Hop Kee is one of those old school Chinatown restaurants that look like it hasn’t changed since the 70s. The fixtures are a little frayed from the years of wear and tear and the gray-haired staff looks like it hasn’t turned over since the day it first opened. The only thing that’s changed is the number of people who’ve stumbled upon this hole in the wall, including myself a few weeks ago.Read More
San Francisco is a beautiful city, but at some point it starts to feel small. Which is why day trips are essential to keep things feeling fresh. Napa, Sonoma and Big Sur are some popular options, but I’m a big fan of a much more low-key day trip to Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay, which is only about an hour’s drive from SF, is known for the fresh oysters that come directly from its waters. You can stop at any of the restaurants along the bay for some oysters that will taste better than anything you get at your high quality happy hour. Raw, grilled, smoked, it all tastes incredible. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even shuck the oysters yourself, but who really wants to prep their own food?Read More
There aren’t a lot of places in the city where you can buy fish varieties outside of salmon, tuna or cod. When you walk into a Whole Foods, that’s really the core of their seafood selection. I remember enjoying a really nice filet of bluefish at Okonomi for breakfast, and I wanted to recreate the meal at home, but I couldn’t find bluefish anywhere. There are restaurants here and there that offer it on their menu, but not for sale direct to the consumer. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co addresses this gap by offering a variety of high quality, responsibly sourced seafood for sale at its fish market, which focuses on domestic and wild caught seafood. On a recent visit, we saw that elusive blue fish for sale at a very reasonable $10.99 a pound, plus other interesting options like golden tile, wild fluke and wild pollock. Greenpoint is pretty lucky to have a store like this.Read More
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
Labor Day is just around the corner, which sadly signals the unofficial end of summer. (Summer technically ends on September 21st, but no one seems to follow the seasonal calendar). What to do with the two full weekends that are left in your Hamptons summer rental? Above all else, make sure you enjoy a last supper at Bostwick’s Chowder House in East Hampton.
Bostwick’s reminds me of Pearl Oyster Bar–a focus on fresh seafood that’s simply prepared yet extremely tasty. Clams, mussels, shrimp, oysters, lobsters, fish, raw or cooked–Bostwick’s has it all covered. There are so many options, what to order? Try the plump orange steamers or the golden and crispy fish & chips. I’m usually not a fan of swordfish, but the special that was served at Bostwick’s was outstanding. The filet was grilled to perfection and didn’t taste gamey at all. Our lunch companions enjoyed their fish tacos and lobster rolls. Clearly no one was unhappy with their order, so after a day at the beach, pull up to Bostwick’s, grab a seat at the bar, order a pint and dig into your clams!
Bostwick’s Chowder House
277 Pantigo Road
East Hampton, NY 11937