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Lamia's Fish Market is fancy-ing up Avenue B


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Or maybe it was already fancy, and I was just unaware 'cause I mostly go - or went - to the Lakeside (o.b.e.) or Manitoba's (ditto). Lamia's Fish Market is run by the same people who own Le Souk, if that means anything to you. It's rangy, like Los Feliz on Orchard, and there's a glassed-in room in the back that would be perfect for your rehearsal dinner. It's also quite glamorous, decor-wise. See?

 

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I went for their "early catch" (aka happy hour), during which you can get, in addition to many other appealing things, four kinds of oysters for <$2/each. I was crazy about the Fire Island Blues, only slightly less enamored of the Black Duck Salts (which would be described as "mushroom-y" at Upstate), and not all that fond of the East Beach Blondes. I also got a ceviche trio: shrimp with onion and pepper and lime, ahi with gray and black caviar and baby arugula, and scallop with smoked paprika and red shiso. Very nice! Especially the scallop.

 

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No hard liquor for now, so I had a Seaside Sour, pretty and foamy and too sweet for me. It's a comfortable place to hang, and it also might appeal to some of you wine guys, but I know very little of such matters and can only report that the list is long and contains some orange stuff and some natural stuff.

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So I went last night, and enjoyed myself as I was getting plied with wine and sake by Lamia herself, who took up a seat at the bar next to me, and started introducing everyone who came in (her mom, others) to me (while my taquitos of red snapper were getting cold!).

 

Those taquitos - good.  The shrimp cocktail, with ginormous shrimp - good (though I might've cooked the shrimp 30 seconds less). After that, and god knows how much wine, I took the plunge into the regular menu by ordering a pasta - with clams.  Unfortunately it suffered from what so much restaurant pasta suffers from, the dreaded overload of butter, making what in my opinion needs to be a nice, light pasta dish, heavy. 

 

The place is huge. The wine list is quite nice (natural, orange, you get the picture), and even the 2 wines I tasted which are on tap (a Gruner and an Albarino), were quite drinkable. And the menu is appealing - I will certainly bring Significant Eater back with me, and see what kind of damage we can do.

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Okay, I'm confused.  There was a Le Souk at the exact same address as Lamia's, but it closed years ago.  The Le Souk on LaGuardia may have no relationship to that old bar, which had a very bad reputation.  Am I right?  And I am trying to think what occupied the space between Le Souk and Lamia.

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Same ownership (with some shenanigans around listing one party as the owner of this and a differently surnamed spouse as the owner of that iirc). I'm guessing they didn't get a full liquor license this time around.

 

Not sure there was anything there.

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Went again last night and had a somewhat less positive experience. We were three this time, so we sat at a lounge table. The chairs are ridiculously high (even for people taller than me, i.e. everyone) and the tables much too close together for comfort. The oysters were still very good, but the ceviche was sloppier, the salmon roughly cut, the scallops past their prime. Octopus carpaccio was very nice, if a bit too vinegar-y. The shrimp in the shrimp cocktail, large and lovely to look at, were way more than :30 overcooked. I started with a cocktail, Basic as a Fish (prosecco, watermelon juice, rose, tasted mostly like just rose) and then decided to try one of the by-the-glass natural wines. There were three whites, two for $14/glass, and a chardonnay for $22/glass. I asked for the viognier - the server told me they were out, but she'd bring me the other not-$22 one. Then she returned to "offer me a taste" of the $22 chardonnay, 'cause whattaya know! They were also out of the other not-$22 one. I was not thrilled by this, and told her, and ordered a muscadet instead. Shady! Or maybe I'm just overly suspicious.

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