REVIEW

Fishtail by David Burke

David Burke’s sustainable seafood restaurant in a historic Upper East Side townhouse serves excellent fresh fish prepared in Burke’s signature whimsical style.  There is an extensive raw bar, sushi, whole fish prepared simply with a selection of outstanding sauces (particularly the red curry-coconut) and a number of composed appetizers and entrees.  The bi-level space contains a narrow and more casual downstairs area with shockingly poor service (on one occasion, we frantically gesticulated for 20 minutes in an attempt to flag down a waiter before David Burke himself, who had been standing at an adjacent table talking to diners, went to find someone) and a warm upstairs dining room with deep hued red walls and a school of colorful paintings of fish.  There is also an outdoor dining deck with a retractable roof.  The upstairs is often lively, filled with nattily-dressed diners from the neighborhood. 

Some dishes reappear from other Burke restaurants, such as the outstanding pretzel crusted crabcake, angry lobster and cheesecake lollipops.  Others, such as the “Taco Sampler”, featuring tacos stuffed with crab salad, tuna tartar and salmon tartar, are new.  The best option is to order one of the whole fish along with an accompanying sauce.  This is a restaurant ideally suited to casual neighborhood dining, as there are often very affordable daily specials (an excellent burger on Mondays, lobster rolls on Wednesday, etc.)  The restaurant is neither as formal nor as exuberantly flamboyant as David Burke Townhouse, but we think it a very solid addition to the city’s community of fine seafood restaurants. 

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INFORMATION

Upper East Side
135 E. 62nd St.
New York (nr. Lexington Ave.)
212-754-1300
Mon-Thu, noon-10pm; Fri-Sat, noon-11pm; Sun, 11am-10pm
    David Burke, Chef
    Ed Cotton, Executive Chef

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