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Nov 9, 2009 11:45 AM

Skate Wing

Hey Chowhounds,
I am a journalist in NYC and I'm writing an article about Skate Wing, and I would love to hear from you!
Skate (a type of ray) is a bit mysterious. It has been on the menus of almost 50 Manhattan restaurants this year, but many diners don't know what it is.
Skate seems to be gaining popularity in NY, but sustainable fishing watchdogs like the Seafood Watch say that skate is a no-no. According to Seafood Watch, "skates have been severely overfished and most are caught with bottom trawls, which result in high levels of accidental catch and substantial damage to the seafloor."

What is your opinion? Should restaurants serve skate?
If you have tried skate, where did you eat it, and how did you find out what it was? Did you know about the sustainability issues before you ordered it?

Thanks! I hope to hear from you!

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  1. skate grenobloise is delicious and because of it's easy preparation/high wow factor it's one of my favorite dishes to serve to guests.

    in manhattan both balthazar & les halles have a delicious skate

    did not know about the ethical implications...

    2 Replies
    1. re: El Tigre

      I would have to agree, with El Tigre. Skate is very easy to prepare and its always good. A black carbon steel and some fat, and you're in business.

      Blue Ribbon makes a nice skate dish also.

      Had no idea regarding sustainability issues. Its been many years since i have eaten or cooked "chilean sea bass" for obvoius reasons.

    2. I remember my father decrying the falling standards in about 1967 or so when the last restaurant in Manhattan stopped serving skate...there were still some clubs doing it, buthe saw it as the collapse of His Manhattan. It was amusing to me to see skate make a comeback as TV Chefs were looking for New Things. I first had it as raie au buerre noir, which was THE standard in the old days. I've not had any in fact, the last I had was overseas but I used to get fisherman in teh Gulf to give me any skate they caught and I'd made the things myself.

      1. I enjoy the preparation of skate at Jean Claude on Sullivan St.

        Jean Claude
        137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

        1. I've enjoyed skate in the past, both in Europe and in NY. Have rarely seen it on a menu in San Francisco (where I live), so was unaware of its Seafood Watch status.

          Will probably choose something more sustainable from now on.

          For those interested, you can get more info, including a little wallet card, here:

          1. i didn't realize people considered skate to be unusual nor was i aware of the sustainability issue despite listening to several programs about it. jean georges has this amazing skate dish with chateau chalon sauce which is to die for. what do you mean "how did you find out what it was"? if you brought me to a fish market i probably couldn't tell a cod from a haddock or a plaice or a tuna for that matter; i suspect most people are equally ignorant.

            3 Replies
            1. re: shane

              Hi Shane-
              What I meant was, did you know what skates were before you saw them on a menu? I am trying to get a sense if this is a market-driven trend or a consumer-driven trend. Some people speculate that skates are more common now because other fish stocks, like Atlantic cod, have been depleted, so the industry is marketing what used to be a "trash fish" as a delicacy.
              Thanks for your reply.

              1. re: sbreselor

                hmmm, i can't say i can recall when i first had skate. i'm not a huge fish eater, but i do look out for skate on menus especially when the sauce pairing appeals to me. will have to reconsider that now however after taking a look at monterey bay aquarium list.

                1. re: sbreselor

                  also, one thing about skate that i always did find curious is how many people call it "skate fish". it always seemed a little odd to me kinda like when people use someone's last name too frequently. but then again cod fish and tuna fish are also used (but not salmon fish or halibut fish!).