Crave Fishbar just opened on 80th and Amsterdam, and I was invited to try it out.* I brought my roommate, Olga, along to see what it was all about.
I am a sucker for seafood. Ceviche, raw oysters, grilled octopus, succulent lobster….all of it. Crave Fishbar brings the Upper West Side a worthy place to savor all kinds of seafood delicacies and succumb to your cravings. (Ohhhh I get it now!)
Upon entering the restaurant, I loved it. I get all hopped up on a restaurant’s fantastic atmosphere. It really does make the whole experience, and I don’t care what people say, looks are where it all begins at a restaurant. And this restaurant? It welcomed me with open goddamn arms and smiled right back at me.
We were seated in the back of the restaurant, past the bar…the cozy portion. But not too cozy. It was like I was back on summer vacation down the Cape at age 10, but at the same time, it was a place where I needed to behave and couldn’t have sandy feet. From this, I expected food that was upscale yet made with a tender, caring hand.
And that’s what I got.
Here’s our menu of the eve:
What we drank:
- The Hotline Bling: Chile infused tequila, lemon and fresh raspberry
- Jem & The Holograms: St. Germain, Rose Liqueur, grapefruit and prosecco
Both were refreshing and perfect with our meal. I would say they’re creative cocktails, so you have to be a bit adventurous. They were on par with the creations at those many sexy New York speakeasies.
What we ate:
- Salmon Sashimi Salad: This appetizer was fresh and citrusy, with a Southeast Asian bite and crunchy flair. A very light start.
- Rice Dusted Point Judith Calamari: Heavier than the previous app, the Thai miso sauce gives it an edge over all calamari’s I have ever eaten. One of my faves of the night.
- Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna: This was a good entree, well-cooked, and the Mexican street corn was a nice twist.
- Lobster Curry: This was everything I hoped it would be. Absolutely delicious. Although I’m not sure lobster is the thing that needs to be completely curried. I wanted to taste it alone without the sauce too, but it wasn’t the type of dish.
If that wasn’t enough, we also ordered dessert – three of them. DON’T JUDGE. We had the chocolate chip cookie, “Milk & Honey” which was a chocolate peanut butter cake drizzled with honey, and my fave the “Thin Mint Blackout,” which speaks for itself:
Why I would come back:
- For a celebration. The entrees are all around $30, so it’s not super expensive, but it ain’t cheap either. Who’s buyin? The one who just got promoted, that’s who.
- Late night. The owner, Jason, let us in on a secret: The restaurant will be opening the kitchen after 11 with a late night menu soon. I think this is a great advancement for the ‘hood. Sometimes you just wanna have a classy late night snack and drink…and dessert.
- When I want to have a heart-to-heart. The service was slow, but sometimes that’s a good thing. I’d rather have that than be pushed out of the place. Really gives you time to chat and think.
- $1 oyster happy hour from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily. Awesome place to meet a friend and down some oysters.
- When the parents come to town. It’s got that balance between interesting, creative food with roots in traditional cooking.
Crave Fishbar is a solid go-to restaurant if you’re looking for something unique but with guaranteed delicious food. Slower service than many NYC hotspots, but to me, it’s a plus. Really makes you feel like you’re on summer vacay, savoring the salty air and crispy calamari…and there’s nothing wrong with that.
*I received a complimentary meal from Crave Fishbar.