Catch, New Restaurant By Top Chef Winner: Meatpacking

Hook this dish at the new Catch

We'll confess that the flash of chef Hung Huynh's new Meatpacking District restaurant, Catch, had us momentarily blinded to any good food we might find within.

This Top Chef winner presides over a trilevel tower devoted to seafood that houses a head-spinning number of spaces. An elevator opens onto an expansive open kitchen, raw bar and dining room. The other floors house a chef's table and a glassed-in penthouse lounge and rooftop terrace.

The menu is not without stumbles: A two-pound buttered Cantonese lobster shellacked in ginger, scallions and sake doesn't hold up under its price tag ($78) or too-sweet sauce.

But we struck buried-seafood treasure with a dish that embraces the restaurant's more-is-better ethos.

For the Crab-Stuffed Calamari ($16), Huynh crisps diced brioche in mounds of onion and olive oil, browns chorizo and heaps the mixture into tubular calamari with crabmeat. After a spin on the plancha, the calamari is plated with chickpeas cooked in lobster stock and tossed with piquillo peppers, lime, parsley and mint.

Seared over high heat, the tender squid encases a mingling of bright ocean, earthy legume and well-greased porcine flavors.

More is sometimes more.

Catch, 21 Ninth Ave. (at W. 13th St.; entrance is on W. 13th St.); 212-392-5978 or