Food We Crave

Excellent seafood hits Midtown

Todd Mitgang has us fixated on seafood.

The chef of Crave Fishbar in Midtown East seasons his food with an impressive arsenal of spices and ingredients. Thai apple? Check. Red shiso? Check. Banana vinegar, fresh bamboo, gypsy chile? Present and accounted for.

While the most memorable dishes have a decidedly Asian influence, the menu calls on the wide-ranging cuisines that have marked Mitgang's career, including classic French, street-food Mexican at Cascabel Taqueria and upscale Thai at Kittichai.

Trust us and order fish, specifically the raw preparations: Thinly sliced fluke crudo ($14) is layered with Chinese celery and bamboo and punctuated with soy sauce. Crushed house-made oyster crackers and nori powder contrast the smoothness of chopped raw scallop ($15) mixed with a creamy tamari-, lime- and sesame-flavored mayonnaise.

Startlingly flawless flavor combinations continue: Lump crab ($16) sits on a warm salad of corn, tomato and zucchini, their vegetal sweetness offset by a swipe of chickpea purée. A spicy tomato sauce cuts the unctuous texture of seared tuna over honey-glazed brussels sprouts ($29).

Bookend your meal with a cider-infused take on a Manhattan ($13) and a warm chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream ($5); you, too, will be hooked.

Crave Fishbar, 945 Second Ave. (at 50th St.); 646-895-9585 or cravefishbar.com