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Excellent fish & chips or similar bar grub near midtown?

linguafood Feb 24, 2010 09:47 AM

Pretty much finalized my itinerary:

Thursday mid afternoon arrival in midtown (staying at a hotel near TS).

This is the dinner that is still open. Given that we will be spending crazy amounts of money in the following days, I was hoping for something waaay more low-key. Burgers or GREAT fish & chips would be preferred.

Friday lunch either Oyster Bar or Yasuda (on that note -- will lunch at Yasuda break the bank?)
Dinner @Convivio

Saturday lunch either Oyster Bar or Yasuda, depending on where we went Friday (duh)
Dinner @Resto = the goat feast

Sunday a very maybe-ish dim sum with a friend who probly already knows where to take us (he is Chinese / long time NYer)

So.... any tips for fish n chips, low-key atmo, good beer?

  1. c
    chow_gal Feb 24, 2010 10:02 AM

    If you get there early, try The Breslin.

    1. r
      RCC Feb 24, 2010 10:26 AM

      Wild Edibles along 3rd Avenue near 36Street. The fish are taken right off the displayed iced case (they're a reputable seafood retailer) and they'll take fresh beer off the bar for the batter.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RCC
        linguafood Feb 24, 2010 10:30 AM

        Wow, that sounds great! More high-falutin' than I was thinking, but if you think it's a low-key place with fab fishnchips, I'll definitely check it out!

        1. re: linguafood
          Miss Needle Feb 24, 2010 11:12 AM

          It's really not a high falutin type of place at all. Very casual. I've only purchased fish there; never ate there. I just think of it as a fish store with a small restaurant attached to it.

      2. b
        boccalupo Feb 24, 2010 10:30 AM

        I am not sure if there are great fish and chips near Midtown, but your best bet in the area is an Irish pub-type place with good food. Hibernia on 50th is one place that comes to mind.

        3 Replies
        1. re: boccalupo
          linguafood Feb 24, 2010 10:33 AM

          OK, it doesn't have be supernear. I just don't think we'll feel like trekking it all the way to LES or EV that night, given that it's our arrival day. Any place that is within reach of perhaps a couple subway stops would be fine, too.

          1. re: linguafood
            CalJack Feb 24, 2010 11:10 AM

            Well, Molly's meets your criteria if you're willing to take the N/R/W down to Gramercy and walk a few blocks East. They serve perhaps the best pub-style burger in the city along with some solid fish and chips, there's warmth and old-timey atmosphere to spare, plus they pour a helluva pint of Guinness. Not necessarily ideal if you're looking for a lengthy selection of microbrews, but it's a standout NYC institution by all accounts.

            Then again, the East Village and West Village are so readily accessible from Times Square (2-3 stops via express train; 4-6 stops via local) that it seems sort of arbitrary to exclude those neighborhoods if you're willing to hop on the subway.

            The rest of your itinerary looks promising - have a terrific trip!

            1. re: CalJack
              linguafood Feb 24, 2010 12:03 PM

              You are right, of course. Once we're on the subway, it's kinda irrelevant where we get off. Plus we have a friend in the EV (where we'll be crashing after the goat feast) who may well want to join us that night....

              Molly's sounds like it could be a winner!

        2. p
          Pookipichu Feb 24, 2010 11:07 AM

          Lunch at Yasuda is one of the best deals in Manhattan. The prix fixe is $24 and beyond excellent.

          If you feel like a splurge, go to Chinatown Brasserie, handsdown the best dim sum in NY.

          I LOVE fish & chips but I haven't had any that are amazing in NYC. The best fish & chips I ever had was at London Underground in Corning, NY. Truly phenomenal, and amazing apple pie. Seriously good. Huge piece of fish, perfectly crusty, bronzed batter, fresh fish, tender and flaky.

          As for NYC:

          A Salt & Battery - A little greasy, small portion but good. I'd say my top choice.
          Oyster Bar - Also a bit greasy, the batter is decent, but too pricey.
          West Branch - Less greasy, but the batter was a bit salty for me. Also pricey.

          The only fish and chips I had in Midtown was at a Irish bar/pub next to MSG, it was terrible, soggy batter, overcooked fish.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Pookipichu
            linguafood Feb 24, 2010 12:05 PM

            Cool. Yasuda it'll be, then.

            A Salt & Battery sounds good, too. Alas, won't make it to London that w/end '-)

            1. re: linguafood
              b
              boccalupo Feb 24, 2010 12:25 PM

              If I recall A Salt & Battery just has a small counter and a couple of stools for eat in. Mostly a take-out spot. Not sure if that is what you are are looking for.

              BTW - Corner Bistro is fine for burgers, if a bit overhyped. It is also supercrowded super informal (paper plates).

              1. re: linguafood
                p
                Pookipichu Feb 24, 2010 12:59 PM

                Lol, I would go to Corning, NY just to have those fish & chips and apple pie again.

                As a previous poster just mentioned, the ambiance at ASB is very informal, the place is small and it does have "fryer scent". But I actually think the place is charming, as opposed to Corner Bistro which is dark, dank and smelly.

            2. f
              fein Feb 24, 2010 12:10 PM

              personally i would skip mollys. id rather wait on line for shake shack or have the lamb burger at the breslin.

              4 Replies
              1. re: fein
                linguafood Feb 24, 2010 12:16 PM

                the reports on shake shack haven't convinced me. but i will check out the breslin.

                what's the scoop with corner bistro? not a good dinner place for burgers?

                1. re: linguafood
                  k
                  KTinNYC Feb 24, 2010 12:25 PM

                  Shake Shack is fine but I certainly wouldn't wait on line for it.

                  Corner Bistro serves a good not great burger. It's a neighborhood bar, not much atmosphere but not a bad place for a burger and a drink.

                  1. re: linguafood
                    JungMann Feb 24, 2010 12:30 PM

                    I am not a fan of Corner Bistro's burgers. They are greasy without much beefy flavor. Plus it has been too crowded as of late for a comfortable casual dinner even early in the evening. If you're down there already, you might as well stop by Bill's, A Salt & Battery or Blind Tiger .

                    1. re: linguafood
                      p
                      Pookipichu Feb 24, 2010 12:55 PM

                      Ughh, been I have going to Corner Bistro for over a decade and it has gone downhill. They are too busy, quality control has taken a hit and the price has doubled.

                      It reeks of beer and an undercurrent of vomit and is always packed to the rafters, most of the time with loud yuppies and bridge and tunnel crowd. I could stomach 2 out of 4, but between the wait/noise, the price, the decline and the smell... I no longer go there.

                  2. E Eto Feb 24, 2010 12:37 PM

                    You'll have to do Yasuda on Friday if you're limited to lunch, since they're not open for Saturday lunch. If you want to do omakase, you should expect to pay about $100, otherwise there are sets that will average about $30-40. With Oyster Bar, you're better off treating it as a place for pre-dinner drinks and appetizers at the bar. You'll find many posters disappointed with full meals there.

                    For fish n' chips around Time Square, I think St Andrews might be a viable choice, as it's very close to your hotel.

                    I'll throw out a wildcard for BBQ since I see that you're coming in from abroad. I think a place like Hill Country might be a departure from your other choices, though you'll have to forego the fish n' chips and burgers, and replace it with smoked meats.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: E Eto
                      linguafood Feb 24, 2010 02:02 PM

                      Thanks for the info about Yasuda. I was going to check whether they have lunch on w/ends. That's cool, I can do it on Friday, too, and will most likely go with the prix fixe someone else mentioned...

                      I've been to Oyster Bar, and loved it. I am going back to OD on oysters, basically. They ARE open on Saturdays for lunch, tho, right (obvy, I can always check their website).

                      BBQ might be an option, since Thursday night is still very much open. After having learned about vomit and beer reekings, I'm not so sure I want to go.

                      Also, the ASB doesn't really sound like a sitdown place, so maybe that's not right either. Ugh. >head exploding<. If only I had a week or two. Oh, and unlimited funds hahaha.

                      1. re: linguafood
                        u
                        uwsister Feb 25, 2010 01:30 AM

                        A Salt and Battery is the BEST fish and chips place in Manhattan. Very authentic and close to what you'd find in London. It's super-informal, but I remember most of the time there were always a couple stools available. I've never been happy with fish and chips ordered at normal Irish pubs. If you're picky about it, I'd avoid it elsewhere.

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