I’m a big planner. It’s the only way to be if you live in a city where reservations at popular restaurants have to be made weeks in advance, and a trip to Trader Joe’s means waiting outside in the snow to get in.
So a few weeks ago, I planned my way into a reservation at Rubirosa, New York’s neighborhood pizza obsession. I can only read so many Infatuation rave reviews without wanting to sell a non-essential organ for a reservation, and after some persistence I managed to snag a spot for linner (lunch/dinner) at 3:30 on a Sunday.
It was all I thought about for the next three weeks.
But honestly, some of the best nights are the ones you don’t plan. That’s how I crossed Seamore’s off my restaurant bucket list this past Saturday night.
This summer, you would have had to wait for 4+ hours for a table at this no-reservations seafood spot, where the fish comes straight off the hook from Montauk. Fast forward 7 months and two people can stroll in on a Saturday night and get seated right away.
And that’s just what we did.
Here’s what we found:
The place: Made for Instagram, but I won’t hold that against them. I could move into the bathroom and be deliriously happy. The aesthetic combined with the rap music in the background sets the scene for a perfect pre-going-out dinner, or even just a vibey weeknight dinner. You feel like you’re on vacation in Turks & Caicos or possibly SoCal. Do you want to have dinner on the beach? Of course you do.
The drinks: They only have one rosé on the menu, and it was sold out at 8pm. They were also sold out of one of their three fish options. So possibly there’s no wait later in the night because there’s no food left. I kid, I kid. The cocktails looked promising but we didn’t sample.
The food: I know a place is really good when deciding what to eat feels as difficult as committing to a hairstyle for the rest of your life. We had already had apps (specifically: bacon from Wolfgang’s washed down with a dirty martini…this is my guilty pleasure but more on that to come) so we skipped the tuna poke even though I’ve heard it’s killer.
The decision came down to the crispy fish tacos or reel deal. And while I love a good fish taco, the reel deal is what Seamore’s is all about. Here’s how it goes: you pick one of their daily fish offerings, a sauce for dipping, and eat it all atop their three daily sides.
Saturday night they were offering flounder, cusk and catfish. They were out of the flounder and having never had (or heard of) cusk before, I decided to give it a whirl, with a side of miso brown butter, on top of tabbouleh, sautéed greens (including chicory, another first), roasted carrots & kohlrabi.
It was perfection: flavorful, fresh and the perfect amount of food. I only wish I had gone with a different sauce–our waitress recommended red curry but I like to do this thing where I ask what they suggest and then pick anything but that. (I think it’s called being female.)
Last but not least, they serve Odd Fellows dairy-free soft serve, aka my DREAM COME TRUE. We had the Mexican hot chocolate and it was spicy and weird in all the right ways. All in, it was the perfect Saturday night dinner and a good warm-up for the carb fest that followed.
I’ll keep my thoughts on Rubirosa simple, just like the restaurant:
The place: Dark, casual, kind of old New York
The drinks: If you’re here, you’re ordering red wine.
The food: Ohhhhhhhh baby. We split the vodka sauce pizza because that’s what you do at Rubirosa, and the rigatoni with sausage ragú.
It truly was the best Italian I’ve had in a while, and in NYC that’s saying something.
Honestly, there are no words. Only pictures.
My only regret? That we didn’t get a large pasta.