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Jul 25, 2007 03:30 PM

BLT Fish Review

I admit I had alot of trepidation before going to BLT Fish. It seems that with all the BLT establishments diners either love them or hate them. The reviews vary from appalling to wildly enthusiastic. BLT Fish is no exception. Once passing through its cheaper and more raucous downstairs cousin BLT Fish Shack, you take a glass elevator to its more elegant namesake. With a grand skylight the room has a sleek sophistication, albeit a noisy one.

Amuse of smoked tuna salad was excellent. Next come the marvelous hot cheddar biscuits with maple butter. The combination appears odd and out of place, until you taste one and roll your eyes in how delicious they are.

We opted for three courses.
For appetizers the tuna tartare was excellent. Its base of creamy avocado and crown of caviar was a nice play of flavor texture and freshness. Baby lettuce salad was fresh, citrusy and crispy. We converted a side of gnocci into a second course. Coming in a small metal cup they were light and silky. An excellent chunky tomato sauce bathed the little potato pillows.

For the main, we opted for the Alaskan King Salmon which was superb. Literally 3 inches thick at its center, it was cooked to a moist, silky perfection. One of the best pieces of fish I ever had. A bit of advice. The menu offers particular fish selections and fish-by-the-pound, which could easily hit $ 100.00 for a 3 pound piece. No need to go here as there are enough prepared choices to meet most tastes and not break the bank. The salmon was served with a great brown butter lemon caper sauce, whose saltiness is a great foil for the delicate salmon.

Portions here are ample and even though expensive, you wont feel as if you are being played for a fool.
Deset was the red berry crumble with fromage blanc ice cream. Fabulous warm buttery pastry shell enclosing berries. Petit-fours and the goofy jar of green-apple cotton candy closed a solid, enjoyable meal.
Service is a bit amateurish but pleasant and sincere.

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  1. I ate at the Fish Shack downstairs not so long ago. I had the lobster roll. The service was fine, decor was great. Too bad the lobster roll wasn't in the least bit memorable. I plan to try the place again to be fair and I'll order something else, but I fear there is little greatness at BLT Fish Shack. Too bad, because I like BLT Steak.

    1. BLT Fish also have a casual alternative on the first floor of the restaurant, the BLT Fish Shack. The menu is including classics such as Lobster Rolls, Fish & Chips and Clam Chowder.

      BLT Fish
      21 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

      1. It all depends on your personal taste because I preferred the lobster roll at BLT downstairs to the one at Ed's. I prefer Ed's as a restaurant but the lobster roll was not as good for me. Ed's is a bit more trendy and the space is more fun.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cricri7

          A theme park for the moneyed under-thirty set, even upstairs on the expensive dining floor. Ordered a glass of Gevrey-Chambertin, which was closed and bitter at the beginning and never changed to that velvety beauty which a good burgundy has. When I mentioned this to the waiter, offered to have him taste or smell the half-empty glass I never finished, he said he'd had a taste of another bottle months ago and it was "fine." So much for my $25! The shellfish platter was ok, too meager, though, for these prices. I had the best swordfish I've had in a long time, but my companion's tuna was fresh enough but innocuous, ditto the peas on the side. The service pretty poor, too: waited half an hour beyond my reservation time for a table on a Tuesday night in August! The bussers were poorly trained, intruding, asking if they can take away plates I'm still eating off of, because I'm not eating right then. Pain in the ass. I wouldn't recommend BLT Fish, though the food wasn't bad. It's too expensive, and too loud for eating.

          1. re: jolivore

            I'm surprised you found the shellfish platter Meager. We ate here about a month ago and the table next to us got the shellfish platter which towered over both of our tables - in fact we joked that 'the ocean called, they're out of shellfish, could you send some back?' My terrible sense of humour aside, I have to think that what they ordered and what you ordered was something different?

            I do agree that the service was the weakest part of the meal. There were times when our server disappeared for ages, and the captain was busy talking to someone who seemed to be a friend who just stopped in to chat.

            But the food was absolutely delicious.

            Of course everything I've said here is for the upstairs dining room. I went to the fish shack *once* about two years ago ...

            1. re: Spends Rent on Food

              I also thought the shellfish platter was amazing. Also had some of the prepared fish which were great too. Have been 3X and can't wait to go back.

        2. We ate tonight at BLT Fish. As others have said, smoked tuna amuse and bisquits are exceptional. Thai style clams/mussels were also tasty. Side of creamed corn was excellent. HOWEVER the 3lb lobster was a huge disappointment. BLT has not learned that there is no way to improve on lobster beyond simple steaming or boiling. The lobster was overcooked, partly removed from the shell (even though we ordered it whole), and sprinkled with bread crumbs that had been sauteed in oil. LOUSY in the extreme. Please don't make the mistake of ordering this dish. Service was okay but too fussy; too much attention from service staff took away from our dinner conversation. We have been satisfied BLT customers in the past but will not return to BLT Fish upstairs because of the costly but lousy lobster. Downstairs looks worth trying, though. According to the host lobsters there come whole. Also the raw bar looks wonderful.

          1. save your money i have eaten here more tha a few times (only because i am in the neiborhood) and it is mediocre at best - I ordered the halibut and instead of being realitively local (in June) it was from Iceland and tasted like it had been frozen and defrosted and not very fresh. The preperation crusted in pollen (awful flavor) and drowned in a good sauce. I think that is there modus to find the cheapest fish and hide it in a good sauce but this day it was inedible. We ordered a cherry cheesecake dessert for $10 that was disappointing also --- it had to be several days old it was a soggy sponge cake witha hardened cheesecake mousse on top and a dried cherry sauce? Not worth the calories or the $10 we left almost the entire piece. Quality and price performance are awful, Service is very goodand the cheese biscuits are excellant but is that worth $100 per person?? I don't think so--- in NYC you can do so much better fo rthe money!