Seafood

Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature dishes really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. New York has had much success cultivating great restaurants and creating a substantial market for Seafood. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Le Bernardin or at Aquagrill, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!

10 Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant
The famous Oyster Bar dates from 1913 and continues to provide first-rate seafood dishes to business people, socialites and foreign dignitaries. This classy restaurant hearkens back to the Gilded Age, when the "spare no expense" mentality reigned supreme. Head Chef Sandy Ingber's seafood specials change seasonally and include over 25 varieties of oysters, soft-shell crab and her highly regarded herring. The lunch counter offers a great place to enjoy the daily paper or to have a business lunch over an oyster pan roast or your favorite stew. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6 to Grand Central-42nd St (212-490-6650)

9 Le Bernardin
Opened in 1986 by Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, this award-winning restaurant features a wide array of French seafood. Choices include such treats as the savory Chinese-spiced red snapper with crepes, crowned with an aged port and Jerez vinegar reduction; and the oestra-sprinkled Spanish mackerel tartare. Dining options include a three-course prix fixe menu and several tasting menus. You'll love the elegant surroundings accented by life-sized artwork portraying fish and fisherman. TRAIN: B, D, F, Q to 47-50th St-Rockefeller Center (212-554-1515)

8 Oceana
Step into Oceana and you'll feel as if you've been transported to a luxury ocean liner in the Atlantic. The restaurant's philosophy is "to enhance the simple perfection of each ingredient." To that end, the menu features uncomplicated dishes, expertly prepared. For starters, try yellowfin tuna tartare with horseradish sorbet and follow it with Atlantic halibut in almond tea crust. Desserts are fabulous -- pistachio semifreddo is a favorite, as is the cinnamon apple doughnut with Calvados ice cream. A selection from the solid wine list provides an apt complement, and service is knowledgeable and friendly. (212-759-5941)

7 Pearl Oyster Bar
There's a reason this small, intimate storefront eatery is called Pearl. It's a rare find that is absolutely perfect. Honestly priced and honestly the best seafood south of Maine. Try the grilled sweet pompano sprigged with fresh rosemary, blue point oysters packed in ice or the fresh lobster roll served with hand-cut French fries. But wait (and you may have to!), there's more to this experience...finish with a large wedge of blueberry pie or a butterscotch parfait. TRAIN: A, C, E, B, D, F, and Q, at W 4th St, Washington Sq (212-691-8211)

6 Estiatorio Milos
Chic Greek dining at its very best in an old-fashioned atmosphere. Diners choose from an assortment of fresh fish that is then prepared on the spot. Most menu items are seared to perfection on the open grill. Save room for one of the tantalizing desserts. Meals are an experience, so be prepared to splurge -- and feast. Fish market inside the restaurant is stocked daily. TRAIN: B, D, E to 7th Ave (212-245-7400)

5 Aquavit
Ever wanted to dine like the Rockefellers? Aquavit, which is located in one of the famous family's former town homes, may be your best bet. This elegant restaurant is noteworthy for its lovely atrium, which includes a waterfall and dramatic lighting. The menu offers diners Swedish cuisine that should not be missed. A three-course prix fixe meal may begin with an appetizer like smoked and seared foie gras or assorted Scandinavian hors d 'oeuvres; move on to such entrées as honey glazed duck or smoked venison, and conclude with one of the chef's own special dessert dishes. TRAIN: Q to 57th St (212-307-7311)

4 New Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar
A converted carriage house, with walls now dressed in red and white plaid, provides the setting for this intimate little East Villager, where traditional French bistro and New Orleans fare find their confluence. Fish and seafood headline this tour de force -- from oysters Rockefeller with pancetta and spinach to lobster flavored by spices from the Big Easy. As space is limited (the place can seat, perhaps, two dozen people) and Jack's reputation seems to grow daily, reservations are essential. Tasting menu $50. TRAIN: 6 to Astor Pl (212-979-1012, 212-253-7848)

3 Lure Fishbar
Portholes, teak paneling, angular passageways and windows, cabin-inspired private rooms, and arched ceilings -- Lure certainly impresses first-timers with its luxury liner motif. That said, it's the food -- the truest measure of a restaurant's capacity for staying afloat -- that makes this place SoHo's fashionable choice for fish and seafood. Those opting for bar food dining can enjoy Puget Sound oysters, artic char or Littleneck clams; meanwhile, the "Fish Board" features options like grilled swordfish with soy-ginger marinade and bay leaf-crusted seared tuna. TRAIN B, D, F, V to Broadway-Lafayette; R, W to Prince St; 6 to Bleeker (212-431-7676)

2 Pampano
Expect no burritos or chile rellanos at this suave Midtowner, which is seeking to refine the concept of Modern Mexican cuisine. Indeed, Chef Richard Sandoval combines the art of haute cuisine with a strong passion for his native Mexico. This marriage results in a dining experience that is simply unparalleled. Start with the three or four-ceviche tasting or, perhaps, the octopus and aurugla salad. From there, Sandoval truly shines, as the main courses include golden bass with huitlacoche flan, swordfish with potato-caper fondue, and grilled chicken with requesón-huitlacoche and grilled cactus. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6 to 51st St; E to Lexington Ave (212-751-4545)

1 Aquagrill
With a menu almost exclusively devoted to seafood, Aquagrill is an excellent pick for diners who want great choice and unparalleled options. Try lobster or salmon prepared to your specifications, or come early, eat oysters and people-watch. No matter what you do, save room for a perfectly prepared dessert. Locals also rave about Aquagrill's brunches, and single diners can get a great meal at the bar. TRAIN: C, E to Spring St (212-274-0505)


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Maps and Directions

1
Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Midtown East
COST: $$
2
Le Bernardin 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $$$$
3
Oceana 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Pastry Chef, Sommelier, Wine Cellar
COST: $$$
4
Pearl Oyster Bar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
COST: $$
5
Estiatorio Milos 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $$$
6
Aquavit 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Parties / Private Rooms, Sommelier
Cuisine: European, Scandinavian, Seafood
COST: $$$$
7
New Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, French, Seafood
Neighborhood: EAST VILLAGE
COST: $$$
8
Lure Fishbar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, New American, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: SOHO
COST: $$$
9
Pampano 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican, Seafood
Neighborhood: Midtown East
COST: $$
10
Aquagrill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, New American, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Parties / Private Rooms, Sommelier, Take Out
COST: $$