Where Eric Ripert Eats Seafood In NYC (Other Than Le Bernardin)

The chef’s top picks for tinned fish, sushi, and "the best" fries In NYC.
Where Eric Ripert Eats Seafood In NYC (Other Than Le Bernardin) image

photo credit: Nigel Parry

Eric Ripert is a big fan of Nobu. He knows that might surprise you, but he likes the bar scene and understands the appeal of the miso black cod. Coming from the chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, this is not a recommendation to be taken lightly.

Ripert has been serving immaculate tuna, halibut, and langoustine at our highest-rated restaurant in New York City for several decades now, and he just released his latest cookbook, Seafood Simple. It’s safe to say he knows good fish. Here’s where he eats it, in sushi, chowder, and seafood-tower form.


photo credit: Dacia Pierson Photography

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“Masa is the king. The price is very prohibitive, especially if you eat at the counter, but he’s the best Japanese chef that I know. Even in Japan, I haven’t found someone better than Masa. He has this kind of charisma, presence, and vision to create an experience customized for yourself. It's kind of a kaiseki experience, but he created dishes that didn't really exist before. He takes sushi rice, makes a tiny ball, then rolls it white truffle, and it looks like a snowball. It's gorgeous. When he makes sushi, the quality and temperature of the rice is unbelievable. In your hand, it holds together, but the minute it touches your tongue, it dissolves.”

“Ito is downtown, very close to the World Trade Center. You can pass by the restaurant 1,000 times and not see the entrance. They have a small counter, and I think the quality of the sushi is pretty amazing. The size of the sushi is really interesting because it's in between Tokyo-style and Kyoto-style. In Kyoto, they made their sushi very small, because centuries ago when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, they had a lot of theaters, and when the actors were starving, they would give them sushi through the mask. Maybe it's a legend, but I heard that in Kyoto, and I heard that in Tokyo, and I heard the same story in Kanazawa, which is in between.”

photo credit: Evan Sung

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Sushi Ichimura


“Ichimura-san is a gentleman of a certain age and maturity, and I really enjoy his style and the simplicity of the beginning of the menu. It's almost like a kaiseki experience, inspired by the season, except that it's very sushi-centric. He has something that looks like a UFO, and he fills it with uni. You bite it, and it's super crunchy, and you have the uni, which is super creamy. It's a signature of Ichimura. He’s a true sushi master.”

photo credit: Nobu

Nobu 57 image

Nobu 57



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“I like the Nobu on 57th, because they have a very good bar scene. Sometimes, I leave work, and over there it's still crazy. People are there to speak, socialize, and have a good time. You meet people who are traveling from far away, and I find that the quality of the dishes is excellent. The miso glazed black cod—there’s no way you can avoid that. You also cannot avoid the tiradito. Sometimes they do it with octopus, and it’s a bit spicy. Nobu is big, and it's all over the country, but it’s very consistent. It makes me happy. I think Nobu is the first one who made sushi restaurants sexy places, with great music, cocktails, and fun.”

photo credit: Noah Devereaux



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“I go to Baltazar two or three times a month, and I go for the seafood tower. Before Balthazar, I do not recall seeing a restaurant serving seafood towers the way they do. Yeah, you could eat oysters and clams, but nobody was doing those three-tiered towers. I bring the family, and sometimes the family is tired, so I bring someone else. The fries are the best in New York. They haven’t changed their quality at all.”

photo credit: Kate Previte

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“Russ & Daughters is a classic. I like the one on Houston, on the weekend, for their smoked fish, pickled fish, herring, and so on. On the weekend, sometimes we go there, and you can see them slicing your salmon. I'll have smoked salmon, some whitefish salad, bagels, and sometimes caviar, and I’m pretty happy with that. I don’t need much. The quality of the smoked fish that they have is very good.”

“Little Spain, as you know, is a store with many restaurants. José Andrés has one seafood restaurant inside Little Spain, and he sells seafood throughout the store in different outlets. He has gambas that are really fantastic. You pick by the piece, and they cook them in front of you. It's very casual, and you can choose whatever you want. Of course, he has great Iberico ham and things like that, but the quality of his seafood is very special.”

“When I want to eat very good sardines in a can, I go to Il Buco. They’re in a can with oil, but the sardines aren’t fatty from the oil. They're naturally fatty, very rich and delicious. I think they’re Italian, the sardines at Il Buco, and I really enjoy them. They also have mackerel in the can, and sometimes clams and mussels in escabeche.”

“I go to Grand Central Oyster Bar for the oyster chowder. I sit, I have the oyster chowder, I get out. They have fantastic oysters. Very fresh seafood. But I just go for the chowder, maybe some clams and oysters on the side, and that's it.”

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