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I need smoked salmon help!

I was in Montreal recently and had brunch at the Hotel le Crystal. One of the courses was half of a Montreal-style bagel with cream cheese and a very unique and delicious smoked salmon. Now, I've only eaten smoked salmon about 2-3 times total in my life (it always grossed me out as a child and I don't care for regular salmon), but this was absolutely amazing. It had an nearly translucent, deep red color - almost like sushi tuna and the edges were also faintly coated with some seasoning (crushed peppercorns?). It was one of my food highlights among a weekend of gorging with friends.

I live in NYC and would love to find smoked salmon like this, but the only stuff you see around here is your typical pink-ish, opaque, "lox". Is there a particular style that's similar to my Montreal experience that I should be searching for?

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  1. I think you will find what your looking for here.

    1. It sounds like you may have had pastrami smoked salmon. Example here:

      Also, the bagels you had at Hotel Le Crystal were Fairmount bagels:

      1. Or maybe you had gravlax, which is cured, not smoked? It has a more delicate flavor than lox and is typically translucent as well.

        1. where in NYC are you.

          if downtown manhattan is convenient to you, then russ and daughters. the upper east side i'd go to Sable's. upper west Zabars or Barney Greengrass

          1. It wasn't pastrami style, the seasoning was barely noticeable. Maybe it was Nova? The hotel's website says the salmon is house smoked, doesn't help much!

            1. NYC has three great places for incredible smoked salmon. It's the capital of smoked salmon in North America. Russ and Daughters has a dozen or so smoked salmon types and hand cuts the salmon razor thin. Fairway does a great job an has as many. What you had could have been salmon pastrami, or gravlax, which you can get all over New York.

              6 Replies
              1. re: foodlovergeneral

                The vast preponderance of smoked salmon comes from the same place, Acme Smoked Fish Company. They probably account for nearly all the product sold by the places mentioned above.

                More info:


                1. re: johnb

                  I think that may only apply to the Nova all over New York. I think it does come from Acme. The other salmons, the Scottish, the Irish, the Gaspe, the organic, the Belly Lox I think comes from a variety of providers.

                  1. re: foodlovergeneral

                    Could be, but Acme carries those items too. I no longer live (or get to) NY, but the next time you're in the places you mentioned ask them where their stuff is coming from, specifically, what do they have that doesn't come from Acme. I'd be interested to know what you find out.

                    I'm pretty sure that Zabars gets all theirs from Acme. They supposedly have a special arrangement whereby they get to go in and select the specific pieces they want.




                2. re: foodlovergeneral

                  Hi, foodlovergeneral:

                  "NYC... the capital of smoked salmon in North America."

                  That is hilarious. Big salmon fishing fleet there? Native runs fished fresh? Green alder to smoke it? Nice recreational fishery? Native American salmon culture run deep there?

                  You might as well claim NYC is the truffle or wine capital of the world.


                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    New York is probably the largest consumer of smoked salmon in the world, despite that salmon comes other areas. It has the greatest variety and freshness of an place that I have been, and I have traveled to quite a few places and eat smoked salmon quite a lot. .

                    1. re: foodlovergeneral

                      Hi, foodlovergeneral:

                      LOL, New York City eats salmon? Does it get shpilkes, too?

                      There may be a lot of salmon sold and smoked there, but I think you're 'way out on a limb when it comes to *per capita* consumption and freshness.


                3. you can buy fantastic Nova lox and other great smoked fish online and have it shipped to you from Barney Greengrass The King of Sturgeon.....upper west side of manhattan. They have a website you can find on google

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dining with doc

                    Excellent smoked salmon, but not much variety. Not sure, but I don't think they hand cut like Russ and Daughters, Fairway and Zabars.

                    1. re: foodlovergeneral

                      I feel a tad sorry for people that have only farmed Atlantic Salmon to recommend-very few here touch the stuff-ever.

                      1. re: Sam Salmon

                        Isn't Norwegian salmon typically farmed these days?

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          All Atlantic Salmon for sale is farmed everywhere on earth-there is virtually no commercial fishery on Atlantic Salmon stocks-especially since Salmon feed lots have helped destroy the few remaining stocks on the European side of the Atlantic.

                          If it's a quality product you want then forget about anything but Alaskan or Canadian Wild Salmon.