Mongers Market + Kitchen
It’s a neighborhood seafood restaurant with a tiny little market up front, where you can ogle piles of fresh oysters and silvery-scaled fish filets on your way in. The compact dining room is simple, with wood walls and a big aqua-blue map of the Gulf of Mexico. If it’s available (and they’re scarce), order a fish collar, the bony triangle of tender, fatty meat tucked between the fish’s gills and the rest of its body. The medieval-looking thing arrives batter-fried, with fins sticking out at rakish angles. Fun to dip in sauce and nibble. Then you might zero in on the excellent mussels in a broth rich with fennel, tomatoes, and andouille; a baguette is tucked alongside. The filets in the fish and chips—cod when we were there—are super-generous in size; we wished the pieces had been smaller so as to get more of that airy batter with each mouthful. Everyone agreed that the best bite was the escolar crudo (the fish changes daily), pretty slices of fabulously fresh fish with a drizzle of great citrus-and-roasted-red-chile oil. In the evening, expect whole roasted fish, even a steak and fries, and—always—fish tacos and poke (not together, thankfully).
Drinks: Beer & wine