In yet another premature midlife crisis, Compass has redesigned itself for the third time and emerged looking good, with a new seafood focus. The powers here deserve an A, if just for perseverance. I’m not sure who gets the blame for the fussiness—consulting chef Neil Annis or his executive, Milton Enriquez. Still, I love the sashimi-style hamachi, the voluptuous diver scallops with curried couscous on fennel purée, and his exquisitely cooked skate wing with French lentils (this on the commendable $35 prix fixe). The daily whole fish—it might be a good-size branzino—is a steal at $36 (especially if you’re used to the per-pound pricing at Milos). And then there are the extras: Cheddar-and-chive biscuits, old-fashioned corn bread, runners who know the ingredients, apricot gels and chocolates, and that endearing lagniappe, a muffin to carry away for breakfast. Though not exactly daring, the chef’s new à la carte menu hits obvious favorites—bluefin-tuna tartare, monkfish with bacon, luscious lobster on tarragon bread pudding. For seafood abstainers, there’s foie gras, steaks, and squash-ricotta ravioli. All of it is arranged pretentiously under “fin fish,” “flat fish,” and “no fish,” rather than by appetizers (pricy at $13 to $18) and entrées. Items on the prix fixe worth ordering à la carte include the splendid chopped-vegetable and roasted-beet salads, and the arctic char. Confit of apple and a tasting of chocolate are my desserts of choice.
208 W. 70th St., nr. Amsterdam Ave.; 212-875-8600