photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Fine dining places can, after a while, all start to mesh together. Sure, one might have dishes that arrive on tiny down pillows, while another has food flown in from a small village in Bora Bora. But in general, they tend to have a lot in common–white tablecloths, high-backed chairs, outrageous prices, and people in fancy clothing having conversations straight out of Succession.
But Vernick Fish isn’t just any fine-dining restaurant. It comes from the team behind Vernick Food & Drink (a top-rated spot), so it’s no surprise that it serves some excellent, creative dishes. It’s on the ground floor of the Comcast Tower and the dining room looks like it belongs in a Versace Home catalog. The crowd is a mix of business people DocuSigning for an island, coworkers who only intended to grab a drink but couldn’t resist the great crudo, and couples enjoying a vibrant date night.
photo credit: RACHEL LERRO
While it’s easy to focus on the impressive wine list, or $52 uni and caviar French toast, the best things here are the small plates. They have several crudo options, and while they’re all excellent, the standout is the sea bream, which is topped with a drop of salty white soy brown butter and cubes of sweet Asian pear. Some other must-orders include the light and refreshing squid pad thai salad, tossed with a tangy vinaigrette, and the soft, chewy beignets that come with a hot, jambalaya-like clam ragout. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, we love the New York strip that comes with grilled romaine (which really works), garlicky chimichurri, and a veal and chile jus.
Save it for a special anniversary dinner, or slurp oysters and cocktails with colleagues, or meet your in-laws there for a double date. No matter when you come, you’ll have an unforgettable, upscale seafood experience that makes everyone comfortable–even if you’re dining with the kind of people who compare business card stock for fun.
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Spicy Tuna Tartare
The raw selections change from time to time, but there’s always a version of tuna tartare on the menu. It’s a bit tangy and salty with sesame mayo and comes with house-made chips or toasty sourdough. It’s an easy dish to share and a great way to start your meal.
Sea Bream Crudo
These four pieces of light, tender sea bream are topped with a velvety soy brown butter vinaigrette and cuts of sweet Asian pear. It’s easily the best crudo in the city.
Grilled Black Bass
Big enough for two, this dish is filled with a large bass filet that’s surrounded by bits of soft tofu. It’s like a summoning circle for the best fish of your life. Swimming in a kimchi and enoki mushroom stew, it’s one of our favorite dishes here.
Grilled Bronzino, Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa
This whole fish can feed a few people, so it’s a good one to share. The roasted branzino is tender and gets lots of flavor from the dijon mustard broth, braised hen of the woods mushroom, crunchy endive, and dill.
Roasted 12 oz New York Strip
The cut of steak changes from time to time, but what you can expect is a perfectly cooked piece of meat served with grilled romaine, chimichurri, and a peppery veal & chile jus. It’s the tender beef-on-beef mashup we didn’t know we needed, and totally worth ordering.
The sweet cream that goes with this cake is poured over while you watch–and by the time the last drop has left the saucer, you’re ready to devour the coconut sponge cake in about three bites.