The Upper West Side restaurant that chef Michael Psilakis once called Onera, then Kefi, then Gus & Gabriel, has been completely reconfigured for his latest venture, Fish Tag. He tore down walls to open the space up, went with exposed brick and Australian Cyprus wood, and installed a granite-topped counter in the front room that accommodates 30 and serves the full menu, which is all about nachos. Kidding, it's seafood. Specifically, Fish Tag is a "seafood parlor," emphasizing a "concise" menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes complemented by a huge selection of wines, beers and spirits. (Ten beers on tap and fourteen by the bottle.)
Psilakis also brought in the wild card chef Ryan Skeen to create the fish-focused menu, in which meat plays a supporting role. The menu is grouped into a collection of dishes that progress from light & delicate to heavy & bold, with wine pairings suggested for each one. Options from the small plates section include Grilled Prawn, Whipped Feta and Spicy Yellow Chilies Bruschetta with cumin, cracked peppercorn and garlic; Bacala and Skordalia Brandade “Melt” with kefaloteri, smoked eggplant, and tomato confit. Larger dishes include Grilled Swordfish and Loukaniko with Middle Eastern-spiced cracked bulger salad and grilled Tuscan kale; and Grilled Branzino stuffed with Head Cheese with mushrooms confit.
Whatever you order, you can choose to depart from the chefs' preparation and simply have your fish grilled over an open flame and dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil, accompanied with a warm salad of braised bitter greens, olives, tomato and heirloom potato confit. There is also a house cheese and bread station, house-made charcuterie, and a sushi refrigerator that will substitute raw fish for classic Jewish style appetizing selections of cured, smoked and salted fish. Something tells us that Psilakis has really figured out his clientele on the Upper West Side.
Fish Tag // 222 West 79th Street // (212) 362-7470