35 East 18th Street
Last year, it was 50 ways to eat your foie gras. This year, it’s seviche that’s as ubiquitous as ‘N Sync groupies. But no one can match the sheer exuberance and astonishing versatility of Douglas Rodriguez. Believing that nothing is unsevichable, the chef of Chicama marinates shrimp in tangerine and lime. Tuna and squid are sparked by lemongrass, ginger, and Thai basil. Alaskan king crab is paired with snow crab, then drenched in horseradish and cilantro-flecked mustard. A trio of sole, clams, and ham is smacked with garlic, jalapeño, and clam juice. Even duck gets wondrously dunked. Rodriguez rules. And as for you, his loyal subject, your table manners will be wrecked, juice will drip all over your clothes, your mouth will slowly ignite. And then you’ll beg the table to order just one more dish. For the third time.