June 9, 2009

The John Dory - Interesting vibe, great food

The John DoryNot being a huge fan of April Bloomfield's over hyped  The Spotted Pig,  I was a bit weary of The John Dory - but I was pleasantly surprised.

The John Dory is April Bloomfield's seafood inspired restaurant located on the far west side of Manhattan.  Seems like an awkward location for the Irish, seafood shack vibe of John Dory.

With neighbors like Craftsteak, Morimoto and Del Posto - Bloomfield's more humble seafood shop seems like a small fish in a big pond.

That being said - the vibe of The John Dory is very unique and interesting and surely attracts a wide diversity of diners.

Very colorfully anointed with a beautiful fish tank behind the bar, the restaurant has a decidedly casual beach like feel to it, yet somehow also manages to feel a bit stuffy with an older and buttoned up crowd.

Sitting next to a table with older gentlemen sporting bow-ties and their women in cardigans, I felt like I had been transported back to English tea-time.  Quite strange. It's almost a trip in a time tunnel or travel machine to old Ireland...I guess you'll have to go to see what I mean.

As for the food - I ordered the artic char with spiced shallots and lentils - the flavor combination was interesting and quite potent with a spicy/tangy taste and the fish was cooked nicely. The char was tender and flaky, cooked without any of that fishy scent - and we all know how hard that is.

My friend ordered the grilled octopus and runner beans and was very delighted with the flavor and texture of the octopus - no rubbery taste here!

The restaurant does somehow feel like you should try to their version of classic fish and chips - deep fried fluke. Next time I suppose.

Overall, I think The John Dory is a nice choice for seafood - there doesn't seem to be a big difference between dinner and lunch prices so next time I would shoot for dinner - maybe the crowd then will be a little bit more my style...

The John Dory
 85 10th Ave. (Between 15th and 16th)

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