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Jul 27, 2008 09:41 PM

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

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. 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

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

      1. re: DarthEater

        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

          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

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

      3. 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

          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. 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

            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

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

              1. re: RGR

                So true! Thanks for the reminder.

          2. 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

              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

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

              2. 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.