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joethefoodie

The Fulton, Jean-Georges at Pier 17

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Let's start with the 30 minute walk from my apartment - along South Street - and which I won't do again, as South Street is basically one long construction zone, leaving you walking with bikes, scooters, etc. on a path that's wide enough for none of the above.  One used to be able to walk along the river, but not really any more. But I did arrive safely at the seaport, where The Fulton is located. It's all the way out at the end of the pier, and a really nice job has been done on the pier, with plenty of seating, both for patrons and just people wanting to sit and look at the water, bridges, and all sorts of activity above and upon the river.

 

The Fulton is gorgeous, and I was able to grab a seat the downstairs bar; had I realized there was also the raw bar a level up, I might've chosen that, but I was content with views from where I was situated, and everything from the raw bar is available downstairs, so no problems there.

 

A short wines by the glass list, and I started with a nice Savennières, while studying the menus. There was a lot to choose from, and it was only me, so there were some hard choices to be made. I really like Manhattan clam chowder, and I can't remember when I've had a Manhattan clam chowder that I really liked...(such as the version at the Oyster Bar, which was insipid on my last visit there). This one however, was as good as I've had; nice and spicy, rich and clammy, as it should be. I don't know if the glass of Riesling I had to accompany it made it better, but it worked for me.  Served with some lovely bread and butter, 2 slices dark and sweet, 2 slices the opposite, and I didn't even have to ask - or pay extra for it!

 

I was battling around stuff in my head to have for a main course, but I kept returning to one item in particular, I suppose as an homage to Sneakeater, Fish (flounder!) and Crisps:

 

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The flounder, a large, beautiful piece, fried beautifully, sitting atop the "crisps," which were actually twice fried potato puffs. Alongside, superfluous and almost too sweet crushed peas, and saffron aioli. Just great.

 

Dessert, as if I needed it, was a couple of scoops of very nice house-made ice cream - pistachio and vanilla are the flavors I think I had.

 

The prices, at least for now, are kinda weirdly low, at least for some of the dishes. And at least for now, I can't wait to return, because so much of the menu was calling my name. Next time though, I'll be walking on Water Street.

 

COMP DISCLOSURE: A glass of wine along the way. 

 

 

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Make that FUCKING good.

Yeah, it was.  And today I got a a picture from a friend who was fishing yesterday, off the south shore (so there are plenty out there)...

 

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Bottom one is 8 pounds!

 

Funny, I hadn't read the Wells' review until now, but seems like he liked the flounder. And the clam chowder as well.

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Returned last night, this time with Significant Eater, and this time via bus.

 

No room at the downstairs bar, but plenty up on the 2nd floor, aka the raw bar.  It's a gorgeous room, with fabulous views.

 

peOdwAt.jpg?1

 

But...it lacks the energy of downstairs.  It also means you're getting served by a wait person, as opposed to the bartender, even though there are 2 "cooks" behind the raw bar.  Now those 2 men, in this case, were perhaps the most disinterested people I've ever seen working behind a raw bar.  Or any bar.  Zero interaction with guests (us and a few others) sitting at the raw bar.  Zero eye contact.  Zero personalities. I mean, if I were working behind that bar, you're in a gorgeous room, you probably haven't been there before...there would be some schmoozing going on. Anyway...

 

Our wait person was kind of lame. I get it, it's the last week of "summer," blah, blah, blah. It started with missing the glass a bit when pouring my first taste from the bottle of wine we ordered.  It continued by serving us our 2nd course, while the stuff from our apps was still on the bar. And since our 2nd course included the Manhattan clam chowder I qvelled about after my first visit, it might be helpful to serve the soup with spoons. Which might have happened, had the table been bussed before bringing over our next plates. Anyway...

 

The food. We started with shrimp cocktail and peeky-toe crab lettuce wraps. Both come from the kitchen, not the raw bar, where the only thing they evidently do is shuck oysters, shuck clams, and look disinterested. The shrimp came on an iced platter along with the lettuce wraps. And it was 6 beautifully cooked shrimp, just sitting on ice. It's a shrimp cocktail. Significant Eater tries to get the attention of one of the guys, to no avail. Even when saying, "HEY!" Anyway...

 

Wait person walks by, we mention that this doesn't appear to be a shrimp cocktail; apologies accepted, and we're brought a cup of cocktail sauce. Yum! Peeky-toe crab was good, too.

 

OMmLSZ5.jpg?2

 

Our next plates were that clam chowder and the fried-soft shell crab.  Great crab, beautifully fried, next to a jalapeno coriander salsa.  The salsa was delicious and super spicy, it reminded me of that green sauce that comes with Peruvian chicken.  Excellent...but not really great for the soft-shell, which is a bit more delicate than a marinated, roasted chicken.  Anyway...

 

For our mains, Sig Eater order the halibut "T-Bone." Nicely cooked, but I wonder if it was the freshest piece of fish we've ever had.

I had the fritto misto salad, which was a hot mess, not necessarily in a good way. The fried stuff turned soggy from the salad, the salad turned wilted from the hot fried stuff. Weird.

 

Anyway...

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Right now, The Fulton is very very good.

 

But everything about it -- as an example, the cute very young bartender told me her favorite drink is an Aperol Spritz, hardly the sign of a long-term dedication to excellence on the part of those who hired her -- suggests that the place is going to start sucking in a few months, after the review cycle has terminated and it's catering to the tourists and night-outers who are clearly its primary target clientele.

 

So go now.  It's very very good.  Now.

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Right now, The Fulton is very very good.

 

But everything about it -- as an example, the cute very young bartender told me her favorite drink is an Aperol Spritz, hardly the sign of a long-term dedication to excellence on the part of those who hired her -- suggests that the place is going to start sucking in a few months, after the review cycle has terminated and it's catering to the tourists and night-outers who are clearly its primary target clientele.

 

So go now.  It's very very good.  Now.

 

At least you got to sit at the downstairs bar (I'm guessing)?

 

Did you have the flounder?

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I went there intending to have the flounder.  But then I noticed the sea bass with some sort of emulsion on the menu, and I thought, "I'm here at a Jean-Georges restaurant, might as well go with the emulsion."

 

I know I'll be back.  Flounder next time.

 

ETA -- Yeah, the downstairs bar.

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But then I noticed the sea bass with some sort of emulsion on the menu, and I thought, "I'm here at a Jean-Georges restaurant, might as well go with the emulsion."

To be clear, the emulsion was on the sea bass, not on the menu. They were both listed on the menu.

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We went to the Fulton last night, and while the food doesn't yet suck, the service is pretty lousy. We had a relatively early reservation (7pm), and I got there early to scope it out, 'cause my sister got engaged fairly recently and wanted me to take some wedding announcement pictures of her and her fiancé, and the area around The Fulton seemed like a good bet for that sort of thing. I asked the host if he could recommend someplace inside the restaurant that would also make a nice backdrop, and he just shrugged. I asked whether maybe there was a spot upstairs that would work, and he sort of sighed, and said, well, sure, but there's tables. And people eating at them. So, like, that would be in the way. I went up to have a look for myself, and he was half right - there were indeed tables. No people, though. A waiter approached me, and he seemed like he might know stuff, so I asked him the same question. Yes, he said, this area would be ideal, but in 10 minutes, this room is going to be FULL of PEOPLE. We have 250 people coming in tonight! Spoiler alert - they did not. At least not by 9:45, when we left. The room was still about a third empty.

 

By this time said sister and said fiancé had arrived, so we took the pictures outside (she's happy with them) and then came back to eat. The host might have been feeling a little guilty about his earlier semi-rudeness, because he announced that they had a lovely table for us. Indeed it was - upstairs, booth against the window, full view of the bridge. We wondered why he was walking us back back back to the very last booth, and then we realized every other booth had a view of the wall. For some reason, those booths are situated between the windows, not next to them. Odd!

 

Anyway, food. I had the sea trout and oyster tartare, quite delicious and a generous portion, and served with some slightly sweet brown toast. The only drawback was that it had a lot of unnecessary heat, which was an across-the-board issue. Dishes that did not really need chiles were nonetheless strewn with them. My second dish was the hopper shrimp, also very fine. I love a good clean fry. Medium-sized H got the shrimp cocktail, and as was the case for joethefoodie, it was served in two stages: first shrimp, and then five minutes later, sauce. Also on the table - the octopus and mozzarella, which was fine, nothing special, and the fluke crudo, ditto. Our companions got the not-$120 sea bass, which they liked well enough. They'd just been to some awesome seafood place in New Orleans, though (I think Verdict? or something similar), and were thus not as impressed as they otherwise might have been. Dessert was the Meyer lemon pudding, which was HUGE and contained multitudes: cookie wedges, meringue, cookie cubes, lemon sorbet. There was a lot going on, there.

 

And, the service. Our very young server had apparently not been told that check-backs might be part of her job. She was absent for long periods, and I had to ask a runner to find her so we could order a second round of drinks. I also had to flag her down several times as she raced past us without making eye contact. She was much quicker to drop the check, about :30 seconds after we got dessert, and well before we'd even thought to ask for it. On one occasion, the runner and the water refiller arrived simultaneously and seemed to be trying to shoulder each other out of the way in an effort to perform their tasks. The runner's was harder, since he arrived with a tray of food only to find that we had no setups, so he left the food about 10 feet away and made a few trips back and forth for plates, silverware, and the like. Advantage, water refiller! The server did have one admirable skill - she could recite the beer list and the after-dinner drink list from memory, and she had to, since there is no printed version of either. There's a lot of weirdness at The Fulton.

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Good help must be really hard to find!  I had the same issue with some of the new people at Cafe Katja recently; difference being that one of the owners and I got a good laugh out of it.

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Good help must be really hard to find!  I had the same issue with some of the new people at Cafe Katja recently; difference being that one of the owners and I got a good laugh out of it.

 

 

Must be something going around. We had some downright awful service at Beatrice last night (well beyond their usual awkward attempts at upselling) -  it would have been worth a laugh if it wasn't for The Bea's prices sucking any potential comedy out of it.

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Good help must be really hard to find!  I had the same issue with some of the new people at Cafe Katja recently; difference being that one of the owners and I got a good laugh out of it.

 

 

Must be something going around. We had some downright awful service at Beatrice last night (well beyond their usual awkward attempts at upselling) -  it would have been worth a laugh if it wasn't for The Bea's prices sucking any potential comedy out of it.

 

 

And in addition to horrible service, evidently it's not that easy to find people to work in restaurants. Surprise!

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