Mon-Wed, 5:30pm-10pm; Thu, 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W at 14th St.-Union Sq.; F, V at 14th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Fans of Laurent Tourondel (Cello and BLT Steak) will find this an oddly dispiriting place: despite its chef's talent, it's an ambiguous, strangely contrived restaurant, one that seems, ultimately, to be a slave to formula and profits instead of innovation and craft. Downstairs is a raucous seafood parlor called “The Fish Shack,” with a laminated blue marlin on the wall and a high-volume cocktail bar peddling drinks with names like Squid Ink and Shark Bite. You can purchase several decent sandwiches at the Fish Shack (notably, the $26 lobster roll), but most of the food is forgettable. The real culinary action is upstairs, at BLT Fish, which you reach via a glass elevator. This is where Amy Eubanks, Executive Chef since 2010, holds court, in a grand room featuring luminous circular lampshades, a gleaming open kitchen, and an atmospheric glass roof left over from a failed Asian-fusion restaurant that once occupied the same space. The appetizers give Eubanks a chance to cook and a few carefully produced, often excellent intermezzi are shuffled in between all the food, but the main courses go horribly wrong. The salmon steak looks as though it had been thrown on the grill straight from Citarella, and the scallops are fresh, if a little sad, sitting more or less alone in their big white bowl. The Whole Fish category is filled with giant snappers and lobsters, which diners are encouraged to wolf down “family style” like so many haunches of beef. Unlike most haunches of beef, however, the fish is priced by the pound, so costs can accelerate in a hurry.Note
Lunch is served only in the Fish Shack downstairs, and delivery is from the Fish Shack Menu only.Recommended Dishes
Yellowfin tuna crudo, $16; Cantonese-style red snapper, $35 per pound; caramelized meringue with banana passion-fruit sorbet, $11