Catch

My second visit to Catch, one of two restaurants in Manhattan by Chef Hung Huynh (winner of Top Chef Season 3), was even better than the first. I had back-to-back dinners planned for the evening, so I started early with a 5:30pm res at Catch. Within 15 minutes of being seated, the entire second floor was filled. The meal kicked off with a crisp bottle of Abraxas from Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa — a delicious blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Gewurtztraminer. The hints of Asian pear and lychee in the wine went really well with the seafood we ate. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the raw fish dishes (salmon belly carpaccio, hamachi tartare, tuna tartare, ceviche), the sauteed snapper (the fish was cooked perfectly and the lobster mash is to die for), and the desserts (the warm apple pie & chocolate brownie cake blew my mind and I’m not usually a big dessert fan). Hands down, the best dish of the night was the dungeoness crab spaghetti — one of the best seafood pastas I’ve ever eaten!

Catch: 21 Ninth Avenue (at West 13th Street)

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Abraxas Vin de Terrior – Robert Sinskey Vineyards

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Salmon Belly Carpaccio (Watercress, Sweet & Sour Onion, Yuzu)

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Hamachi Tartare (Pear, Avocado, Potato Chips)

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Ceviche (Shrimp, Snapper, Orange)

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Tuna Tartare, Crunchy Rice Cakes, Wasabi Tobiko

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Dungeoness Crab Spaghetti (Tomato, Scallion, Flying Fish Roe)

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Sautéed Snapper (Lobster Mash, Truffle, Lemon Brown-Butter)

Catch

L’Apicio

I had the pleasure of dining at L’Apicio with a fellow food blogger, Mr. Eric Eats, and a couple of great friends. According to Mr. Eats, he discovered that he’s part of several “eat clubs” (which are like book clubs except there’s no reading required — well, just the menu :)), and our little group is one of them. We all enjoyed the delicious dishes at L’Apicio, including the housemade ricotta, winter citrus salad, hamachi tartare, octopus, roasted chicken, blackened tuna, garganelli verde with lamb bolognese, gnocchi with osso buco ragu, orange olive oil cake, and a little surprise from the kitchen — pineapple tiramisu. I wasn’t able to capture all of the dishes on film (too busy chowing down), but I did snap a few pics of the hamachi tartare with blood orange (light and fresh; loved the blood orange) and the gnocchi osso buco ragu (hearty and meaty; the homemade gnocchi was divine). I’m now on a mission to try the other restaurants by Executive Chef Gabe Thompson:  Dell’Anima, L’Artusi, and Anfora. Tonight’s dinner exemplified Gastronami’s motto of “Food and Friends” — it’s a winning combination!

Check out Eric’s blog:  ericeatsblahblahblog.blogspot.com

L’Apicio: 13 East 1st Street (between Bowery and Second Avenue)

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Housemade ricotta with jam and crackers

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Hamachi Tartare (blood orange, pink peppercorn, pistachios)

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Gnocchi (osso bucco ragu)

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Orange Olive Oil Cake (winter citrus, ricotta mousse)

L’Apicio