Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bits & Morsels goes Fishtail-ing

Banana tart with peanuts at Fishtail ... almost done.

Two new restaurants to start the year off right.
I must say I am thrilled with David Burke's latest brainchild, Fishtail, located in a townhouse at 135 East 62nd Street. The weather was lousy the night I dropped by, yet the restaurant was jammed. The theme of the restaurant is fish and seafood with a sustainable focus. The décor is smart and relays the fish theme without being over the top or kitschy.

David Burke and Executive Chef Eric Hara.
The fish-themed decor at Fishtail.
I particularly like the placemats (which are hand towels), the plethora of fish-shaped candles, and Himalayan salt blocks on the bar. David Burke’s cuisine is always fun, playful, and distinctly American. And all of the dishes are a reflection of that. To start, they have a raw bar and dishes like tuna tacos, rice crispy crab cakes, and a lobster B.L.T. salad.

What I liked so much about Fishtail was the downright amount of items on the menu that appealed to me. It’s rare that I go out and I want to order more than one or two of the dishes.

For the main course, the options range from perfectly seared wild salmon with lentils and swordfish “Steak Frites” to calamari “Mac & cheese” and Dover Sole. The Dover Sole is served with candied grapefruit, cauliflower and a brown butter sauce.

It’s refreshing to see a new take on the classic Dover Sole once in a while.

For a side dish we had crispy artichokes, which were addictive; I could have easily eaten another batch.

If you like bananas, you must order the banana tart for dessert. It is served with peanuts and maple ice cream. For lack of a better description, it tastes like the best peanut butter and banana sandwich you've ever had.

As I said, I am excited about Fishtail and it should prove to be a real asset to the neighborhood. [Fishtail]
Fishtail exterior, doormat, and salt and pepper shakers.
Clockwise from above: Bar snacks soaking in Extra Virgin olive oil on a block of salt; Caesar salad; Taylor Bay Scallop Ceviche & Baby Shrimp Cocktail; Lobster BLT.
Crispy fried artichokes. Tuna Tartare Taco.
Dover Sole with candied grapefruit and cauliflower. Seared wild salmon with lentils.
Clockwise from top left: The red towel placemats; Banana tart with peanuts - yum!!; Peanut brittle; Cheesecake lollipops.
Recently I was in Port Chester and I had lunch at the new Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich restaurant, Tarry Lodge. You know that any restaurant that these guys open is going to be good and Tarry Lodge is no exception. Tarry Lodge is a casual and spacious Italian trattoria. The large menu includes many items like pizzas, pastas and plenty of antipasti. It’s the type of place where you could stop in for a quick bite of pizza or a heartier dish of osso buco.
18 Mill St., Port Chester, NY, (914) 939-3111,
One very cool thing about Tarry Lodge is that they make their own carbonated water. The do not serve any bottled sparkling water and their homemade version was just as good if not better than bottled brands. I ordered a Margherita pizza, which was simple, tasty and charred, which I like. Tarry Lodge is a few blocks away from a shopping area that has a Costco and Multiplex Cinemas. Port Chester is close to White Plains and Greenwich and about forty-five minutes from Manhattan.
The menu. The kitchen door.
Artichokes with mint. Cauliflower gratin.
Margherita Pizza. Ice cream with cherries and biscotti.
The Rainbow Room is closing due to the suffering economy. While it’s not part of my regular routine, I am sad about this. It’s a New York icon and there aren’t many glamorous spots like the Rainbow Room left. The Rainbow Room is currently managed by the Ciprianis while the dancing, bar, and banquet space will continue to operate on the 65th floor. [The A.P.]

Did you know insects (i.e. bugs) are often used as an ingredient in food dyes and colors? It used to be that bug extracts were simply listed as ”artificial colors.” Cochineal extract and carmine (aka food coloring) is extracted from ... bugs. The F.D.A. recently announced that food companies will have to list these ingredients but don’t have to specify that it is extracted from bugs. The F.D.A. believes that listing the ingredients is more than adequate. [Well]

Many people are using the inspiration
of the New Year to start their diets. A good way to kick off a diet is with a detox plan. Many stores will try to sell you expensive kits but really they are not necessary. You can do a detox diet for a short period of time on your own by cutting out items like dairy, carbs, caffeine, alcohol and sugar from your diet. Easier said than done. [That’s fit]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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