EMM Group’s Mark Birnbaum, Eugene Remm, and Michael Hirtenstein, the owners of Abe & Arthur’s, have recently teamed with Top Chef alum Hung Huynh to open a multi-level seafood restaurant, Catch, in the heart of the Meatpacking District. The massive space decked out with a raw bar and chef's table is certainly impressive, but how does the food stand up to the hype?
The Great News for Bread Lovers: From an Eater commenter: “Beautiful restaurant and great meal. Best pretzels with sweet butter, as the bread is genius! Absolutely loved my food and such upbeat energy in the place.” [Eater Comments]
More Great News: Another Eater commenter is in agreement: “I was lucky enough to go opening night! Honestly the best seafood in NYC! Definitely going back soon!” [Eater Comments]
The Rave: Of the very mixed Yelp reviews, this one had the highest praise: “Everything was perfect....The scene seemed to be similar to SoHo house...very trendy, pretty people and people who seemed to "know people" haha. ??We were late for our reservation, and the hostess didn't even care. She cared more about us having a drink before and being happy with the whole experience. Upon seating, I really began to notice how beautiful (and expensive) this restaurant was. The entire ceiling is made from copper, the tables a thick Oak, the seats vintage leather...everything screamed "You're getting what you pay for”. Our waitress was attentive but not overbearing, educated and fresh. Her recommendations were perfect: 2 apps and split the Surf n Turf. We had a glass of wine to accompany dinner and that was it. A fabulous meal for about $150, honestly cheap I'm sure compared to what most people spend there. Lobster was delish, steak great (get the balsamic sauce with it!) and well prepared, rice cake tuna app was unique and phenom, and so were the scallop dumplings. Everything was perfect! We will return again, and hopefully soon.??*TIP: Make a reservation, and request to sit on the second level near the kitchen. So COOL to see how your food is prepared!” [Yelp]
The So-So News: A review from Open Table can’t justify the price: “Fish focused menu with almost no meat. Server recommended sharing plates. Food was delicious - interesting and fresh. Service was excellent, especially given they've been open less than 2 weeks. Desserts were beautiful, whimsical, and yummy. However, the portions were miniscule for the price. $18 for a "tapas" barely enough for 5 people to just taste! We had 10 "non-entrees" (hot, cold, tapas) + 2 entrees + 3 side dishes. It was not enough food so we ordered 4 desserts, which were surprisingly large. With the desserts, we were no longer hungry but certainly no one was full. With tap water for all (except for 3 drinks total and no coffee), bill came to $75 pp. Not a good value for the money. I therefore (sadly) can't recommend Catch.” [Open Table]
The Bad News: From a disappointed diner on Open Table: “In a word the experience was terrible! After ordering, the wait staff forgot what we ordered. They kept coming to our table with food and asking if we ordered it. They were doing the same thing to people at other tables, which leads me to believe that they were either disorganized, or just plain inexperienced at the job of serving. At one point a waiter spilled food on me and it stained the side of my dress. Did I mention it was also my birthday that night?? Wouldn’t recommend it and wouldn’t go back!” [Open Table]
More Bad News: An Eater Commenter: "Catch should not be on this list. Was there last night. The service is terrible. I can sniff a meatpacking restaurant that has zero staying power a mile a way and catch is a perfect example." [Eater Comments]
The Report on the Scene: Zagat doesn't have a comment on the food but they do check out the scene on night one and have this takeaway: "We’d say, “If you can’t get into Abe & Arthur’s on a busy night, head here,” but something tells us that this haunt will be just as crowded soon enough. It definitely seems geared toward the type of patron that likes their dinner with a side of scene."
The Positive Tips: Some tips left on Foursquare, "The "catch" roll - very nice and well named. The peanut butter dessert is totally worth all the flavor temperatures!" "Very loud, maybve the loudest in town and don't be in a hurry. Muscles are great!" and "come back for the cookie bucket for dinner! omg. looks to die for. order the iris cocktail. yum."