Dave Pasternack has spent years as a chef and partner at lauded fish house Esca, and this week, he’s opening another restaurant, this one without the help of Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali: Barchetta (461 West 23rd Street, 212-255-7400), the new Chelsea seafood restaurant that usurped the former Bistro La Promenade address, will make its debut tomorrow, April 24.
Barchetta is Italian for “little boat,” and that’s what the interior of this new venture attempts to channel. Walls are lined with wooden planks, maritime paraphernalia dots shelves, and the color scheme borrows blues and grays from the ocean. It’s a thematic setting — and more casual than Esca — for Pasternack’s sizable fish menu, which deals in preparations that range from grilled octopus to a raft of crudo offerings to whole fish.
We stopped by for a sneak preview last night, where we snapped some of the dishes on offer. Here’s what you can expect to eat at Barchetta once the doors are open:
A crudo tasting let’s you sample six different selections of raw fish; it’s presented in two flights.
The second flight of crudo.
Two head-on prawns come in a pool of aioli so thick and lemony it eats like savory lemon curd.
Order your mackerel fileted or whole; these wear a sash of grilled ramps to celebrate spring.
Five taut scallops hug a bed of fava bean ragu.
Not pictured here is a small selection of pastas, from which a server will recommend you order if you’re building a meal.
Barchetta will be open nightly for dinner.