Kurt's Flatiron Faves - The John Dory

Welcome to the first stop on my culinary walking tour of the Flatiron neighborhood!

We'll start from Beecher's and head straight up Broadway to 29th, where we come across The Ace Hotel, its bar, The Breslin, and its restaurant, The John Dory Oyster Bar (which what we've come for).
Now, the Breslin and the John Dory are run by the same people. The Breslin is a hip place to hang out, it's true, but more of a bar than anything else, whereas the John Dory is serving some really amazing food, and that's where I get really excited.

It's mostly seafood, with a raw bar that boasts numerous types of raw oysters with varied mignonettes and other shellfish, including whelk. When was the last time you had whelk? It's kind of like walking down the center of the US and scooping up the best oysters from both sides. Of course, that's exactly what they're going for: there are two giant, glass globes above the bar, one with sea life from the Pacific Ocean, the other full of Atlantic Ocean denizens. On the crudo side of the raw bar where you can find interesting takes on branzino, scallops and others.

I really enjoyed most of what I had there, but the must-try dish for me is the Kedgeree, a haddock-studded rice dish garnished with lime and crispy red onions.

Click photo for the website menu
The story behind this place is actually kind of interesting. It's actually the second John Dory, the first being open for barely a year in the meat-packing district.  Same restaurateur (Ken Friedman) and same chef (April Bloomfield), they re-invented the whole concept after the first version closed, turning it into a more casual place with a splash of kitsch that focuses more on small dishes than the standard "appetizer-entree" trope that the old one relied on.
I had been to the old John Dory and I think they made a great choice in making this iteration more accessible and convivial, especially in this neighborhood where formal meals are just as common as spontaneous ones. It can be a little difficult to get in if you're not a hotel guest (as they don't offer reservations otherwise), but it's worth the wait.

Click photo for the NYT review
Have you been to the John Dory Oyster Bar? Had you been to the old John Dory? What do you think about the new one? How do they compare for you? Let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, who's up for some oysters?

View Beecher's & the John Dory Oyster Bar in a larger maphttp://thejohndory.com/info.html
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Lover of big ideas and bold flavors. Food should be like family and friends: honest, fun, and fulfilling.

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