Monday, February 22, 2010

Asked and Answered: Swimming upstream

Today's question: Fish in the West Village
Answer: No.

As a lawyer (by training if not in practice), I have learned that when you do not like the question, change the question. Normally, I would ask a number of questions. Fish is very broad. There is New England style (read: lobster rolls), continental, heavily sauced Asian fare, and so on. Instead I answered with the Red Cat, which is in Chelsea. Why? Because I had just been thinking about that restaurant. Specifically, I was thinking of their salmon. I do not use words like "best" and "perfect" with food or movies because tastes vary, including my own. But this is by far the best salmon I have ever had. It is perfectly cooked, nicely presented and well accompanied by currently trendy brussels sprouts and something mashed, though I forget exactly what. There must be a three second window of time where salmon can be cooked this well and the Red Cat cooks have found it. The fish even looks perfect. Not that dyed farm-raised deep pink or the wild-caught and broiled pale pink. It just looks normal, which lately seems to be exceptional.

Also worth ordering is the skate wing, which I just learned is a vulnerable species and thus at least a little morally objectionable. Besides, Jean George serves a better skate.

The Red Cat, 227 Tenth Avenue (at 23rd Street)

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