Our 10 Best: Seafood Restaurants

Seafood is the great meeting ground of culinary preferences, the foodstuff where all tastes converge. Need a restaurant to please a big crowd? Seafood serves the purpose. Need a place where the scarf ranges from a bland white filet (perfect for dyspeptics) to a quivering raw oyster squirted with lemon and tabasco (perfect for the iron-stomached)? Seafood serves the purpose. And today--what with omega this and omega that--seafood has donned the cloak of healthfulness.

But while seafood makes us happy, the seafood is often unhappy. That paragon of the sushi bar, bluefin tuna, has been fished almost out of existence, and it's the rare foodie who's not keeping an eye on one sustainable seafood list or another. We prefer the ones provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But is it our fate to look down at a seafood menu in a decade, and see only farmed fish, many of them unspeakably skanky and tainted with additives? And, when I kiss you after a seafood meal, will you have the super-abundant jellyfish on your breath?

In spite of looming problems, seafood is one of the foods Fork in the Road craves the most--whether grilled, fried, poached, or made into a salad. Every nationality has its own favorite preparation methods, and our list therefore includes Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Yankee, and New American places, at prices that range from dirt cheap to faintingly expensive. So, whether you crave raw oysters, or a fish filet frankly fried into oblivion, forge onward for our lists.

To accommodate a suggestion that we present the list more dramatically, we begin with the Runners-up, and progress to the top five.

Without visible signage, this cryptic entrance leads the way to one of our top 10, but which one? See last page for answer.

Our 10 Best: Seafood Restaurants
Our 10 Best: Seafood Restaurants

Gorgeous iced catch of the day on display in the window at Asmak Taama, # 8 among the runners-up.

Here are the Runners-up to Our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants, in order of preference:

Harbour, 290 Hudson Street, 212-989-6410; Pacifica, 4418 Eighth Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Bahry Fish Market & Restaurant, 484 Bay Ridge Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 718-680-8135; Le Bernardin, 155 West 51st Street, 212-554-1515; Flex Mussels, 174 East 82nd Street, 212-717-7772; London Lennie's, 63-88 Woodhaven Boulevard, Woodhaven, Queens, 718-894-8084; Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, 101 Second Avenue, 212-253-7848; Asmak Taama, 413 Bay Ridge Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 718-821-3200; Shaffer City, 5 West 21st Street, 212-255-9827; Masa, 10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-9800; Stamatis, 3114 Broadway, Astoria, Queens, 718-204-8964; Randazzo's, 2023 Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-615-0010; BLT Fish, 21 West 17th Street, 212-691-8888; Ping's, 83-02 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, Queens, 718-396-1238; Umberto's, 2356 Arthur Avenue, Belmont, The Bronx, 718-220-2526

Next: numbers six through 10

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