NYC — Spring 2017: Crave Fishbar

Monday, May 22, 2017
Hello! Hope all my fellow Canadians are enjoying their Victoria Day weekend! I'm back from my annual New York trip, and as per tradition, I will be posting about all the food adventures I had. (I did not bring my camera with me on this trip because I felt like it would be too much to carry around with me, so all the photos in these upcoming food posts were taken with my iPhone 7 Plus.) When my friend Ronsee and I finally arrived at Newark at 10:30 on Thursday morning, took a cab into Manhattan, and checked into our hotel, the city was in the middle of a heatwave (it reached about 34°C by noon) and we wanted nothing more than to take a long nap in an air conditioned room. But hunger persevered, so I looked up recommended restaurants in Midtown East (where we were staying) and settled on Crave Fishbar.

Rice dusted Point Judith calamari

Red crab tostada

Fried fish sandwich

We opted for the lunch prix fixe, which consists of an appetizer and a sandwich for $25. We decided to share our appetizers, so we chose the calamari and the red crab tostada. The calamari, lightly battered and crispy, is tossed in a zesty Thai miso sauce, with mung bean sprouts adding a nice crunch and Aleppo chile giving it some heat — one of the most fresh, unique variations of calamari I've had. The tostada consisted of fresh chunks of red crab meat, smashed avocado, chopped romaine, fresno chile, and micro cilantro atop a crispy mini tortilla shell that made for an incredibly tasty and addictive starter. I probably could've eaten another eight of those. As for my main, I decided on the fried fish sandwich, which is made with tempura-battered local spiny dogfish, creamy tartar sauce, crunchy pickles, and shredded lettuce on a potato roll. The fish was perfectly cooked, tender and flaky, with a gorgeous crispy golden shell — this would be excellent on its own with some fries/chips as well. I don't think I've had spiny dogfish before, but it's delightful despite its hideous name. The potato roll was also a good choice to use for the bun, since it has an airier, fluffier texture that keeps the sandwich from being too heavy but is sturdy enough to support all the ingredients in between. What made this the perfect fried fish sandwich, though, was the addition of pickle slices. It adds a tangy-sweet flavour and an amazing crunch that works well with the texture of the fish and the bun. Just one of the most harmonious fish sandwiches I've ever had.

The space can feel cramped because it is consistently busy, but it does feel cozy and has a cute open patio. Our server was really lovely and pleasant, and though it took her some time to come back to our table to take our orders and get our drink refills because it was so busy, she did check in on us regularly to make sure everything was good. Crave Fishbar is actually one of the most popular raw bars in Midtown East, so I'd be inclined to come back just to try the oysters (they have a $1 oyster happy hour!)... but maybe not during a heatwave. 

Crave Fishbar
945 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(646) 895-9585
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