Magazine article The New Yorker

Rm

Magazine article The New Yorker

Rm

Article excerpt

33 E. 60th St. (212-319-3800)--"I wonder if it's possible to get something simply grilled, with herbs and a little olive oil?" a diner said, as she surveyed the menu with a look of dismay. "Well, you can always ask," her friend said. "But the chef might feel insulted." A good bet, since the chef at this nautically outfitted, upscale fish restaurant, situated on the inland stretch between Barneys and Bloomingdale's, is Rick Moonen, who is renowned for doing to fish what Hattie Carnegie once did to headwear. For Moonen and the growing number of chefs around town who got their sea legs upstate at the Culinary Institute of America, a fish isn't anything until it's been accessorized nearly beyond recognition.

Forget broiled or baked--Moonen's creations are apt to come wrapped, as in the potato-clad walleye with pickled ramps and truffle-leek emulsion; or encrusted, as in the seven-grain-coated salmon, with English peas, gnocchi, and morels; or steamed, as in the halibut with fava beans and porcini oil in a mushroom foam. (That Moonen has succumbed to the foam-fetish epidemic comes as something of a surprise. …

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