280 Bleecker St, New York, NY | Directions 1001440.731733 -74.003332
Sun-Thu, 3pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 3pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West Village
Tipping nightmare – This is the content of a letter that I have sent to Fish Restaurant in the Village. Perhaps you have a comment.
I am writing to you in the first instance so that you may check the facts.
We visit New York once a year. We live in Malta.
Last month we dined at your establishment. We were celebrating my wife’s birthday and we had 2 guests who were on their first visit to New York. We chose Fish because we had been there a number of times before and enjoyed the atmosphere and the food, especially soft shelled crab when in season. Our visit was no exception; the lobster was divine as were the oysters and the shrimp.
When the bill arrived our guest high jacked it and paid. He added an approximate 10% gratuity, which in our culture is considered to be generous. In most Mediterranean countries the finer restaurants often refuse to allow tipping and any gratuity, if offered, is accepted in good grace.
Unfortunately, as we about to leave, the young lady who had served us approached and directed a line of questioning at my wife, who had had nothing whatsoever to do with settling the bill. With fists on hips and head thrust forward the conversation went something like this.
Waitress: Excuse me Mam, was anything wrong with the meal?
“No it was delightful”
Waitress: I just wanted to check because there is an error on the bill.
“I’m sorry – why?”
Waitress: Are you aware that I do not get paid a daily wage?
Waitress: I rely on my tips you know. In New York you must tip between 15 and 20%
“I am sorry but you see I didn’t……………..”
Waitress: We don’t get paid you see.
“Look (now a little confused and embarrassed because an oasis of silence had descended on the neighboring tables) we are visitors and where we come from we are often asked not to tip, so I am sorry”
Waitress: So are you going to make any changes?
Waitress: Was anything wrong with the meal?
Waitress: So, you not going to make any changes then?
“I am sorry – No”
Sadly, our friends remember that exchange over and above all the wonderful sight seeing and entertainment that they had experienced whilst in New York.
We are all old and wise enough to realize that the young lady was perhaps acting out of gross inexperience and we were not quick to anger, but it raises a few interesting points.
Is it normal for staff to be unpaid? How does that square with things like public liability insurance and taxes and pensions.
Is the level of, and indeed the function of, tipping enshrined in a law in New York?
In writing to you I would like to point out that it is my intention to forward a copy of this letter to the Mayor’s Office and to a prominent New York newspaper and local printed and online entertainment guides, for their comment.
Since writing this review we have learned that Fish has recently changed ownership - perhaps this offers an explaination.
The restaurant I go to the most! – Ever since my friend and I discovered Fish, after exiting The Blind Tiger across the street (a good companion to the Fish experience, with a huge beer selection and GREAT bar food!), we have been going back constantly for two and a half years. I have been there almost a hundred times now without exaggeration, and have gotten a few of my friends addicted to the place too! I'm still drawn to the oyster/clam special, but I haven't had anything on the menu that wasn't great! I wish there was more bar space, because the staff is awesome and friendly, but they've added a little counter space on the outside which is also excellent. Jesus is a great shucker, and their oysters and clams are unbeatable (eight bucks gets you half a dozen of them, including a drink!!). Their entrees and their soups and even their SIDES are top notch, and you must check out their Bleecker St. Burger. I may go there for New Year's Eve, it's just such a comfortable vibe.
Excellent Fresh Fish! – I have been to fish several times, and it is one of my favorite restaurants in NY. It is a popular village hangout, great atmosphere and great music. The food is incredible, TRY THE LOBSTER COBB SALAD! The 8$ raw bar special can't be beat, and the oyster selection is great. If you're in the village and in the mood for seafood, go to fish, you can't go wrong there
Delicious food, great service – fish is one of those small hidden gems in the neighborhood, but once you eat there, you will always go back. They have a great raw bar with an amazing oyster special, and must mention the seafood is FRESH! The menu is unpretentious, atmosphere is laid-back, and the staff are friendly and accommodating. My friends are obsessed with the lobster special; lobster with fries, corn, and steamers for just $24 dollars!!! My favorite fish is the halibut, they cook it just right and you get two sides with it, which is a complete and tasty meal. When I'm not in the mood for fish I get the burger which is surprisingly the best I've ever had! also recommend the tuna sandwich and soft shell crab.
awesome food, great time out!! – I recently visited fish restaurant with a couple friends for dinner. This place is so great. When we arrived , we were seated immediately by the really friendly and helpful staff. I ordered the black sea bass, which was incredible, and my friend got a lobster for 24 dollars! of course we also had tons of oysters. Our waitress explained each one to us, and then we got to watch them get shucked right in front of our table. They have amazing drink deals, also. The whole experience was so great, I would reccomend this place to anyone and most likely join them, too!
D*ck the host. – Apparently Jerry Garcia has a brother who works as a host at Fish and his name is D*ck. I don't mean that it's his literal name but rather I'm using the name D*ck because that is how he acts.
I went with the reviewer below last Saturday night with 3 other people. PCDines had called and made a reservation at 9:30pm for a party of 5. When we got there, D*ck told us that we would be the next party seated. We waited and when we noticed that other parties were seated before us, we asked D*ck what was going on. D*ck said "Well, I don't have your name on the list so I"m doing you a favor." A favor? What favor is that D*ck?
D*ck asked us to wait a longer and that we would be seated soon. We did as D*ck asked and we couldn't believe it when he seated a party of six before us! We had waited over an hour for the table so we went up to D*ck to let him know that we were waiting around any longer. Instead of being apologetic, D*ck lived up to his name and said "There's nothing I can do. You don't have a reservation." PCDines at that point showed D*ck his dialed call list on his phone that showed Fish's phone number being called at 4 something in the afternoon. D*ck's response: "What do you want me to do, buy you a drink?" No D*ck, we don't want you to buy us a drink. What we wanted was for you to seat us at a table. And if you aren't going to seat us, at least tell us as soon as we get there that we won't be able to be seated so that we don't waste an hour on a Saturday night watching other people eat their food.
I'll be honest here and say that the restaurant was busy, so I'm guessing that the food is good. But alas, we could not sample Fish's cuisine and frankly I'm glad that we didn't spend any money there . Also, by way of their last Department of Health inspection, it appears that D*ck actually did do us a favor. Thanks D*ck.
Bad Service – Recently went to FISH and the staff forgot to record my reservation. Showed up on time and watched the host seat multiple tables, including walk in guests, in front of me. Didnt offer to buy me a drink but rather argued with me, almost challenging my point that I had made a reservation, even after I confirmed I had callled the correct restaurant to make the reservation. The host continued to promise me a table and after an hour of waiting my party left. I was not surprised of this mishap and similar to the previous review noticed the lack of organization.
Disorganized Mess Results in an Awful Experience – The lobster deal is enticing but the lack of organization is not worth the hassle. I have been to FISH for the lobster special a number of times but this last time was my last. The staff, specifically the host, does not understand the basics of service and creating a positive dinning experience. The hang up each time I dine or try to dine at FISH is the simple task of being seated. Rather than creating a waiting list of guests, the "Jerry Garcia" looking host walks up and down the packed herd of people that are sandwiched between the bar and seated customers every 3 minutes trying to remember how many guests are in each party. The result of this crazed method of hostessing is that guests are seated ad hoc (evidenced by a similar experience each time I dined at FISH). If you plan to dine at FISH, make sure that you dont have any hungry guests in your party or after dinner plans.
I went this place for my friend's birthday. We, all had a pleasany experience. especially great oyster appetizer. This place is not big, so it was a little crowded for my big group, but still it worked out fine.
Fun, unpretentious seafood place - good for groups – A group of about 8 of us stumbled into the place after an afternoon of drinking and college football. We were not disappointed. As mentioned here, the Red White and Blue is a bargain almost unheard of in NYC - 6 oysters and a PBR for $8. The oysters were fresh and briny and delicious.
I was less impressed with the lobster roll I ordered for my entree - too much mayo and celery overpowered whatever delicate sweetness the lobster had. On the plus side, the fries are delicious - crispy and salty, thin like McDonald's fries. Unlike McDonald's fries, these fries taste like actual potatoes.
On my second visit, I had the New England clam chowder, and the mussels with fries. Delicious on both counts. It was a very generous helping of mussels with your choice of broth (I had the marinara).
Overall, this is a great little neighborhood place - prompt seating, friendly service and reasonable prices.
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