Magazine article The New Yorker

Harbour

Magazine article The New Yorker

Harbour

Article excerpt

Moored in the southwest corner of SoHo, this new seafood restaurant is a maritime fantasy, with porthole windows, wood-lined interiors, and white leather banquettes evoking the interior of a yacht or a cruise ship. The walls are hung with nautical charts, pictures of boats, and samples of sailor's knots (should a diner suddenly need to tie, say, a sheepshank or a lighterman's hitch), and a huge glass sculpture of vaguely aquatic pods and fronds depends from the ceiling, looking like a collaboration between Dale Chihuly and David Attenborough. But the lavish decor is also a shrewd way of disguising what is really an awkward L-shaped space stuck in an unpromising location, where the vortex of the Holland Tunnel drains all life from the streets.

There's a similar mix of extravagance and canniness in the menu, which is studded with ingredients like shisito, yellow curry, sudachi, and lop chum, signalling a brave adherence to fusion cuisine. But eclecticism needn't mean chaos. Besides, can it be helped if fish goes well with coconut milk and lemongrass? Clam chowder was successfully reconfigured as a kind of Thai curry, but its thick texture and floating potatoes insured that the New England version wasn't entirely forgotten. …

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