Seamore’s, the new seafood spot in Nolita, looks and smells like a hit. The atmosphere is everything you could possibly want from a restaurant–beachy and airy, where it feels like summer everyday. It’s like the Surf Lodge in the front, and Tacombi in the back, with Bob Marley playing in the background. Who needs the Hamptons when you’ve got all this at your doorstep?
The menu at Seamore’s features fish sourced locally from Montauk fisheries Dock to Dish and Sea to Table. Owner Michael Chernow is trying to promote more sustainable fishing practices that catch what is seasonal and available, as opposed to what is popular, which is why you’ll find less common Atlantic varieties such as porgy, bluefish and skate as opposed to the overfished tuna and salmon. Because some of the fish might be unfamiliar to diners, Seamore’s has a huge wall with pictures and descriptions of each type of fish that serves as a useful guide, with red spoons hanging next to the local catch of the day.
The Oh-Boy fish sandwich is the one catch that you should reel in at Seamore’s. It’s an unconventional approach using fried skate rather than cod or haddock for the fish filet, but it’s definitely a smart one. The skate meat is less dense, which makes for a filet that’s lighter on its feet. But what really makes the sandwich is the special sauce, a tomato spread with some horseradish like heat that gives it an irresistible flair. No fried fish is complete without french fries, and the side of sweet potato fries was the perfect companion. Crispy without being greasy, and fresh and fluffy inside, the fries definitely went fast.
We also tried the poke, and again, Seamore’s took a different approach by using yellowtail tuna rather than a traditional red tuna. The end result was an interesting one, producing a poke that had a more muted and almost earthier flavor than the sharper, crisper flavors of the Hawaiian variety. The marinade, with its lime and coconut flakes and red cabbage, was clearly prepared in a way to make the dish seem brighter, but ultimately I don’t think yellowtail was the right fish to use, and no amount of marinade or seasoning could really get around that. But again, I respect the focus on cooking around what’s local rather than what’s popular.
The only real misstep was the seared fluke fish taco, and the shortcomings had more to do with the tortilla and the fillings, and not so much the fish. The tortilla was horrible and clearly store bought, stale and chewy, much like the Whole Foods tortillas that I still have in my refrigerator from a month ago. The flavors were very clean but they didn’t have much chemistry. There needed to be a more cohesive, heartier element to bring it all together, which the avocados and beans were intended to do, but unfortunately, they didn’t do much.
I would absolutely come back to this lovely space, where life’s a beach everyday. The catch of the day might be different from what you’d expect, but what’s a vacation without a little adventure?
390 Broome St
New York, NY 10013