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‘Vegan’ Mayor Eric Adams Under Fire for Repeatedly Ordering Fish at NYC Restaurants

Plus, nine in 10 restaurants say they depend on outdoor dining to survive — and more intel

A man, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, stands against a backdrop of Wheat Thins and other snacks at a bodega.
Mayor Eric Adams, photographed in Marinello’s Gourmet Deli in Brooklyn.
Lev Radin/Getty Images

Eric Adams put the rumors to rest this week: Yes, the city’s “first vegan mayor” does occasionally eat fish. The news came to the fore following a press conference on Monday afternoon, in which reporters confronted the mayor about recent accounts of him ordering fish at restaurants, according to the New York Times. “I am perfectly imperfect, and have occasionally eaten fish,” Adams said in a statement after the conference.

The announcement follows a report from Politico on Saturday, which found that Adams routinely orders fish from Midtown Italian restaurant Osteria La Baia. (Following the report, a mayoral spokesperson denied that Adams eats fish.) It’s not the first time media outlets have reported on the mayor’s meatless eating claims. Last summer, the New York Post wrote that Adams dined on broiled fish at Rao’s in East Harlem. His campaign denied the report, claiming he ordered the eggplant parmesan — without cheese.

Critics say Adams’s purported “vegan” diet is the latest in a series of debated stories that concern the mayor’s rental income, Brooklyn residency, commencement speeches, and other public claims. Adams’s diet, a central theme of his mayoral campaign, has informed multiple policies in his first months in office, including his recent roll out of a Vegan Friday initiative at city schools and an expansion of the city’s Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, which treats chronic disease through diet and exercise.

Nine in 10 restaurants depend on outdoor dining, survey says

Outdoor dining is “vital to their survival” and long-term success for nine in 10 restaurants, according to a new survey from the NYC Hospitality Alliance, a non-profit that represents thousands of food businesses citywide. According to a poll of 726 restaurants, 91 percent of respondents reported that a permanent outdoor dining program was “very important” to the future of their business. The survey was released ahead of a remote City Council hearing on Tuesday morning, in which local officials will weigh the future of outdoor dining.

Brooklyn’s best Thai restaurant pivots again

Ugly Baby is back with another pandemic pivot this week. The restaurant, largely credited with serving Brooklyn’s best Thai food, is now taking reservations through Tock — previously, diners had to message the restaurant on Instagram — and groups of four or more are now required to order family-sized “meal sets” to share. Bookings must be made at least a week ahead of time, according to its Tock page, and like before, customers will need to place the entirety of their order at the time of making a reservation.

A Mexican restaurant owner returns to Brooklyn

After closing Boca Santa in 2020 due to the pandemic, and returning to Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, Natalie Hernandez vowed to make a comeback. “Don’t worry,” she said following the closure of her short-lived Mexican restaurant. “I’ll definitely be back to New York City.” True to her word, the restaurant owner is back with a pop-up at Bed-Stuy bar Doris on February 13, where she plans to serve her popular mole tacos, chicharron quesadillas, and more starting at 4 p.m. Cash only.