We wandered down 2nd Avenue - same block as Cilantro and Carina's - and noticed a new seafood restaurant called Cape Cod. Previous incarnations in this location haven't fared well and there's no reason to think this place will do any better. Perhaps there's a curse on the address? (1708 Second Ave.)
The menu seemed promising - fresh fish at a considerably low price for the neighborhood. Howeover, it would appear to be true that you get what you pay for. Or you don't get what you don't pay for. Or something.
It's not like they were busy - I'd say they could seat 40 people at a time, max, and there were maybe 12 people seated when we arrived. One little boy looked up when we arrived and stared at me for a good two minutes, while we waited to be seated. Most unsettling - I thought perhaps there was something stuck to my forehead or my nose had turned blue. But we realized later that he'd likely been trying to send me a psychic message: turn around and leave now, while you can still get out of here gracefully!
I think this place must only have been open for a few days, judging by how it was being run. After getting a basket of spongy white bread, we sat at our table for a good 20 minutes before our order was taken. Our waiter barely spoke English, but we were unable to guess what language he did speak. I ordered a half-dozen oysters on the half shell for $8.95. The menu specified that it came with both mignonette (which I detest) and cocktail sauce (call me old-fashioned), so I requested just the cocktail sauce. My husband ordered a calamari salad ($6.95), described as steamed rings of calamari, lightly dressed, atop a bed of mixed greens.
During the half-hour wait for our appetizers, we managed to devour the bread and a pitcher of water (when we were able to flag down the guy with the water). Occasionally, a waiter would dash by with a single plate for someone who'd been waiting a lot longer. The main courses for a table of four, including the little boy with the scary eyes, came out one at a time, separated by as much as 5 minutes.
Finally, our appetizers arrived. Jimmy's salad was fine - nothing special. My oysters were okay, but tasted a little watery. A souffle cup in the middle of the dish contained the hated mignonette sauce and I had to remind the waiter that I wanted the cocktail sauce, for which I waited another, oh, 5 minutes.
It took us about 3 minutes to finish our appetizers and we were completely amazed when our entrees arrived only a few minutes after that. Not really worth even a brief wait, though. I ordered the baked scrod with oven-roasted fall vegetables ($12.95). Jimmy ordered broiled filet of sole, which was to come with rice pilaf ($14.95) White rice is a no-no, so he asked for the same vegetables as I was getting. The kitchen had other ideas, however, and his sole was plated atop a pile of steamed green beans. Not a terrible thing, just not what he asked for. My scrod was just okay - lots of bones and not worth the effort. The oven-roasted fall vegetables consisted of some roasted onions and red peppers, tossed with some sundried tomatoes and olives. It tasted okay - not exactly what we expected, but okay.
People all around us were making unhappy noises: the wait was too long; they got the order wrong; they were out of three of their four dessert options by 7:30 - which is another reason we think they'd only just opened and simply hadn't planned on people actually coming in.