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Sep 8, 2011 07:24 AM

Fishtag: what do people think?

We went to Fishtag last night (our second visit; our first was probably six-or-so months ago) and enjoyed the food, but found the overall experience to be odd.

The good: Fortunately, the food was very good. I had a shrimp and feta bruschetta, followed by the lamb burger, both of which were very tasty (if a bit rich). I've only had The Breslin's famed lamb burger once, but I think I like this one more: it's juicier and lambier -- more gamey, in a good way. And the potatoes with which it's served are mighty fine, too, maybe as good as The Breslin's.

My dining companions enjoyed their food, too, including the greek salad, smoked octopus, and seabass.

The bad: The entire experience is way too complicated. They give you two menus with way too many words on it, asterisks, and different colors, and the waitstaff has to spend five minutes explaining to you how the menu is supposed to work. And we found the staff itself to be a little odd. Our server, in particular, was way too enthusiastic, to the point where I found myself getting stressed every time he approached the table!

I can certainly see going back for the food, but it seems to me the place would be well served by simplifying the menu and toning down the service.

What do others think?

The Breslin
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Fish Tag
222 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

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  1. I agree with you about the food! I discovered it a few months ago, and have been back quite often. I've liked all the dishes I've ordered in the past. I personally have not had an issue with the servers or the menu, I rather liked that it is ordered by heaviness of the dish.

    For service maybe try the bar area? I rather like sitting on the high tables in the front areas.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoLi

      I also have liked the food very much. I've heard others had issues with the menu, I was fine with it, and thought the service was helpful and friendly but not intrusive in any way.

      1. re: City Kid

        I should mention that on our first visit, several months ago, we had an excellent server, as a result of which the confusing menus seemed less confusing.

      1. The cheese descriptions in the menu are SNL material. But, yes, the food was very good, overall. I tried it for the first time a few days ago. I'll try to bring a picture of the menu when I go next...

        1. I think it's good PQR but the three times I've been there since it opened I thought the food was off balance, often having too much acidity and/or sour elements. I think he's trying to do the David Chang acid counterpoint thing but less successfully. But it is one of the more interesting affordable eats on the UWS. And agree that those menus are so complicated as to be ridiculous.

          1. I had a really disappointing brunch at Fishtag a couple of weeks ago and will likely not return. I wanted a bagel with smoked salmon and suspected from the relatively reasonable prices for a smoked fish plate that portions would be small...but not enough for even one layer of fish on the bagel when eaten like a sandwich? Ridiculous. So skimpy all I tasted was the bagel. No cream cheese on the plate but a tiny bit of crème fraîche. Our reservations was for 12 noon, when they open, and they were already out of 3 of the 7 varieties of smoked fish. We were the only table occupied for the duration of the meal and I must say, our experience would not encourage return visits.

            Fish Tag
            222 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024