It’s a big review day for Cobble Hill’s new seafood-centric neighborhood restaurant Saint Julivert Fisherie, and the results are mixed. While Eater critic Ryan Sutton finds Alex Raij and Eder Montero’s new endeavor one of the best places to eat fish in NYC in his three-star review, the Times’s Pete Wells affords only one star to the restaurant, writing that “the menu plays it safe more often than it should.”
Wells still finds plenty of dishes to like at Saint Julivert, which has a global approach to seafood — including some Spanish influence that nods to Montero and Raij’s other restaurants in the city: El Quinto Pino, Txikito, and La Vara. Like those tapas restaurants, Saint Julivert similarly serves small plates. On the restaurant’s take on a tuna bake, Wells writes:
There is also the crispy tuna bake, a peculiarly satisfying hybrid that crosses a tuna noodle casserole by way of India with fideuà, the Spanish dish that treats pasta like the rice in paella. The noodles, short ridged tubes, are toasted and cooked with oil-cured tuna in a tomato sauce that is seasoned with turmeric and curry leaves. It is one of the most fearless, not to mention filling, dishes on a menu that could use a little more of both qualities.
The fluke ceviche and a crab and avocado salad with yuzu juice and trout roe, however, seem like mere reproductions of what other restaurants are already doing, according to Wells. But he still admits that Saint Julivert does them better. The sautéed skate, he writes, is very fresh and skillfully browned, but the garlic chips and sliced dried chiles on top don’t make much of an impression.
Wells also insists that it’s difficult to become full at the restaurant. “Seafood this good is expensive, but the menu doesn’t stray very far above $20; the result is that portions can seem somewhat airy,” he writes. He recommends paying the extra $7 to have fried oysters added to the $19 prego sandwich, regardless of hunger level. One star.