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Best Smoked Fish?

My family is coming down to NYC to visit my aunt for Passover. I just want to know what is the best place to pick up some smoked fish (cold smoked salmon, and hot smoked sable)

I know the two icons are Russ & Daughters and Zabar's if memory serves me right?
any suggestions, also do either of these offer a frozen option to take home (back to Toronto)?

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  1. your memory serves you well - Zabar's and R&D are the top 2...and Barney Greengrass rounds it out to top three.

    i'm pretty sure none of them sell any of the smoked fish frozen - it would compromise the texture. even if you order it & have it shipped, they don't freeze it, it's sent priority overnight in a cold-pack. but don't quote me on that...maybe someone else can chime in with a definitive answer...

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I don't plan on buying just frozen portions, just the fresh smoked fish might not even last the car ride home... a freezer option would allow me to stock up.

      I plan on picking up some belly lox, smoked sable, and sturgeon. Not big on whitefish or trout.

      Any opinions on what is the best smoked (or cured) salmon option from either of the stores. Belly, nova etc..

      1. re: flying101

        re: the salmon, i'm not a belly lox fan - it's way too salty for me, so i always go for nova.

    2. Russ & Daughters definitely ships, but only overnight. And I am not sure about shipipng to another country. I think we had to promise someone would be there the next morning to accept the package, otherwise, they were wary. Came packaged really impressively with ice packs, IIRC. Very expensive, but good for NYC expats who miss the city.

      http://www.russanddaughters.com/shipp...

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        Thanks for the info kathryn, I was aware tho about them shipping their product, but as you mention it is extremely hard if not illegal to ship such perishable food product internationally.

        I am coming into town and wish to sample the best smoked fish, taking some home is an after thought.

      2. if you're on the upper easy side sable's is good too.

        1. Both will pack fish to go in an insulated bag with a foam ice pack for a few dollars extra,. Tell them you have a twelve-hour trip and they'll pack accordingly.

          1. In terms of quality I think Barney Greengrass is best (at least it was when I lived uptown, and it's been a while).
            But Russ and Daughters is great too.

            1. As a lifelong New Yorker and smoked fish lover, I only recently bought smoked fish at Russ & Daughters for the first time, and l can say is "wow!" It is clearly a cut or two above anything else I have had. Absolutely perfect slices: large, thin, and no gray whatever. Tell them what you like (mild, salty, tender, etc.) and they will make recommendations and give you tastes. I personally love a very mild nova they carry, which is particularly tender and non-salty. I will still rely on Zabar's and others for convenience, but I don't think anything matches the quality of R&D. As the OP mentions, they know how to pack you up for a car ride and have inexpensive insulated bags at the ready.

              1. Question about the shipping. So when they ship the smoked salmon, do they send you a 1 lb piece, or is it all pre-sliced for you? Living in Florida now and there's NOTHING like R&D down here, so I was considering making a big order.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Corporate_40

                  They'll do whatever you want. The product will fare better if they don't slice it, but not many people have the tools and skills to slice it the way they do.