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Nov 24, 2008 04:13 PM

John Dory Menu

Up at their website. Very limited and very pricey for fare. Is anyone really going to order "cod milt" [seminal fluid] in NYC ? Sardine App for $ 20.00? Mullet [Catfood] for 28.00 or a Ribeye for two $ 110.00 when Wagyu at Craftsteak next door is $ 102.00? Will Americans take up expensive English pub grub?

We will see.

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  1. Wow! Looks like the perfect restaurant to open in our current economic situation. I give it 2 months, tops.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      rrems: I agree...Looks like they invested a million in decorating. Looks ugly, Disneyish. Probably signed their lease in 2007 for an astronomical rent. Surrounded by Craftsteak, Morimoto, Del Posto [2 Iron Chefs].. More like Murderers Row.
      Best Oyster Pan Roast at Grand Central Oyster Bar for $9.95.

      1. re: DoctortedNYC

        I agree the place looks like some Epcot Aquarium hysteria nightmare, where someone got kickbacks for ordering the most expensive materials they could find. The decor probably turns me off more than anything.

    2. I too checked out the menu and found it curiously unnappetizing. Milt, sardines and mullet don't sound very nice. They need to tweak the menu, I think.

      1. I had a similar reaction to the menu when I saw it. However I also felt the same way when Spotted Pig first opened, and they've been doing well for several years now.

        The pictures make the place look awful, I agree.

        rrems: I have a sense that they'll be there for a little while. I don't get the sense that they're going to make an amateurish mistake like under-capitalizing such an expensive operation. Even if it fails miserably, they'll have given themselves several months' cushion.

        I think they'll figure it out and make it work. May take a few tweaks though.

        1. Anyone have any reviews or reactions or actual experiences at the restaurant to share, as opposed to reactions to the menu?

          3 Replies
          1. re: adam

            I went last night. Waited 45 minutes past my reservation to be seated, 45 minutes for appetizers, 45 minutes for entrees. Ken Friedman was active in the front of the house and very apologetic and comped a few rounds of drinks both at the bar and at the table and sent out dessert. The managers, likewise, very apologetic in an endearing way. I will chalk that up to opening week kinks. Having said that, it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. I worked in seafood restaurants here in the city for years (including Aquagrill) and like to think I know my seafood... the John Dory is doing it right with really great flavors. Good atmosphere, more upscale and sophisticated than the Pig.

            The amuse bouche was an arctic char spread with fried parsnip chips. The chips were too salty on their own but perfect with the char. They have 250 ML mini caraffes of wine at very reasonable prices. We had the razor clam crudo and the scallop and pomegranite crudo, both excellent, but the octopus salad was a stand out. I could eat that every night. Oh, the menu is slightly different than the one on the site - the steak is for one person now at $55 and they added a squid stuffed with chorizo, and sea bream "a la plancha" with bacon and fennel, I believe for $25 and $28 respectively. For entrees we got the squid, the sea bream, and the john dory. The squid was very good but I was glad it wasn't my entree, not really what I was looking for. The john dory and the sea bream were great. The john dory, the lighter of the two, had the perfect amount of acid from the salsa verde, almost like a light vinaigrette. The sea bream had perfect crispy skin and a creamy sauce (I forget what it was but it was like butter dahlings) with fennel (raw so no anise flavor) and bacon. The bacon was in big thick strips, it was the only thing I didn't finish. For dessert, we had an ice cream sundae that had a choc-peanut butter ice cream and I guess vanilla, with fudge, kahlua, and honeycomb. It was great. The other dessert though, was godly. Sorry to say I forget exactly what is was called on the menu and what is in it but it was the only one "for two", it was a 3 inch high perfect spongecake with a piping hot sauce poured over it. Imagine a fluffy spongecake pancake soaked in an orange syrup - creme anglais. Whatever it was, we ate it until our stomachs hurt and could take no more. Well almost no more, the plate of petit fours were good too!

            All in all, a great meal in spite of the wait. Get on the phone, once the kitchen works out the kinks this is going to be a perfect experience. The octopus salad, the sundae and the spongecake for 2 are MUSTS, and I am thinking you probably can't miss with any of the seafood entrees, as the john dory and sea bream were top notch.


            1. re: Big B

              Oh shit, forgot part of the story. Lovely food goddess Ruth Reichl sat next to us and we shared desserts between tables. Her almond tart wasn't as good as our steaming spongecake though!

              1. re: Big B

                Had an absolutely incredible meal here last week. Unlike the previous poster, we were seated right on time. We had the scallops and the octopus salad to start. There are actually two scallop dishes on the menu: one with pomegranate and one with olive oil and sea salt. We selected the latter, and I highly recommend it. The scallops were sweet enough on their own, and the simple prep really allowed the flavors to shine. The octopus salad was amazing. Charred just enough to bring out a really lovely color and flavor, the octopus was not chewy at all. The salad also had artichokes and beets which helped to balance out the flavors. For main courses, my boyfriend and I shared: he got the cod which was simply prepared and came on a bed of artichoke dip that was slightly spicy. it had the consistency of a mashed potato, and was awesome. The cod was well seasoned, and perfectly cooked. I got the black pepper crab. It is very messy, but totally worth the effort. The sauce is spicy for sure, but not overwhelming.. it is the perfect combination with the delicate crab. And, yes, though it is a lot of work, it yields quite a lot of meat. As a side, we shared the sweet potatoes with marrow. I can't even describe how delicious this was. The sweet potatoes are cut into large wheels and roasted with just a hint of salt and pepper and possibly a touch of cinnamon. The marrow is laid on top of the potatoes and literally melts in your mouth. Perfection. We skipped dessert (too full), but I will be running back here asap.

          2. Ate there last weekend - my thoughs -

            First, as others have mentioned, they bring out some housemade potato chips with smoked arctic char, very tasty, and a slightly larger portion would have been welcome. Then, for starters, we had some oysters (east and west coast), and the fish soup (not to be confused with the fish stew entree). Oysters were good and fresh, fish soup rich, flavorful, plentiful, awesome. It was almost a bisque - thick, just enough texture, lots of fish and shellfish flavor, tomatoey, spices, etc. Very much hit the spot on a cold night.

            For entrees, we split the whole grilled sea bream with anchovy-rosemary pesto, and the black pepper crab. Hot damn. The sea bream was perfectly cooked, nice crispy skin, well-seasoned, and the pesto complemented the fish without overwhelming it at all. But the star of the show, which I would order over and over again, was the black pepper crab. Did I feel a bit self-conscious in this hip meatpacking location surrounded by beautiful people, up to my elbow in crabshell and peppercorns and meat and spice? Maybe just a bit. But seriously, there's no excuse for not ordering the crab. It's a 2 lb whole dungeness crab, cut into pieces but still in the shell, in a fire-but-not-too-fiery black pepper sauce, with whole roasted peppercorns, scallions, and who knows what else. Went nicely with the IPA I was drinking.

            As for desserts, eh, a pretty good ice cream sundae and a decent eccles cake (look, Brits aren't known for their sweets) with the saving grace, some tasty stichelton (sort of a raw-milk stilton but tweaked a bit).

            In a nutshell - well worth it, if it sounds like your sort of place, by all means go check it out.