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New York

SAINT JULIVERT

BEST NEW BISTRO

SAINT JULIVERT

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #2

WHO
It’s not their first rodeo: Alex Raij and Eder Montero, the New York ambassadors of Spanish-influenced cuisine behind El Quinto Pino, Txikito and La Vara, recently transformed their neighborhood café Tekoa into a seafood and wine bar called Saint Julivert Fisherie.

The small open kitchen delivers creative yet unfussy seafood tapas in a setting that feels European and intimate, to be enjoyed with a selection of coastal wines and ingenuous cocktails. Spain’s influence can be felt in some of the dishes here, but the chefs are definitely taking more freedom and international inspiration than ever.

FOOD
Delicious tapas celebrating high quality seafood with a myriad of culinary touches from around the world.
Our waiter recommended we share 2-3 plates per person, which felt about right.
We started with a simple and tasty plate of whipped mackerel ($11) dressed with a mildly spicy oil infused with piri piri, a red chili pepper from Africa often found in Portuguese cuisine, and served with chunky pieces of toasted bread.
We continued with perfect small bites, from the pickled wild shrimp ($13) topped with sweet red onions and served with crispy fried saltines, to the scallop “tacos” ($16) — raw scallops covered with salsa macha and a shiso leaf in lieu of a tortilla.
The mussels en conserva juxtapose the concentrated punch of bivalve brine with the tang of pickled carrots and the intensity of fresh mint.
Even a more obvious dish like an octopus carpaccio is stunningly laid out like a flower, and comes “txikito style,” covered in a fragrant mix of quality olive oil, citrus and marjoram ($19).
For the mains, the decadent “Venetian” risotto is a generous and comforting option – though it feels more Japanese than Italian with its fixings of conch, smoked eel and wild mushrooms ($21). A lighter option is the jerk kanpachi collar ($19), a fatty and graphic piece of yellowtail blackened Jamaican style with a blend of spices and chilies, all served with lime.

DRINKS
In line with the seafood-driven menu, all the wines are sourced from islands or coastal regions; they’re even organized by sea or ocean! The selection is interesting, but could use a few more affordable options. That night, we went for a 2015 Andrović Plavac Mali, an orange wine from the Peljesac peninsula in Croatia (one of the only wines under $75 — $60/bottle and $15/glass).
The cocktail list ($14/cocktail) is small and reflects some of the menu’s tropical and Japanese influences (such as a “Kanpai Martini” or a “Puerto Escondido”).

DÉCOR
A funny mix that works surprisingly well. Red glossy tiles, backlit glass cinder blocks, a stainless-steel bar, walnut wood, slabs of very graphic maroon and black marble… It’s a very small space, all high stools and dim lighting, no loud music… almost reminiscent of a Spanish tapas bar, minus that rustic feel.

NOISE
Quiet. Though we were there at the beginning of the evening and the room was half empty.

SEATING
It’s a small space, with seating mostly organized around the bar and a few high tops – which are a bit more comfortable than we expected. The nicest table is outside, but unfortunately is only open for drinks, not for food. We would recommend sitting at the bar or near the open kitchen.

VIBE
Neighborhoody and European. It’s rare to see such a small and intimate restaurant in the city, especially where the service is friendly. But the overall vibe could use a bit of warmth, be it through the floor plan (why so many high tops!), lighting (why so white!), or the music (was there any?); it’s missing that little je ne sais quoi that would make it a real hit.

SERVICE
Everyone is polite and agreeable. Our server noticed our French accent and tried to engage. They weren’t particularly knowledgeable.
The owner was warm and knowledgeable, truly passionate about this project and excited to know her patrons. The staff is helpful yet not intrusive. Zero snobbism about wine, which is super refreshing.

WOULD RECOMMEND
For a date at the bar, an intimate group reunion around the high tables, perfect for pescatarians and Europeophiles! 

WHO
It’s not their first rodeo: Alex Raij and Eder Montero, the New York ambassadors of Spanish-influenced cuisine behind El Quinto Pino, Txikito and La Vara, recently transformed their neighborhood café Tekoa into a seafood and wine bar called Saint Julivert Fisherie.

The small open kitchen delivers creative yet unfussy seafood tapas in a setting that feels European and intimate, to be enjoyed with a selection of coastal wines and ingenuous cocktails. Spain’s influence can be felt in some of the dishes here, but the chefs are definitely taking more freedom and international inspiration than ever.

FOOD
Delicious tapas celebrating high quality seafood with a myriad of culinary touches from around the world.
Our waiter recommended we share 2-3 plates per person, which felt about right.
We started with a simple and tasty plate of whipped mackerel ($11) dressed with a mildly spicy oil infused with piri piri, a red chili pepper from Africa often found in Portuguese cuisine, and served with chunky pieces of toasted bread.
We continued with perfect small bites, from the pickled wild shrimp ($13) topped with sweet red onions and served with crispy fried saltines, to the scallop “tacos” ($16) — raw scallops covered with salsa macha and a shiso leaf in lieu of a tortilla.
The mussels en conserva juxtapose the concentrated punch of bivalve brine with the tang of pickled carrots and the intensity of fresh mint.
Even a more obvious dish like an octopus carpaccio is stunningly laid out like a flower, and comes “txikito style,” covered in a fragrant mix of quality olive oil, citrus and marjoram ($19).
For the mains, the decadent “Venetian” risotto is a generous and comforting option – though it feels more Japanese than Italian with its fixings of conch, smoked eel and wild mushrooms ($21). A lighter option is the jerk kanpachi collar ($19), a fatty and graphic piece of yellowtail blackened Jamaican style with a blend of spices and chilies, all served with lime.

DRINKS
In line with the seafood-driven menu, all the wines are sourced from islands or coastal regions; they’re even organized by sea or ocean! The selection is interesting, but could use a few more affordable options. That night, we went for a 2015 Andrović Plavac Mali, an orange wine from the Peljesac peninsula in Croatia (one of the only wines under $75 — $60/bottle and $15/glass).
The cocktail list ($14/cocktail) is small and reflects some of the menu’s tropical and Japanese influences (such as a “Kanpai Martini” or a “Puerto Escondido”).

DÉCOR
A funny mix that works surprisingly well. Red glossy tiles, backlit glass cinder blocks, a stainless-steel bar, walnut wood, slabs of very graphic maroon and black marble… It’s a very small space, all high stools and dim lighting, no loud music… almost reminiscent of a Spanish tapas bar, minus that rustic feel.

NOISE
Quiet. Though we were there at the beginning of the evening and the room was half empty.

SEATING
It’s a small space, with seating mostly organized around the bar and a few high tops – which are a bit more comfortable than we expected. The nicest table is outside, but unfortunately is only open for drinks, not for food. We would recommend sitting at the bar or near the open kitchen.

VIBE
Neighborhoody and European. It’s rare to see such a small and intimate restaurant in the city, especially where the service is friendly. But the overall vibe could use a bit of warmth, be it through the floor plan (why so many high tops!), lighting (why so white!), or the music (was there any?); it’s missing that little je ne sais quoi that would make it a real hit.

SERVICE
Everyone is polite and agreeable. Our server noticed our French accent and tried to engage. They weren’t particularly knowledgeable.
The owner was warm and knowledgeable, truly passionate about this project and excited to know her patrons. The staff is helpful yet not intrusive. Zero snobbism about wine, which is super refreshing.

WOULD RECOMMEND
For a date at the bar, an intimate group reunion around the high tables, perfect for pescatarians and Europeophiles! 

CHEF

Alex Raij and Eder Montero

OPENING DAYS

Every day, for dinner.

RESERVATIONS

One day in advance, online or by phone.

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