Time to channel your inner seal and slurp some whole fish down your gullet! The annual new catch Holland herring are making their way to the city next week and into our eager throats. The mild young fishies are reaching their peak season and there are a few places offering them up for consumption with the traditional onions, eggs and other accoutrement.
Beginning Monday, June 16th, the Grand Central Oyster Bar kicks off their "Holland Herring Festival," which begins at noon on the day and runs for about three weeks or until the restaurant is all fished out. They're offering two presentations, including the traditional fresh herring ($7) with chopped onions, chopped hard-boiled egg and chopped scallions, as well as fresh herring salad ($7.95) for those less inclined to chomp on a whole filet.
Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit also throws an annual herring party with a special herring feast with all the fixings. The three-course menu begins with a herring plate adorned with filets accompanied by mustard, buttermilk, rubarb, horseradish, Västerbotten (a hard, cow's milk cheese) and peanut potato. Swedish Meatballs, Scandinavian Bouillabaise and a Strawberry Napoleon round out the meal, which is available during lunch for $48. They're also offering just the herring plate as a first course for $21. The special is available now through July 3rd.
Finally, Lower East Side institution Russ & Daughters expects to have their herring catch in the next week days; when they do, they'll be available by the tray (10 filleted herring) for $45. The shop recommends serving the fish with a starch such as potato, bread or crackers or pairing them with a tart wine or clear spirit. Conversely, you can also enjoy a filet while standing at the counter like the pros do.