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Smelt in NYC

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Hello fellow foodies,

I'm looking for a restaurant in NYC that serves fried smelt, or another fried small fish dish for my fiance's birthday...

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!

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  1. I am a big smelt lover across the board. In NYC your best bets would be at either Japanese or Greek restaurants. I have had it grilled mostly in Japanese places and fried at the Greek. Grilled is better in my mind but smelts any way are fantastic. For Japanese I would suggest Decibel in the East Village, for Greek I like Telly's Taverna in Queens. Both places make some mean smelt though it seems like I get the smelt with the roe more often at the Japanese places if that matters to your fiance

    2 Replies
    1. re: MVNYC

      Fabulous!! My deep thanks for the reply and thoughtful answers MVNYC.

      You know right after I posted this, I realized that Elias Corner in Queens probably has Smelt...I've never been to telly's taverna though. Do you have any thoughts about Elias?

      Also--I don't see Smelt on the online Decibel menu...are you sure they serve it? If so, that'd be a rather brilliant place to get a nightcap.

      Thanks again.

      1. re: razini

        I have not had the smelt at Elias, but they do well with other fish so I would imagine their smelt is good.

        The Japanese word for smelt is shishamo, so look for that on menus. Most of the Izakaya type restaurants should have this around town.

    2. I just had some at Ithaka on East 86 this week which were very good. Generous serving.

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      Ithaka
      308 E 86th St, New York, NY 10028

      1 Reply
      1. re: UES Mayor

        Anyone know a good place to buy some fresh? I'd rather just fry them up myself (though it would make my apt stink like fish and drive my cat crazy).