“Do we have to go there again???” whined my 9-year-old son as we were heading to our favorite West Village Seafood joint called appropriately enough – FISH. “We always go there. We were just there last week and the week before that”, he continued with tears practically welling up in his eyes.
The fact of the matter is that he is right. We ALWAYs do go there. In fact practically everyone that we have taken to FISH has since become a regular. One of the key reasons is that they offer positively the BEST deal in town. It is called the ” Red, White or Blue”, where for a mere $8.00 you can enjoy 1/2 dozen of the freshest oysters, little necks or top neck clams on the half shell PLUS a glass of red wine, white wine or a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The name of this special reflects the colors of the booze that accompanies the crustaceans.
After much negotiating with my son, with promises of monopolizing my iPhone during dinner and ordering whatever desert he wanted, he finally relented and reluctantly joined us for our seafood feast.
I stumbled across this non descript eatery a few years ago and have been a weekly patron ever since. The front of the restaurant serves as a mini fish market where one can buy fresh fish or cockles to go. The rest of the place is a warm and low-key bar/restaurant. This is the kind of place where the staff openly invites you to discard your peanut shells on the floor from the large baskets of peanuts scattered around the bar.
I started with 2 orders of the “Red, White or Blue” special. I ordered the top neck clams on the half shell. I love my raw clams doused with Tabasco, Horseradish, cocktail sauce and a generous squeeze of lemon. The salty, briny, spicy, carb-free, succulent membranes just slide down my throat like liquid heaven. After I polished off the dirty dozen, along with the 2 glasses of wine that accompanies them, I proceeded to eat the “special of the day”, which was soft shell crabs.
I love crabs however wrestling the meat out of hard shell crabs takes patience and a willingness to eat very slooooowwly. I had neither of these capacities last night after my second glass of vino.
Soft shell crabs solved those problems as one can literally eat the entire crab, shell and all. As crabs grow larger, their shells cannot grow to accommodate their berth so they molt or shed their hard shells and are simply covered by their soft underbelly until their new hard shells grow back. These “soft shell” crabs should be eaten within four days of the molting process as afterward their shells become harder and harder and no longer edible.
Often soft shell crabs are deep-fried to capitalize on the “crunch” of the edible shell. My soft shell crabs were lightly breaded and sautéed in tons of butter. The special included 2 sides. As I am on the I LOVE FOOD DIET, I opted NOT to order the requisite french fries or baked potato but rather selected the low carb sautéed string beans and collard greens.
I rarely eat collard greens but when I see them I a menu, I usually order them. One of the reasons is that often Collard Greens are cooked with either ham hocks or sautéed with bacon (and you all know how I love my bacon). These greens were cooked with ham hocks and sautéed onions. Ummm…good eatin.
I recently learned that some cultures eat Collard Greens on New Years Day. The vegetable resembles folded money and some believe consuming this green will ensure wealth in the coming year.
I think I need to start eating more collard greens.
Chow for now!