Note: Click here for a more recent visit to BLT Fish.
Back in May, two colleagues and I had dinner at BLT Fish. My sense was that Frank Bruni had awarded awarded one star too many. Mind you, a two-star restaurant is still very good. But this didn’t feel like it deserved three.
Our server got things off on the wrong foot. We said, “Can we order some appetizers?” He said, “The kitchen prefers to receive your entire order at once.” This is no doubt true, but it was an awfully clumsy way of telling us that the restaurant values its own convenience over that of its guests. Perhaps he should have just said, “Sorry guys, but we have tables to turn here.”
BLT Fish wheels out impressive-looking whole fish. Red Snapper “Cantonese” Style was a gorgeous presentation, filleted tableside, but both the fish and the cantonese vegetables seemed a bit bland in the end. The appetizers, spicy Tuna Tartare and Softshell Crab Tempura, were more successful.
There were two different amuses, both imaginative turns on “bread & butter.” But in one case there was too little bread and too much spread; in the other case, it was the opposite. No one came around to offer more bread.
Vegetables are separately priced side orders, steakhouse style. Sauteed spinach was fine. Our server talked us into ordering Salt Crusted Sunchokes, which were mushy and not at all interesting.
The sommelier helped us choose too excellent wines, both of which were a hit. All told, it was an uneven performance. I would certainly return, but the restaurant needs some fine tuning.
BLT Fish (21 W 17th Street between Fifth & Sixth Avenues, Flatiron District)