Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm; Sat, 8am-4pm; Sun, closed
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
From the moment you push open the heavy metal door at Pisacane, one fact is clear: These people are serious about fish. The family-run store sells fish wholesale and retail. Flounder, scrod, branzino, wild striped bass, salmon, swordfish, red snapper, skate, monkfish, and pompano lounge on their beds of ice like pashas, along with three different varieties of sole—lemon, grey, and imported Dover. There’s some rotation, of course, depending on what’s seasonally available. The store also does a brisk business in live lobsters, mussels, clams, oysters and shrimp—the latter mostly from Florida and Maine with some frozen product from Ecuador. Over the years this neighborhood fishmonger has earned a reputation for offerings that are uniformly fresh, high-quality, and expensive, but always worth the price tag. Fish is sold whole or filleted and is cut to order. The store also has an impressive roster of prepared foods and frozen dishes. Both the New England and Manhattan clam chowder are rich and flavorful, while the stewy bouillabaisse requires a fork. Also in the fridges are homemade Tartar sauce, cole slaw, potato salad, packaged Irish organic smoked salmon and Shetland Isles smoked salmon, halibut salad, shrimp salad, and creamed herring. And fresh tunafish that puts Charlie the Tuna to shame.Extra
Pisacane has housed a fish store continuously for about 150 years. For Passover, this neighborhood fishmonger grinds whitefish, pike, and carp for the diehards making gefilte fish from scratch. Thoughtfully, the store also sells ground onions by the pint.