshing and tasty – not too sweet. It was citrus vodka, pomegranate juice and mint. See the flecks of mint in there? I nursed two of these through the dinner.

Like most fine dining establishment, an amuse bouche is given.  BLT Fish gave us smoked salmon rilette with mini rice crackers.

If you like smoked salmon, you’ll probably like this. I don’t really love smoked fish to be honest so I wasn’t all over  this but it was tasty. The rilette had the consistency of tuna fish with the flavors of smoked salmon. The mini rice crackers had a pleasantly light crunch so the textures were great.

The table bread is warm cheese biscuits served with a honey butter. YUUUUUUMY flaky biscuits served warm at the table always rock my world.

The butter touched with honey makes this southern comfort.

We share 1/2 dozen kumamoto oysters:

And then two of the raw appetizers. The raw hamachi with grapefruit marmalade, golden beets and avocado:

The hamachi is generous in portion. Very fresh and sliced much thicker than what you find at sushi restaurants.  Unfortunately I did not like the marmalade – it added an overly sweet and syrupy taste to the fish that totally overpowered. The avocado that lay below the raw fish (which is why you can’t see it) and sliced golden beets had basically no flavor and could not compete against that marmalade. Everything pretty much muted out.  I have definitely had better preparations of raw hamachi elsewhere.

We also shared the local fluke sashimi with an Asian pear and pickled cabbage  slaw drizzled with sesame dressing:

Now this was delicious! The slaw added great acid and crunch to the dish while the sesame dressing added a nutty element to each bite.  I liked the asian flavors of everything.  Once again, I was happy to see that the portions of raw fluke were sizeable. (Full disclosure: we actually started dipping the hamachi into the sauce from this fluke appetizer)

For main course, Chicken got the pan seared sea scallops with leeks, crispy fingerling potatoes and caviar in a creamy butter based sauce.

Goodness, nothing tastes like luxe and decadence as a perfectly cooked, sweet and succulent sea scallop is there?  Then add a rich butter based sauce with chives and caviar and then you think you are princess for the day. This was phenomenal. I normally don’t order scallops as a main because I never find that it’s enough food but BLT Fish gave chicken four large pieces.

I got the grilled Atlantic halibut with roasted oyster mushrooms in a black truffle broth that was poured table side.

Meh. The halibut was bland and verging on dry.  I found the oyster mushrooms chewy probably because they were dehydrated of all moisture from the roasting and the truffle broth? Where was the truffle flavors?  I was hoping to get a flaky white fish dish with wonderful truffle  and earthy aromas and instead I got almost dry fish with a broth that needed salt and oomf.  And yes, I added a ton of salt to my main course but it didn’t help much due to the dry texture of the fish and mushrooms.

For a side, we got the baby bock choy with garlic chips:

Reader be aware – BLT Fish main courses do not come with any sides at all so if you are used to eating your fish with veggies or some kind of side, you must order it separately.

We skipped dessert but that was just fine because BLT Fish gives complimentary apple flavored cotton candy (so whimsical and bursting of apple flavors) and three mini macaroons.

The service is great and the restaurant is gorgeous. You sit under a glass atrium and it’s as if you are dining under the actual sky. I did not love the hamachi or my main course but everything else was incredibly fresh and well executed. I would like to visit BLT Fish Shack – I liked the selection of items on that menu as well (more casual seafood fare like lobster rolls and fried oyster po boys) and I could live on a dinner of raw bar and cocktails which is also served downstairs :).

BLT Fish, 21 West 17th Street, New York, NY

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