We’re just going to come right out and say it: Crave Fishbar is the best restaurant in Midtown East. We liked it when we first reviewed it back in 2012, and it has only gotten better with time. Crave is that ideal neighborhood restaurant, in a hood that desperately needed one. It’s Perfect For pretty much anything - bring the family, go for a business lunch, hit it during happy hour, or use it for your next Date Night. Crave has you covered.
Crave is a fish-focused restaurant, and it’s refined enough to keep serious types happy while maintaining a laid-back, comfortable atmosphere that takes you out of the misery of Midtown East. They do some pretty interesting things with fish - like taking the usual supporting cast of hake, fluke, and swordfish and turning them into starring leads - but mainstays like the fried chicken leg and homemade cavatelli are home runs, too. There’s also an excellent oyster happy hour. And don’t sleep on the cookie for dessert. It’s one of the best chocolate chip cookies in NYC.
Placing all cards on the table, my younger brother is the GM at Crave. It’s only appropriate that I reveal this fact, as you’re going to have to take my word that there’s no collusion going on here. All I can tell you is that it’s a good thing his restaurant doesn’t suck, because I swear on my John Starks “The Dunk” t-shirt (that’s an important t-shirt), that I would have had no problem telling the truth if it did.
Don’t just take my word on it though. Listen to the people. We’ve sent thousands of people to Crave at this point - where to eat in Midtown East is one of the more popular restaurant queries we receive, especially now in Text Rex. It’s a crowd pleaser that has never failed us. It won’t fail you, either.
Their selection pulls fresh from both coasts, and their sauces are on point. Bonus points for serving real horseradish as a fixin’.
Chilled Local Scallop
One of our all time Crave favorites, this chilled scallop crudo is perfect. They bathe it in a grapefruit chipotle sauce to give it a little zest and a little spice, and then dress it with Corn Nuts for crunch. Order it.
Fluke Ceviche Tostada
Another one we order every time is this crunchy fluke tostada. It’s excellent for a light lunch, as a starter for dinner, or as a thing you eat no matter what time of day it is.
Plancha Grilled Octopus
A perfectly cooked piece of octopus, accompanied by Chinese broccoli and cumin mustard vinaigrette. This should be on the table.
Grilled Block Island Swordfish
Just because the swordfish doesn’t have a photo, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t order it. Don’t be scared.
Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna
Although how it’s prepared changes, there will always be a seared yellowfin tuna entree on the menu, and it will always be a safe bet.
The lobster curry has been on the menu since Crave opened and remains one of the most popular dishes. A Thai-influenced chu chee curry comes as a thick broth, featuring plenty of lobster, with charred red onion, Japanese eggplant, Thai apple eggplant, and bamboo shoots. You won’t be disappointed.
A simple pasta done right. We love the soft cavatelli nuggets, tomato sauce, and whipped ricotta.
Fried Chicken Leg
Not your typical fried chicken dish. This chicken comes in a broth (they like to do that here), with peppers, cippolini onions, and couscous. If you’re not in the mood for fish, this is the move.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Two words: Sleeper. Cookie. One of the best restaurant chocolate chunk cookies you’ll find anywhere, served with a scoop of housemade vanilla ice cream.