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New York fish monger recommendation needed

Can anyone recommend a fish monger in New York who might regularly have black cod. I usually buy from Fairway (UWS) or Lobster Place (Bleecker or Chelsea Market) but would argue that while I trust them for both for quality, I simply don't see black cod with any regularity.

(Or maybe I've been duped and "black cod" is the cod they regularly sell.)


UPDATE: Just discovered this is sablefish and that I have seen. That said, I'll certainly take any recommendations on fish mongers generally.

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  1. Check: Dean & Deluca, Citarella, Balducci's, Whole Foods

    2 Replies
    1. re: LFeinberg

      I usually buy fish at Citarella or The Lobster Place (on Bleecker). I find that the fish at Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca (Mad. Ave.) always looks like it's been sitting around for a couple of days. Eli's on Third Avenue has absolutely beautiful fish, but at v. steep prices.

      1. re: MMRuth

        I agree about Whole Foods. Never the freshest.

    2. I'm going low brow on you, and I'll risk the wrath of the boards to say that I have never bought a bad piece of fish in Chinatown. I always go to the stinky triumverate (though not as stinky as you'd expect them to be, which is a good sign), two are practically next to each other on Canal one block east of Lafayette on the south side of the street, but I find that my favorite with the freshest and best selection is on Mulberry between Canal and Bayard, a little closer to Bayard. The last one is the most expensive of the three, but worth it, it's also less busy because there is less foot traffic.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ballulah

        There's a concentration along Grand Street too - roughly around Forsyth.

        1. re: ballulah

          I second the fish markets where Canal and Walker intersect. Very fresh and a bargain at $5/lb. I just feel guilty shopping there because I like to be conscious of where my fish comes from (for environmental and health reasons). For example, I'd rather get wild salmon than farm raised.

        2. What about Wild Edilbes?

          1. I buy black cod on a regular basis at fairway, where it's called... black cod.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Julia

              Wow, clearly I've missed it. I'll have to look harder. Out of curiosity, how much are they asking a pound? (Roughly, if you have an idea.)

              1. re: NYChristopher

                approximately $14 a pound, as I recall.

            2. not sure if they have black cod, but Citarella has a huge selection and i've bought truly delicious fish there many times...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Simon

                i never was displeased with citarella fish......

                  1. re: jsmitty

                    agreed, but they are reeeealy pricey. i saw above Julia sauing it's about $14 a pound at fairway... i think it runs aorund $20-24 a pound at citarella. i want to check out fairway now, though i live on the UES

                    1. re: ironcheff

                      I moved downtown and still make the trip to the UWS (subway up, cab back) every other week.

                      1. re: ironcheff

                        just to reiterate: bought some black cod at fairway this saturday at $13.99 a pound, and it was very fresh. check it out. I live on the UES, too.

                        1. re: ironcheff

                          Yes - I saw black cod at the Citarella on the UES last night for $22.99 a pound.

                    2. Citarella..... Ask for Mike in the West Village location. He has it.

                      1. Pisacane on 1st Ave and 51st is a proper old time fish monger. All they do is fish.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: MellieMac

                          That is a FANTASTIC fish monger. Really excellent. Not cheap, but worth it.

                          1. re: ballulah

                            And Ideal Cheese is right next door.

                            1. re: MellieMac

                              I think there is a nice butcher right there as well.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Simchik's. All 3 in a row. A Chowhounds dream.

                                1. re: MellieMac

                                  I looooooooooove Ideal Cheese but I always forget about it. I'd also completely ignored Pisacane and Simchik's but I won't now, thanks for the tip.

                                  1. re: NYChristopher

                                    Heeeelllloooo! And if you need flowers, Perriwater and ZeZe are right there! Though I get mine at the local deli. Try Simchiks slab bacon, sliced. YUM! Balthazar bread at Ideal Cheese. We dont have a Whole Foods east side mid town but we do OK....

                        2. I agree with other hounds on the suggestion of 1) Chinatown and 2) Citarella. But there are cavaets to both:

                          1) Chinatown - depending on what type of black cod you are looking for. In Chinatown it is best to purchase black cod as a whole fish (with head, tail, skin attached). These will be the smaller sized black cod. In Chinatown I will not recommend buying cod steaks or fillets because without the head you can't examine the freshness (by looking at the inside of the fish or the eyes), and the fillets could have been sitting there for a long time (which is not uncommon in Chinatown). Another issue that may come up about fish purchase in Chinatown is that what they called "Black Cod" may not be the type of black cod that you are looking for. It is just how people name the fish in Chinatown, which is not very "scientific" or accurate. If you feel that you know enough to tell apart different types of fish, then by all means just select the one that you want. You can then get extremely fresh fish in Chinatown at a bargain price compared other locations.

                          2) Citarella - When it comes to freshness, I think Citarella is probably the best in town. The fish mongers are very knowledgeable and can help you with your selection. Fillets or whole fish, it is always fresh, so quality is not a concern at Citarella. The tradeoff is that you pay premium price for this guarantee. I like to buy my seafood at Citarella a lot because they often have a wide and exotic variety that you can't find in other locations.

                          Agree with other hounds that Whole Food and Dean & Deluca are suboptimal - pricey and not that fresh. In the case of Whole Food, the fish mongers often do not know the details (or even the names and sources) of the fish, which reflect how little care they put into their seafood department.

                          Hope you can get a good piece of black code for a great meal!

                          1. I've bought black cod (aka sable fish) at The Lobster Place (Chelsea Market) and Citirella.

                            fwiw, Fresh Direct also carries it but I'm less fond of their fish selections.

                            fyi, no matter the source, it's usually on the higher end of the price scale (@$18/lb)

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: was_bk

                              98 st and Bway Oppenhimers meats . They carry a large selction of fresh fish

                              1. re: FAL

                                I LOVE the guy who runs the fish out of Oppenheimers (Jose, who I know for 15 or 16 years from the late lamented Jakes on 88th Street) but there isn't the turnover there to insure it is freshest---although I live above 100th Street, still go to Citarella at least 3 times a week for fish - never have had to throw out a piece of their fish.

                                1. re: aimeezing1

                                  It is always fresh . Jose is at the Fish Market every morning

                            2. The Gramercy Fish Market is very good, on 2nd Avenue near 22nd Street.

                              1. So, I'm back with a similar question - which of these would you trust for anchovies and which of this would you trust for octopus (ideally Spanish and fairly small, maybe maybe 3#, maybe 6#). I just came across two recipes that looked intriguing but I'm not using canned or jarred anchovy and (I needn't say it here, but) squid is not octopus.

                                Here's the list so far:

                                Lobster Place
                                Dean & Deluca
                                Whole Foods
                                Chinatown vendors
                                ---Canal East of Lafayette
                                ---Canal and Walker
                                ---Mulberry b/t Canal and Bayard
                                ---Grand near Forsyth
                                Wild Edilbes
                                Gramercy Fish Market


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: NYChristopher

                                  Do these apply for Red Snapper also? Wild Edibles wants a fortune.