Bar Primi

I have been meaning to check out this new restaurant on Bowery for quite some time now.  Even from the outside, I could sense the lively, yet casual and relaxed vibe of the restaurant.  

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The large windows are perfect for taking in the summer breeze.

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I got the ricotta bruschetta with figs and Sardinian honey to start. This should have been an amazing bite, but somehow it fell flat. The fig was really fresh, but the ricotta was meh and I could hardly taste the honey. 

My main, Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe, was also a disappointment. There was no flavor to the dish. A complete fail! Maybe I should have listened to the bartender, who tried to sway me away from the Orecchiette in favor of Fiore di Carciofi - artichoke filled pasta with smoked bacon and pecorino - and Campanelle with corn, maitake mushrooms.  Afterall, he was spot on in his wine suggestion. 

The dessert - fresh organic peaches topped with fiori di latte gelato, drizzled with sangria sauce - saved the day!  It was light, refreshing, and perfect for the summer!

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Verdict: A-. The food left much to be desired...but maybe I didn't order the right dishes. I am willing to give the place another try because I really do love its atmosphere. Perhaps this eatery is better suited for drinks (I did see the bartender make some seriously good looking cocktails) and snacks at the bar, rather than a full meal. 

Bar Primi
325 Bowery (Between 2nd & 3rd St.)
http://barprimi.com

Il Pesce @ Eataly

Fresh, grilled, whole Branzino with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Happiness!

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Since I was seated at the bar, I had a front row seat to all the action in the kitchen. The grilled octopus looked amazing. I may have to come back for that. My overall observation: simple does best!  Quality ingredients require nothing more than a generous drizzle of olive oil.  

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Verdict: AA+. Fresh, quality seafood with simple preparation. It just became my favorite eatery within Eataly. 

Il Pesce (inside Eataly)
200 Fifth Avenue (Between 23rd & 24th St.)
http://www.eataly.com/nyc-il-pesce/

Eventide Oyster Co.

After OD'ing on lobsters, we moved on to oysters and crabs. This oyster bar has a wide variety of oysters from all over, with a strong representation from Maine, of course.

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Oysters can be ordered by the half dozen or a dozen.

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My friend thoroughly enjoyed her pick of half-dozen oysters. She said the oysters were extremely fresh. She especially enjoyed the Maine varieties from Damariscotta.  

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I opted for the Peekytoe crab roll. The roll was quite small, which suited me fine since I had a huge lobster roll just hours earlier. This bun was more of a Chinese "bao" than a hotdog bun. I prefer the typical toasted, buttered, white bread bun. The roll was stuffed with real crabmeat with maybe a smidget of mayo. In theory it should be super yummy, but  somehow I found it to be just ok.  It was a bit lacking in flavor for me.  I didn't taste the sweetness of the crabmeat. In fact, I found the whole roll to be a bit bland and lacking in flavor. 

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If you like oysters, definitely check this place out!

Evertide Oyster Co.
86 Middle Street
http://www.eventideoysterco.com

Hudson Clearwater

Housed in a brownstone, this slightly hidden restaurant in the West Village can only be entered thru a side door that opens to a cute backyard patio. The restaurant interior is just as charming with exposed brick walls. 

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The food, on the other hand, was not so memorable.  Nothing was bad, but nothing was spectacular either.

ASSORTED CHEESES, TOASTED MARCONA ALMONDS, LOCAL HONEY & PRESERVES, FRESH BREADS

ASSORTED CHEESES, TOASTED MARCONA ALMONDS, LOCAL HONEY & PRESERVES, FRESH BREADS

BURRATA, MARINATED ARTICHOKE, ARUGULA, CELERY LEAF, TOMATO, BLOOD ORANGE, VINCOTTO

BURRATA, MARINATED ARTICHOKE, ARUGULA, CELERY LEAF, TOMATO, BLOOD ORANGE, VINCOTTO

I didn't expect this clam appetizer to come in a soup form, which made it hard to share.  The dish was very flavorful and the clams were very fresh. 

BUTTERED LONG ISLAND CLAMS, GNOCCHI, SAUTEED KALE, LEMON BOULLION, CROSTINI

BUTTERED LONG ISLAND CLAMS, GNOCCHI, SAUTEED KALE, LEMON BOULLION, CROSTINI

The duck was probably the star of the meal, but even then only 1/2 of the dish was good. The seared duck breast was cooked perfectly; juicy, tender with just a bit of pink.  The duck confit, however, was just ok. 

SEARED DUCK BREAST & DUCK CONFIT

SEARED DUCK BREAST & DUCK CONFIT

ATLANTIC BASS

ATLANTIC BASS

POTATO-CAULIFLOWER GRATIN, RADISH SALAD

POTATO-CAULIFLOWER GRATIN, RADISH SALAD

RHUBARB & MIXED BERRY SHORTCAKE, LEMON BISCUIT, CHANTILLY CREAM;  DARK CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO POT DE CREME, RASPBERRY, WHITE CHOCOLATE WHIP CREAM; CHOCOLATE-BANANA BRIOCHE BREAD PUDDING, STRAWBERRIES, DARK CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

RHUBARB & MIXED BERRY SHORTCAKE, LEMON BISCUIT, CHANTILLY CREAM; 
DARK CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO POT DE CREME, RASPBERRY, WHITE CHOCOLATE WHIP CREAM;
CHOCOLATE-BANANA BRIOCHE BREAD PUDDING, STRAWBERRIES, DARK CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

Verdict: BBB+. The ambience of the restaurant was great, but unfortunately the food didn't quite measure up. 

Hudson Clearwater
447 Hudson Street
http://www.hudsonclearwater.com