Restaurants & Bars


John Dory: A Review


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John Dory: A Review

mjfoodlover | May 20, 2009 08:30 AM

Just had a lovely lunch at John Dory yesterday.

The highlights:
--the yummy crab spread that comes with the bread as an amuse is delicious
--the Kampachi with Ginger Appetizer was outstanding. One of my favorite dishes in maybe all of New York City now. It was just 7 small bites of Kampachi, but each piece was really concentrated with the correct amount of sweetness (from a palm sugar sauce/concentrate), crunchiness (from fish skin), and tartness (from the ginger and some citrus).
--the main dish grilled octopus with large white beans was also really delicious. The octopus had the perfect combination of smokiness and char, but still moist from being poached. The tomato based sauce was very light and the beans were a nice complement.
--chips. AKA french fries, served with a side of vinegar. These are not McDonald's stil french fries. Really huge chunky fried potato chips. The outside was crisp (not in comparison to thin fries), but the inside of the chip was really potatoey. Yummy.

Dishes that we also had:
--Fiddleheads, ramps, over grilled bread with fried egg. This was good, almost breakfasty.
--Grilled Sea Bream. Typical grilled piece of fish. I didn't taste it, but it looked fine and no one complained.
--smoked salmon over a potato pancake. This was fine, but not outstanding. I think the texture of the pancake was a bit mushy. It was almost as it was made with a potato flour rather than shredded potatoes.

The lowlight:
--fish stew: My friend had this, and the server said it was served as a bouillabaise, which I usually think of as a chunky stew, but this was completely smooth and had an incredibly salty flavor. I tasted it and I like salty and seafood, but this was actually inedible IMO.

Nice selection of wines by the glass (which we had).

Excellent service with only one misstep when the busboy tried to take away the plate of chips with one chip left (without asking if we were done). Note to busboy: never remove any remaining french fries from a table of ladies without final confirmation!!

The place is pretty small, so don't plan on going with any large groups. The decor is a bit kitschy but cute. Kind of like living in an eclectic house boat with a lot of overloaded aquatic themed decor.

Overall, very nice experience and would go back in a second. (if I had unlimtied time and budget :-)

The John Dory
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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