Monday, 3 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Wild Edibles, Murray Hill, New York

Molluscs on display at Wild Edibles
I had a flying four night visit to NY last week. Too short a time in such a fabulous city. My hotel wasn't too far away from the area of Murray Hill where I spent three months back in 2008 and I had a strange nostalgic yearning to check out my old haunts.

In fact I visited Murray Hill three nights in the row. The first night was just to grab some items from the local supermarket. On the second night I was hoping to visit a Mexican deli on the other side of the island only to discover it had closed down. Stuck for inspiration on where to have dinner I walked seven avenues back across town to Hudsons Place, the 'smart restaurant' on my old block. The steak I ordered was nothing special and I'm sure I could have done a lot better for the price.

The evening, however, was saved by the self obsessed girl at the table next to me telling her friend about her second marriage and the wonderful painting she'd bought that day. It was amusing to listen in, but I wouldn't have liked to have been the friend who was clearly expected to nod in all the right places.

Pan fried pollock with salsa verde
My third night back in Murray Hill was at Wild Edibles a fishmongers come restaurant that I'd noticed six years ago, but never visited.

I'm not a fan of dining solo, but decided to embrace the experience and sit up at the counter so that I could interact with the staff and locals a bit more easily than when sitting on my own at a table.

The first thing I noticed was the number of regulars in the restaurant. As the lady to my left knocked through her big bowl of mussels she told me how it was one of her favourite places. The gents to my right were given some amazing looking fish tacos that weren't on the menu and would certainly tempt me into becoming a regular.

I wasn't overly hungry so decided to decided to skip their speciality oysters and just order a main course of the pollock with salsa verde and a side of brussels sprouts.
Side of caramelised brussels sprouts

The food took a while to come which slightly disappointed me as they didn't seem to be that busy. But perhaps I was being over sensitive as I was dining on my own and therefore more conscious of the wait?

The pollock was just cooked and flaked easily, while the rocket salad was nicely dressed. Despite appearances in the photo the skin sadly wasn't that crispy.

The caramelised brussels sprouts weren't overly sweet, but were so dark in colour I wondered if they had been deep fried? They were a little greasy but tasted good with the aioli drizzled on top.

Wild Edibles was good fun. It was nice to see customers come in to buy fish during the night and for the chefs to grab fish from the ice before cooking it for you. The food perhaps didn't hit the heights that I was hoping for, but it tempted me enough to want to go back next time I'm over in NYC and staying in mid town.

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