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grilled whole fish.....rec's please

Bernke Jul 27, 2008 09:41 PM

looking for rec's for great grilled whole fish. Also, grilled octopus and calamari. Below 23rd preferably. I know you can find at most great Greek restaurants in Astoria. Looking for places in Manhattan. Any price. Just clean, fresh great grilled food.

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  1. r
    RGR Jul 27, 2008 10:24 PM

    Ethos is my favorite Greek restaurant for whole grilled fish. It's 10 blocks north of your target, on 3rd Av., b/t 33rd & 34th Sts. You can select from their pristine display on ice, the kitchen will grill it to perfection, and if you prefer, your server will filet it for you tableside.


    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR
      DarthEater Jul 27, 2008 11:17 PM

      I second that. The octopus was extremely tender and the fish was fresh.

      1. re: DarthEater
        Bernke Jul 29, 2008 08:56 AM

        OK, so went to Ethos yesterday. The grilled octopus and calamari were fantastic! a 10! the grilled whole red snapper was very good. didn't blow me away but the food was great.
        Anywhere downtown west where I can get grilled octopus and calamari that's off the charts? love when it's really charred..


        1. re: Bernke
          kobetobiko Jul 29, 2008 02:01 PM

          Hi Bernke,

          When you mentioned downtown West, I recalled Morandi having all the grilled dishes that you mentioned - whole fish, calamari, octopus. In fact they have a whole section of grilled food. I recalled that their grilled food and apps being quite good (particularly the seafood) but the meat dishes were weaker. Fried food were also good. But then it had been more than a year since I went. May be someone can chime in on their recent experiences.

      2. re: RGR
        Bernke Jul 28, 2008 10:03 AM

        Thanks. Will have to try. Forgot to mention Pylos is one of my favs.

      3. c
        cimui Jul 27, 2008 11:47 PM

        Ethos is perfect for very fresh, simple, grilled fish. They have a pretty wide selection of daily specials to choose from and can select for you based on freshness or size. I've never had grilled octopus there, but I know it's on the menu.

        Another good one that's south of 23rd is Pylos on east 7th St, between 1st Ave & Ave A. The selection of grilled whole fish is smaller, but about the same price as at Ethos in a more attractive space. The octopus appetizers are more dressed up -- possibly more involved than perhaps what you're looking for. The grilled version on the small plates menu is marinated and another is wine braised.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cimui
          financialdistrictresident Jul 28, 2008 05:17 AM

          Second Cimui's Pylos suggestion. Only caveat is their grilled ocopus has balsamic vinegar and I do not care for it, too contrived. Periyali is close to the 20's and their grilled octopus is their signature dish. Their whole fish is very good too. OP didn't want Astoria recs, but the fish there is hard to beat. Ethos is still on my list to try.

        2. c
          City Kid Jul 28, 2008 06:45 AM

          If you want to wander uptown a bit, Kellari Taverna is my favorite place for the freshest whole grilled fish and octopus. I like Ethos too but it is more cramped, crowded, and noisy. Kellari is a sublime dining experience: quality food + comfortable surroundings + excellent service.

          3 Replies
          1. re: City Kid
            KingsKetz Jul 28, 2008 09:56 AM

            The good news is that Kellari Taverna has a sister restaurant on 19th St. (I think that's the street or else 20th) called Kellari Parea. Very comfortable tables with lots of space, good food, nice ambience, and best of all - very quiet for a NYC restaurant. You can actually hold a conversation! The staff can use a bit of help with the menu but it is still a lovely place.

            1. re: KingsKetz
              RGR Jul 28, 2008 12:51 PM

              Kellari's Parea is on 20th, b/t Park Av. S. & B'way, right down the block from Gramercy Tavern.

              1. re: RGR
                City Kid Jul 28, 2008 01:10 PM

                So true! Thanks for the reminder.

          2. s
            Stuffed Monkey Jul 28, 2008 10:06 AM

            If you want something besides Greek, I had a great whole Branzinno cooked in the wood oven at Cookshop on 10th Avenue.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Stuffed Monkey
              financialdistrictresident Jul 28, 2008 10:47 AM

              Stuffed Monkey reminded me Le Zie also does a nice whole fish. I think they're near the 20s. We went there recently. It can be a bit lively and noisy if that is an issue for you.

              1. re: Stuffed Monkey
                sam1 Jul 28, 2008 11:21 AM

                i had the whole roasted red snapper at cookshop...with garlic and oil...absolutely fantastic and with only a little amount of bones.

              2. r
                roze Jul 28, 2008 01:27 PM

                We had a fantastic whole grilled branzino at Market Table not too long ago that was super moist and light with a lovely lemony garlic sauce.


                For Grilled Octopus I have to say the best I have had was at Babbo. It had an amazing char to the outside that I still dream of.

                Obviously Babbo is a hard reservation to score. If you were willing to go uptown Mia Dona also has a fantastic grilled octopus appetizer.


                1. k
                  kobetobiko Jul 28, 2008 01:30 PM

                  Hi Bernke,

                  At Belcourt, they have a whole branzino (sans head) baked in sea salt with lemon, oregano, and braised escarole. Not exactly grilled but the flavor was simple and sweet.

                  At Backy Forty, they serve a whole grilled trout with cilantro and salsa verde. If you have the appetizer, you can also try their grilled summer squash with lemon verbena!

                  1. p
                    PhishFoodie Jul 28, 2008 02:42 PM

                    ed's lobster bar usually has a simple, delicious grilled fish of the day.
                    i've also had a great special one at Frank.

                    1. s
                      SYCRoberts Jul 28, 2008 04:32 PM

                      Great whole grilled Branzino at Taksim, 1030 Second Avenue (Between 54th& 55th Street) . No grilled Octopus though.


                      1. s
                        susiederkins Jul 28, 2008 06:54 PM

                        Pearl's Oyster Bar or Tides Seafood will usually have whole grilled fish. I prefer dorade over branzino - dorade has a great flavor and is less bony. Neither have grilled octopus or grilled calamari, to my knowledge.

                        1. c
                          Captain Jul 28, 2008 08:03 PM

                          My favorite grilled fish is Trata Estia???, 2nd Ave about 72nd or so.

                          But my wife had great grilled fish at Mary's Fish Camp a few weeks ago.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Captain
                            nyny Jul 29, 2008 08:01 PM

                            i 2nd great grilled fish at Mary's Fish Camp - sooo good

                          2. h
                            howster Jul 29, 2008 08:49 PM

                            if i'm not mistaken carmines down by the sea port (south street) they do grilled whole fish i had soft shell crabs their a couple of days ago excellent

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: howster
                              financialdistrictresident Jul 30, 2008 05:03 AM

                              howster, there is also a new Fish Market on South Street. OP if you do a search of this Board there are some reports and I know I posted when I first went. Their menu has evolved since they are still new. Carmine's is old (an institution down here), not trendy or sceney. There large soft shell crabs almondine are good. I've never had whole fish but they have a nice sole. Haven't been to Aquagrill in a few months but they may have whole fish.

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