The raw bar at Fishtail.

Not to be confused with the restaurant Dovetail, the show DuckTales, or even Brooklyn retail market Fish Tales, David Burke has opened a new seafood place called Fishtail. Over time, Burke and executive chef Eric Hara aim to make Fishtail’s menu fully sustainable. Unsurprisingly, a fish theme abounds in perpetuity at the restaurant—there might as well be fighting fish sparring in the bathroom sinks. Michael Ayoub, chef-owner of Williamsburg’s Fornino, leads a double life as a glassblower, and he’s made some pretty fish sculptures that adorn the space.

On Fishtail's website, Mr. Burke is described as not only a chef, but also as an “entrepreneur and inventor.” Those parts are evident, respectively, in the fact that Burke is equally at ease marketing a line of zero fat/calorie 'flavor sprays,' but also concocting a Rube Goldberg-sounding dessert called David Burke’s Cheesecake Lollipop Tree that’s served up with ‘bubblegum whipped cream’ at his restaurants. At 46, Burke is sort of an elder statesman of the NY restaurant world. His food, first popularized at the River Café in Brooklyn in the '80s, has influenced a few chef generations since then.

The sustainability factor here should be the litmus test for this restaurant. In a time when chefs flaunt the terroir of every chioggia beet, or will gladly tell you what their supplying farmers ate for breakfast, David Burke asks you to trust him. He tells you that his menu is sustainable—it’s just not annotated. Burke's goal at Fishtail is, over time, to follow the research and in turn create a menu, all of whose choices are the most sustainable. Full menu after the jump. For more on sustainable seafood, read this interview with author Taras Grescoe.

Fishtail // 135 East 62nd Street // (212) 754-1300


East Coast Oysters 3/piece
West Coast Oysters 3/piece
3 East Coast & 3 West Coast 6 pc/15.50; 12pc/29
Little Neck Clams 1.25/pc; 6 pc/12; 12 pc/29
Stone Crab – Fla.8.50/piece
Lobster ½ pound 10
1 pound 20
Head Off, U-10 3 pc/15; 4 pc/18
French Sea Snails (Bulots) 8


Big Eye Tuna Sashimi 12
chicken little vinaigrette, capers and picholine olives

Hamachi Sashimi 12
sea urchin and shisito pepper

Kindai Tuna Sashimi 45
pickled honshimeji mushrooms, sour cherry and soy
(Japanese BlueFin Tuna)

Tuna Tartare Taquito (2) 11
with pineapple and macadamia nuts

Taylor Bay Scallop Ceviche 10
& Baby Shrimp Cocktail
grapefruit, avocado and tomato-lime


Cocktail Collection 26
½ lobster, 1 stone crab, 2 shrimp, mussels

Shellfish Tower (for two) 32
½ lobster, 1 stone crab, 2 shrimp, 2 oysters,
2 clams mussels and bulots

Shellfish Tower (for four) 62
1 lobster, 2 stone crabs, 4 shrimp, 4 oysters,
4 clams, mussels and bulots

Tempura Calamari & Oysters 12
sweet chili dipping sauce

Crab Salad Taquito (2) 11
old bay and cumin seed

Hamachi Taquito (2) 11
with avocado and masago caviar

One of Each Taquito (3) 14


Lobster Wonton Soup 14
honshimeji mushrooms, bok choy and lemongrass

Original Caesar Salad 12
prepared classically

The Organic “Wedge” 12
tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese “ranch”

Warm Octopus Salad 13
coco bean puree, piquillo peppers and arugula

Lobster B.L.T. Salad 18
avocado, candied bacon, tomato and grapefruit vinaigrette

Foie Gras, Prawn & Chicken Terrine 17
pickled beet salad

Laughing Bird Shrimp 16
sea urchin risotto

Dry Roasted Angry Mussels 11
chili oil, basil and lemon

Shrimp Dumplings & Sea Scallop 14
daikon kimchi and cilantro oil

Rice Crispy Crabcake 15
peppadew chutney and cumin citrus glaze

Soft Shell Snails 12
tomato, garlic and fisherman’s toast


Roasted Black Bass (for Two) 26/lb

Roasted Red Snapper (for Two) 26/lb

Roasted Halibut on the Bone (for One or for Two) 29/lb

Roasted Branzino with Caper Herb Vinaigrette (for One) 29

Steamed or Roasted Maine Lobster (2 lb or 3 lb) 25/lb

Seared Wild Salmon with Lentils 21

Swordfish “Steak Frites” and Maitre d’Hôtel Butter 23

Swordfish Steak “Rossini” 36
roasted shallot polenta and sautéed foie gras

Calamari “Mac & Cheese” 20
grilled calamari skewer

8, each

[garnishes and sauces for simple & whole fish]
Warm Artichoke Barigoule
Garlicky Clams & Chorizo
Lobster Ragout Minestrone
Gnocchi & Wild Mushrooms
Laughing Bird Shrimp Scampi


Monkfish Tail “Paella” 34
couscous pearls, chorizo, clams, mussels and shrimp

Maine Lobster Tail Carbonara 36
english peas, oven dried tomato, prosciutto and caviar

Oven Roasted Cod Tail 29
corn broth, butternut squash ravioli and Brussels sprouts

Giant Grilled Prawn Tails 39
basil, lemon and piquillo peppers

Pan Seared Halibut T-Bone 36
artichoke flan, romaine leaves and bacon-tomato jus

Dover Sole 40
candied grapefruit, cauliflower and brown butter vinaigrette


55 Day Dry Aged Ribeye 55
(Chicago Magazine; Chicago’s Best Steak ‘08)

Braised Lamb Shank 29
white bean “cassoulet”

Seawater-Brined Organic Chicken 27
root vegetables

Niman Ranch Pork Chop 29
garlicky clams and pea shoots


6.50, each or 3 for 15.00

Shrimp Home Fries
Whipped Potatoes
Cauliflower Brulée
Steamed Vegetable
Wild Mushrooms
Water Spinach
Crispy Artichokes
Tomato Couscous
French Fries