I picked Aquagrill for our group dinner to celebrate Babe's birthday. It was the big 2-8, afterall!

Keeping in mind the last minuteness and the fact that not everyone ate everything, I picked Aquagrill due to 1. everyone ate (and enjoyed) seafood and most importantly, 2. it had really great reviews on Yelp (also we were able to get reservations was a big plus too).

The restaurant is located on the quieter side of Spring Street; it wasn't the SoHo area that everyone associates the street with. There seemed to be ample parking in the area, but like most New Yorkers, we parked at the first spot we saw on West Broadway and had a 7-minute walk which was perfectly fine with me.

Aquagrill is located right on the corner of Spring and 6th Avenue; one of the guys had said there is a subway station right across the street but I didn't notice it. The ambiance is very lively, but not too trendy-noisy. We were seated immediately and greeted by a waiter. Throughout the night we were greeted by different people, so I'm not sure they have assigned waiters/waitresses or anything.

We started off with a delicious bread basket full of corn bread, biscuits and warm rolls, accompanied by a fragrant olive oil.


The restaurant is known for it's selection of oysters, which is what we started with. We asked our server to recommend some rare oysters and she brought over the top 5:

  1. Chincoteague
  2. Carlsbad Blonde
  3. La St. Simon
  4. Pemaquid XL
  5. Canoe Lagoon

And if you ask me now, I wouldn't be able to tell you which was which, or which was the best, but according to Babe, he loved 1 and 5 *shrug*.



Oysters

We also had a delicious plate of Clam Steamers, which was steamed and then dipped into Pilsner beer and garlic butter. SO DELICIOUS! The clams were very fresh and plentiful, so much so that it was recommended that we share, which we did. I cannot stress how much I loved this starter dish and that it will be something that I will order everytime I goto a seafood restaurant. Yes, it was that good.


My entree was the Chilean Sea Bass, with a crust of some sort. Unfortunately this was off the specials menu so I cannot look it up on their website for more details. Whatever it was, it was great. The fish was so tender and light, on a bed of peanuts and spinach with a light white wine sauce. The portion might be small for some, but it was definitely more than enough for me.

Babe's entree was the Striped Bass, which was also off the specials menu. It wasn't as good as my Sea Bass, but still pretty good. The little round of green off to the left? That's creamed spinach and THE BEST creamed spinach I've eaten. EVER. I finished it since he doesn't like veggies (he really doesn't, I swear!)

Some other dishes ordered by our friends were the Sea Scallops (medium rare, done just right) and the Bouillabaisse, which is basically a stew of lots of seafood in a garlic saffron tomato broth.

We ended the meal with the Chocolate Tasting Plate, which had a warm dark chocolate cake, white chocolate mousse and milk chocolate ice cream. Delicious and beautifully presented, this is one of my all-time favorite desserts.

A wonderful meal with an attentive staff and a friendly atmosphere. This is a place that I would definitely come back to.

Aquagrill
210 Spring Street (corner of 6th Avenue)
New York, NY
http://www.aquagrill.com/

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As per the previous post, this meal was for Babe's birthday, but this time, it was just the two of us. I wanted to try a "well-known" restaurant and someone had recommended a David Burke joint. Now, I knew that David Burke was famous for his steakhouse in Chicago, but could he pull off fish? We decided to take a chance on Fishtail.

Let me preface this by saying that Fishtail is located near Bloomingdale's, which means that there is absolutely NO PARKING available. We drove around for so long and finally lucked out on a spot on Park Avenue and 65th Street. It seriously is a headache of a place if you were to drive, I tell ya...

But I digress.

Fishtail is located in a townhouse on 62nd Street. The lady next to me said that this used to be some other restaurant not that long ago (I wasn't eavesdropping, I swear... she was just talking way too loud). The interior is painted red, with white accents. You'd think that it would be crass and ugly, but it's actually very modern and minimalistic. There are fish paintings all over the walls and huge mirrors, giving it a spacious feeling. As with all townhouses, there are floor to ceiling windows that look out across the street to other townhouses.

The first floor of Fishtail is the raw bar and the kitchen. There are also booths, although I did not see anyone sitting in them. We were escorted upstairs to the dining area, which was relatively small and compact. Our table was a mere 2 inches away from the other two tables on either side of us. I could probably eat off of my neighbor's table and it wouldn't even have been noticeable!

We were presented with this amazing bread basket. The croissants were flakey and crusty but soft in the middle. Those "pocky" sticks were his favorite... I did not taste it (I think I forgot to?!) Yes, those are carrots. Why they are in a bread basket is beyond me, but they were by far the sweetest mini carrots we've ever had.

We started off with raw oysters (for him) and fish tacos (for me).


The oysters were noted as 3 West Coast and 3 East Coast. I had one of the smaller ones (can't remember what Coast it was) and it was sweet and fresh.

I was, by far, the most disappointed with my tacos. First, I thought they would be cooked fish. They were all raw (but I guess I just didn't notice the "Tartare" in the description) and tasteless. The 3 were -- Tuna Tartare, Crab Salad and Hamachi. The Crab Salad was too salady -- too much mayo and was just too creamy and left a filmy taste in my mouth. The Tuna and Hamachi were bland, even with the sauces provided. Sorely disappointed!

For our entrees, I had the Swordfish Steak Frites and Maitre d'Hotel Butter and he had the Giant Head-on Grilled Prawns cooked in basil and lemon.

Swordfish is one of those fishes that is hard to catch, expensive but not good. The meat is hard, there is no flavor and it's no wonder they usually serve it as a "steak". The butter did not add anything to the fish and I left 2/3 of my fish untouched. The frites, on the other hand, were amazing. There was a sprinkling of what Babe thinks is wakame (seaweed) and each fry was crunchy but not oily. It came in the little fryer basket that I wanted to steal so badly. But no, I overcame my impulses. Sigh.

If you look closely, there were no actual heads on the "Giant Head-on Prawns" that Babe ordered. Granted, we don't eat that anyways, but isn't that sort of like false advertising?! These prawns were good. Fresh and huge. Grilled to perfection. However, there were only 3. How disappointing! And this dish cost $35... that's practically $12/prawn!!! Highway robbery...

We completed our meal with a Passion Fruit Creme Brulee, and Napoleon of Chocolate Leaves. When I made the reservation on OpenTable, I noted that it was a birthday, and they thoughtfully placed Babe's creme brulee on a plate that said Happy Birthday. I thought this was indeed a nice touch. Kudos, Fishtail!

My Napoleon of Chocolate Leaves was good, but a bit too chocolately. Should've came with a glass of milk instead of a shot of milkshake!

Fishtail by David Burke
135 East 62nd Street
New York, NY
http://www.fishtaildb.com

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