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Casual Fish Restaurant-Not shellfish

I am looking for a casual place for my mother's birthday tonight that has various excellent fish dishes. I have noticed that a lot, if not most, of the seafood places recommended on this board are mostly geared towards shellfish (mussels, oysters, crab, lobster, etc...), but my mother doesn't eat any of that. Any recommendations that aren't extremely pricey (nothing over $50) and casual for a small family birthday dinner would be great. Thanks.

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  1. Try Pampano at 49th and 3rd. I think the website is www.modernmexican.com. I have always find it delicious.

    1. It might be a bit expensive, but Blue Water Grill does not dissapoint for fresh, simple fish and the atmosphere is fun and casual, good for a group.

      1. Thalassa in Tribeca specializes in ethereal fish dishes. they do also have shellfish, but that's not what I"m referring to here... the fish is SO fresh, and so delicious. Talking about it is making me hungry!

          1. re: Nehna

            I second the Mermaid Inn, and I love the atmosphere

          2. I have always enjoyed the fish I have ordered at Aquagrill

            5 Replies
            1. re: kesues

              I second Aquagrill in Soho. They usually have 5 or 6 types of fish that can be prepared simply grilled and pan fried or with their own combination of sauces and vegetables. The fish, in my experience had always been very fresh.

              Another restaurant that I found to be comparable to Aquagrill is Fresh in Tribeca. Pleasant decor and friendly service, and less crowded than Aquagrill.

              You can find the menus of both on menupages.com

              1. re: kobetobiko

                aquagrill does well with cooked fish but i have to go and recommend fresh in tribeca. i think this place is excellent and never gets the buzz of other places. its a beautiful light room, excellent, friendly service...and the freshest fish i can remember.

                i went years ago when they opened and recently went back about a month ago. they took off my favorite entree, the kobe tuna but we had a lobster roll and this seared tuna dish that was simple but expertly cooked.

                perfect for parents...though, entrees were in the upper $20 range.

                1. re: sam1

                  Hi sam1, I completely agree with you that Fresh is underrated. It is such a pleasant restaurant. Well, at least it was not as crowded as other popular restaurants which is probably better for us who enjoy it! ;D

                  Nevertheless I do encourage other hounds to try Fresh if they haven't!

                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    there was some talk that the original chef left but it was quite crowded when i went a few saturdays ago...i think i walked in at 8:45 with no reservations and they seated us right away...they had an extra table or two available. everyone was nothing but friendly and professional.

              2. re: kesues

                Aquagrill would be my pick too.

              3. I think Bondi Road is the best basic seafood restaurant in the city. You have an option of 4 fish in 3 different styles, grilled, breaded or fried, (usually a Baramundi, A snapper/ sea bass/ grouper type fish, a meatier fish and their daily special) a choice of sides and a few great apetizers. Although it is more in the style of "Australian fish and chips" and may be more casual than what you're looking for it fits the food and price perfectly. Last night I went with my gf, we shared a crab and shrimp appetizer, I had the snapper, she had the baramundi, and each had a cocktail for $65. I've been at least 5 times and each time has been fantastic.

                1. I think craigcep's Pampano suggestion is a good one. But bear in mind that the cuisine is Mexican, albeit of the modern persuasion.


                  You might want to consider going to a Greek restaurant because the Greeks really have a way with fish. Our favorite is Ethos, on 3rd Av., b/t 33rd & 34th Sts., a very attractive, bustling taverna-style spot. They specialize in whole fish, and you can make your selection from the fresh selection on ice. It will then be grilled expertly and fileted by your server tableside. Comes with very tasty roasted lemon potatoes. Start the meal by sharing a variety of the excellent hot and cold mezzes and end with an on-the-house sweet. The perfect meal!


                  Enjoy and Happy Birthday to your mother!