Squid-to-Table

Where to eat New York's most sustainable seafood

The humble squid doesn't always enjoy the same culinary clout as more glamorous sea creatures. But it doesn't present the same ethical issues either.

The 4 million pounds of squid harvested locally each year–nearly off the shores of Long Island–routinely gets the green light on seafood watch lists. Why? The sustainable squid reproduces quickly and contains few toxins. Plus, the fishermen who catch squid don't drag anything along the ocean floor, a practice that wreaks havoc on the ecosystem.

Luckily, this feel-good ingredient is also versatile in the kitchen. Chefs know that thanks to the squid's delicate flavor and distinctive texture, it works in dishes beyond fried calamari. At Esca, local squid gets marinated with chiles, lemon zest and rosemary before taking a quick trip to the grill ($17). At Txikito, it's sliced into ribbons, cooked a la plancha and served with sweet onions and pine nuts ($16). And Cookshop offers seared Montauk squid with spinach, walnuts, cumin and saffron aioli ($9).

If you want to try your hand with squid at home, take some inspiration from these chefs, then visit Blue Moon Fish at the Union Square and Grand Army Plaza farmers' markets to stock up.