For the Freshest Fish, Head to the East River

Out on Pier 17 in the seaport district, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened a seafood restaurant called the Fulton.

Comments: 45

  1. My electronic apparati prevent me from viewing the slides. But I see the first one, a fish in a crust, which makes me yearn to savor it. Besides, I hope that the new restaurant serves correctly grilled fish, crunchy outside, soft inside, the flesh easily removable from the bones.

  2. We had dinner there Sunday night. The food is indeed excellent, but the service is spotty. Trying to order the soft shell crab appetizer, the server informed us he should have mentioned that before asking for our order. However, the mussels with an unexpected side of black rice were an adequate sub. We agree, the salmon crusted and the scallops simply were excellent. Many trips to the table from servers with a splashy pitcher and too small tap water glasses, it's okay, but I think water glasses should be bigger in a seafood place.

  3. @Neal OMG! Too small tap water glasses? Oh, such bothers... Life is so difficult!!!

  4. How does this new fish restaurant compare to my all time favorite? Le Bernardin.

  5. @Milton Lewis Le Bernardin has four stars. The. Fulton has two. Res ipsa loquitur.

  6. @Milton Lewis Interestingly enough, restaurants are allowed to not all be carbon copies of one another.

  7. @ Neal NYC I would think that the main drink in a seafood restaurant is white wine, water comes next. And in a restaurant worth of its name, scallops -- that is, their white adductor muscles, called in France coquilles Saint-Jacques -- are served under a thin layer of red (salmon) caviar, the black one's price being out of range.

  8. Ah, Pier 17! From 1974-1987, I worked nearby at 127 John Street. When I was a wee kiddie, my Dad took us to the old Sloppy Louie's, an 1899 restaurant in an old building up one flight from street level. I met my husband on Pier 17 on May 20, 1988. I'm glad The Fulton offers "simply prepared" entrees. That's to our taste, and we may very well come here for old times' sake.

  9. I ate at JoJo's more than a decade ago, when my now-husband's aunt and uncle met me in NYC for a day of museum hopping. I was supposed to go home and they were supposed to eat dinner at another (fancier) Vongerichten restaurant with one of their friends; she fell ill, I was to take her place, I was wearing jeans. So we settled for JoJo's, which still had the most expensive menu I had ever encountered. Despite the sticker shock and the fact that I humbly ordered the cheapest thing I could find on the menu (the chicken), I can still remember how delicious everything was--especially my aunt-in-law's fish. I am now a musician and doubt I could ever afford a meal at Fulton, but it's nice to remember those exquisite flavors ca. 2008!

  10. I’m tempted to get on a plane and fly from Alabama just to have the sea bass in pastry. That might be the most beautiful presentation of fish I have seen.

  11. Don't eat fish. Go vegan. So tired of it all - fishing lines killing all sorts of creatures; overfishing leading to depletion of fish all over the world; fishing nets killing dolphins, sea turtles and everything else they capture. A friend just found a fledgling great blue heron strangulated in a shoreline tree by a fishing line. Wake up, people! Soon there will be nothing left.

  12. Go vegan and take supplements.

  13. @GC Supplements? Just eat food, a wide variety of plants. Plants are sophisticated complete nutrition vs. compromised and adulterated animal flesh. Supplements serve the companies making and marketing them, and rarely, if even so, dubiously providing benefits to those ingesting them.

  14. @Carrie And stop reproducing people! That is killing the planet. And cut the alcohol while you are at it. No (good) food, no sex, and no booze! And no joy.

  15. Manhattan Fish Chowder.? While I haven’t tasted this one, it has a serious mentor in the New England version

  16. @ Pam Western Massachusetts I know something called Manhattan Clam Chowder, reddish from the tomatoes in it, and inferior to the New England white Clam Chowder.

  17. @Tuvw Xyz I love Manhattan Clam Chowder! But sadly I dont have many people on my side of that debate.

  18. My late grandmother, ensconced on Cape Cod in the 1930’s and afterward, taught me about fish. I would place any of her dishes along side these ones

  19. @Pam - Watch out, Pam, using words like "ensconced" will mark you as a dreaded NYC sophisticate! Bon appettit!

  20. In our experience, the food and ambiance was very good. Unfortunately the service was horrible and for the price point an embarrassment to the management team and the company. Drinks that were ordered did not arrive, spacing of the food between meals was off. Twice, servers attempted to remove dishes when the diner was not yet done. The attention of our server was sporadic and lastly the concept of an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts caused tremendous confusion when it came to the bread. There are plenty of choices out there, this one needs some time to figure out the kinks and get the staff functioning properly.

  21. @Tim Why do so many NYT readers write "price point"? Simply writing price is sufficient, as in "the price was way to high."

  22. @John-- I think they wish to appear sophisticated in case their comments are printed in the NYT. After all, this isn't the Podunk Weekly Bugle.

  23. The really great thing is … you can also bring-in your own freshly caught East River fish and the Vongerichten crew will clean/prep and cook them most any way you choose. They just won’t allow you to bring your own vegetables and drinks – you’ll have to purchase their sides, bread, and spirits from the menu. It’s still a pretty good deal, and you don’t have to do (wash & dry) dishes.

  24. @J L S Can you please share more information about the bring-your-own-catch service (e.g., pricing, restrictions... I'd imagine it to be similar to an 'uncorking' fee, maybe?)? I just looked up the restaurant's website but couldn't find any reference to it.

  25. Have had lunch there twice. The latest (this past Sunday) was marred by very off service. Lunch took 2+ hours! I must say that the food was excellent - shrimp burgers, sashimi, salads and desserts were to die for!

  26. @siseman Of course, there are those of us who might say: "Service was off...Sunday lunch was over in less than two hours".

  27. One day, and not soon enough, a restaurant review will actually include the quality, freshness and sourcing of the food - not just how it is adulterated for taste and endorphin release. That Salmon - where is it from, is it farmed (& if so the opposite of quality) & when was it last alive (try asking your fancy seafood restaurant waiter that question - go ahead, I dare you). “Red Snapper” or Patagonian Toothfish - also - how fresh as in when was it last alive. Jonathan Gold wrote about food creatively and prolifically enough to win a Pulitzer Prize - the first “food critic” to do so. He died prematurely from Pancreatic cancer - a disease directly caused by consistently high glucose levels and insulin resistance. I guess the epilogue is...he (as is the case with most food “critics”) really didn’t know what quality food was.

  28. I don't know about the quality or preparation of seafood but I do know that Diabetes and high blood sugars are not causally related to pancreatic cancer. Both may be a result of pancreatic cancer but that is a far different thing.

  29. @ScottB No no. You're kidding, right? Pete Wells brings an immensity of understanding to the whole question of quality food. Not just the raw ingredients, but how to prepare them, how to serve them, Pete has been nothing less than an advocate for quality food. First, as a home cook (Cooking with Dexter, in the Times Magazine) and now as a critic of high (the 1%) and low (the other end) cuisine. That he does so with elan and great wit is a bonus that mosts regular readers relish.

  30. "but why are there only two rosés at a seafood restaurant on the waterfront?" Perhaps because a rosé would be a horrible choice with seafood.

  31. @bmz That’s a rather wine-snobby perspective. Throughout Europe rosé is enjoyed as an aperitif and food-pairing wine all summer long.

  32. @Trianon Rose as food pairing, yes, but aperitif hardly.

  33. Memories of Sweets restaurant down by the Fulton Fish Market. No reservations and waiting on the stairs for a table. The Grey Sole was beyond belief. Simply broiled, perfect. Founded in 1842, they stopped serving meat there during WWII. I once ordered the lobster cocktail. Just a wine glass of cold fresh lobster, wow.

  34. But no Fulton Street seafood restaurant can compare to Sweets, located at 2 Fulton St. for more than a century. My grandparents took me to what was then a sketchy neighborhood in the early 1970s when I was a very young but adventurous eater. I remember climbing the rickety stairs and waiting in line for what seemed forever. I was shocked that the three of us were seated at a table already occupied by a single diner. I think I had swordfish because I liked the name. Good food simply prepared, warm hospitality that made a young girl out with her grandparents feel special. That’s what gave Sweets 100+ years staying power, unlike this restaurant which sounds nice but will most likely be gone soon and barely remembered.

  35. "Vongerichtenesque" Bravo, Pete, for this great coinage, straight out of dictionary of High German adjectives, and for the equally great review, which cleverly slid a review of the Paris Café into the inside pocket. And for 23andV. Hilarious. The fish and crisps alone are worth the price of admission. My daughter even loved the peas, and she doesn't eat peas. Next time, we'll order the entertaining whole bass.

  36. Oh man, I thought that this type of thesaurus based restaurant review directed towards the snobby Cafe Society elite went out of fashion in the 1930's! What! Only two Rose's offered? A "quick pulsing acidity?" However, it is most entertaining!

  37. "Mentioning the view as a selling point will make some New Yorkers cringe." Well, those New Yorkers don't know how to enjoy themselves. Let them go cringe elsewhere. Would they rather have a view of a dark alley or a brick wall? Or no view at all from a basement? The Brooklyn Bridge will always be lovely even if they don't appreciate it out of some sense of reverse snobbery.

  38. The reviewer praises desserts highly but neglects to give the name of the pastry chef.

  39. One hundred and twenty bucks for a piece of fish! A repast that will pass through the alimentary canal in a few hours? I won't be taking the bait. Mrs. Paul's never looked so good! Another sign of the impending Apocalypse.

  40. I love seafood and look forward to a visit to Mr. Vongerichten's new restaurant. But, reading that "one of Mr. [Vongerichten's] strong suits [is] raw fish", I have some fears. Scallops, called in France coquilles Saint-Jacques, and sashimi should be served under a thin layer of red (salmon) caviar, given the prices of the black caviar out of range. The detailed article of Mr. Wells mentions no caviar. The best is the elegiac description of dismantling a fish baked in crust. Next best would be a whole fish, grilled, crunchy outside, soft inside, flesh easily detachable from the bones either with two fish forks (as in "Downton Abbey") or, more conventionally, with a fork and knife.

  41. @Tuvw Xyz Methinks that neither at Downtown Abbey nor in the rest of Europe, fish is eaten with two fish forks in first class restaurants. I grew up with using a fish fork and fish knife, and still serve fish in my house in the US accompanied by the same utensils.

  42. As I read this, I couldn't help but think "Aw, man, Thomas Keller must be steaming right now," because hey, Mikey, he likes it!

  43. Took a friend who is a seafood fan. Alas, swordfish last night was very disappointing, or at least its odd preparation, and the very dark interior atmosphere made it almost like eating blindfolded. If you go, perhaps stick with the raw bar--that much was very good. But there are lots of places that can do that.