A Skyscraper of Seafood at Manhattan’s Prima

Seafood-lovers, meet the Strada. It's a towering, two-tier course of raw and chilled fish and shellfish laid out by Prima in the East Village, and it's a feast and a half. Clams, shrimp, whelks, a Jonah crab claw, fluke sashimi with yuzu, mackerel ceviche in a light vinaigrette, a dozen oysters (six varieties, two each), at least 50 periwinkles, a heap of mussels in delicious broth, a half lobster with aioli—it's all good, bigjeff says on Chowhound, "completely kicking the ass of all other raw platters I've had before." And at $65, he adds, it's the smaller of two raw-bar platters on the menu (the Prima is $95), "so I am scared of what the big one consists of."

This kitchen cooks, too. The short list of appetizers includes crab cakes, sardine rillettes with tapenade, and grilled octopus with Niçoise olives, feta, and preserved lemon (pictured). The entrées are mostly fish—a half-dozen of them, gently priced at $15 to $22, served simply with parsley, bonito butter, and a choice of sauces: pesto, vierge, tartar, béarnaise, or the chimichurri-like "green condiment" (bigjeff's Arctic char was perfectly done). Prima was opened late in 2011 by the owners of cocktail specialist Summit Bar, so drinks are dependably tasty. "Service was great, scene was hip and a meal truly enjoyed," bigjeff writes.

Prima [East Village]
58 E. First Street (between First and Second avenue), Manhattan
646-559-4823

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Photo from Prima / Courtesy of Pam Vlahakis