That wait, however, will be long. I mean, we were quoted an hour and forty-five minutes, but with the bounty of restaurants nearby, I feel like many might put their names in and then surrender to a less swarmed destination. So what we initially feared an almost two hour purgatory turned into a mere twenty minutes, thus shifting the mood to an even more delightful level. The soundtrack is as lively as the crowd, although it's a little hard to hear over the din of street noise and ebullient conversation: this is not a place for serious discussions, or really much of any
discussion at all. Aside from necessary banter to decide on what to order from the many potentially shareable offerings, most of your energies should just be focused on enjoying the surrounding, the party-like atmosphere, and most importantly, the super-delicious food.
We basically stayed exclusively piscine throughout the evening except for our very first dish. As soon as the arrive in the market, I cannot resist grilled shishito peppers, and these were exemplary. Big fat ones, bigger and fatter than any I've ever seen, with their mysteriously unpredictable variances in spiciness, they were charred and just oily enough to cling to flaky salt crystals. A generous squeeze of lemon added a nice summery touch. There are an array of other shareable starters plates, like curried mussels, a fiesty ceviche, and even guacamole that could be paired together to make a snacky meal.
There are three salads upon which you could add your choice of the daily selection of fishes, but more appealingly are the Reel Deals: bowls combining the three daily side dish offerings and your choice of fish. On the docket that night was flounder and sword, porgy and monk... we went for the latter two. The monkfish was absolutely perfect. The outside achieved a beachy char and the meaty fish was just succulent. It comes with a little tuft of healthy greens aside and that night's daily sides of a pearly Israeli couscous, crisp, corn-off-the-cob and a braise of stewy collards. The corn was billed as a charred salad, but just tasted of raw fresh kernels... which worked well with the added sauce (I chose a piquant salsa verde), but the misadvertising was noticeable. The porgy seemed blatantly undercooked, but I was
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390 Broome Street, Nolita, NYC