Posted by: Hungry Korean | October 26, 2011

Catch

Have you heard of Catch? You most probably have. It’s constantly in the gossip pages as every other day another celebrity has stopped by.   It is definitely the new hot restaurant of the moment. Created by the same guys behind Tenjune, Abe & Arthurs and SL, they opened up a sexy bi-level restaurant and lounge in the Meatpacking District. And guess who helms the kitchen? Hung Huynh of Top Chef fame. He won a couple seasons back and I have to say his food always looked great and innovative on TV.  Reservations are pretty difficult to get but luckily I know someone that works the exclusive lounge on the fifth floor and he was able to score us a table for 8pm on a Thursday!  Then I come to discover when we are being seated that one of my dining companions happens to personally know Hung. YAY free food. Win win.

As expected the bar was packed with scenesters and the restaurant was super busy. It’s a sleek modern looking place with low lights and lots of right angles. Very sexy New York and perfect for this part of town.

Cool menu cover:

As the name implies, this is a seafood based restaurant.  Upon sitting and ordering drinks, the table was flooded with a bunch of appetizers on the house.

First came the delicious popcorn shrimp with a spicy mayo sauce on it.

SO YUM! The shrimp was cooked with a really nice crispy batter surrounding it that was not rendered soggy at all by the spicy mayo sauce. The mayo was slightly creamy with hints of heat. I really enjoyed this. It was served piping hot.

Next came crunchy rice cakes topped with tuna tartare, wasabi and tobiko eggs:

These were done well. The rice was crispy on the outside and warm and chewier on the inside. The cool tuna tartare was wonderfully seasoned and you got the occasional pop of brine with the tobiko eggs. I’ve had the same thing at Koi and Momoya and this plate is always a crowd pleaser. If you like spicy tuna rolls, you’ll love this dish.

Next came the white flatbread with pancetta and mozzarella:

The arugula added freshness and a nice pepperiness while the melted mozzarella…well what not to like? It was really quite tasty because the flatbread was so crispy and slightly burnt on the edges adding a smokiness.

Next came lobster macaroni with marscarpone and breadcrumbs:

Chunks of lobster meat lost among cheesy macaroni. This is macaroni made high end! You could taste the sweet lobster with every bite and the breadcrumbs added texture.  This dish had a huge decadence factor with that creamy marscarpone cheese and lobster. Trust me if I say, this will be unlike any mac and cheese you’ve ever had…

Bread basket arrived suddenly (a little out of order) and it was warm delicious pretzel rolls.

While the four others I was dining with got actual entrees, I believe my stomach shrunk from my five day juice cleanse so I was pretty full after sampling all those appetizers. So I got three sushi: one scallop and two uni.  I also asked for 6 raw oysters but the server either forgot to put the order in or pick them up because they never showed up at the table.

Cookie Monster got the red snapper over lobster mash, truffle and lemon brown butter:

Fish was PERFECTLY cooked and still moist. The lobster mash added another layer of flavor and the brown butter sauce brought everything together in this velvety sauce. I was really impressed with this dish. VERY tasty.

Afterwards, my friend introduced me to a very busy and harried Chef Hung and then we all headed upstairs to the lounge for some more drinks, like we needed more haha.  All in all the food at Catch is very tasty – it’s not just another scene with terrible food. I would definitely come back as I enjoyed everything we tried. One word to the wise however, the prices are comparable to any other trendy restaurant in Meatpacking district. Expect high prices but at least the food is on par in terms of quality. If you are looking for “the” scene and stellar food (I mean why not if you are paying such high prices) – go to Catch.

Catch yourself a seat and go! 🙂

Catch, 21 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY

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