There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame…NYC Restaurant Review

This Dame plays hard to get.

It took weeks of jumping on Resy at noon eastern time to lock down this new restaurant in the Village.

I finally secured a reservation for 6:15 last night.

After happily being carded for both our identity and vaccination we were seated at a swell outdoor table.

Dame is tiny so the challenge of obtaining a reservation is understandable, but still annoying.

There is not much of a vibe despite the efficient staff and tasty, creative food.

Several gents sauntered by to rudely ask for money…what happened to please, may I have some money in a well modulated voice, but that’s what comes with outside dining…at least they were not robbing us as is the latest trend in Los Angeles.

We ordered a bottle of delectable Sybille Kuntz organic 2020 Orange Riesling ($75) which accompanied the divine Grilled Oysters blanketed with  a luscious green Chartreuse Hollandaise sauce ($5 each).

This was quickly joined by skewers of Grilled Squid with Shishito Peppers ($14). The squid was flavorful, tender and charred to perfection.

The Cucumber Salad with Smoked Mussels & Dill was delicious with the cucumbers cold and crispy sprinkled with flavorful fresh dill and the mussels tiny yet sweet, but the mussel portion meager ($18).

The garlicky emulsified mussel sauce should not be ignored. Mop it up with an order of $4 bread.

Dame’s signature flaky white Fish and Chips was fabulous, tender and crispy as were the chips and tartar sauce, but 1 piece of fish for $29?!

Chef Szymanski’s process includes combining all-purpose flour with rice flour, adding baking powder for a ballooning effect and honey for color. He cuts the beer batter with vodka and the process goes on and ends with a trick where he sprays, rather than dribbles, both fish and chips in a fine mist of malt vinegar, using an atomizer.

The Lobster with Braised Sweetbreads & Tomatoes was mushy and the half lobster tail was minuscule ($38).

The Skate Wing with Chanterelles & Potted Shrimp was not the sweetest skate, but the sauce and mushrooms were excellent ($34).

The adorably appealing Eaton Mess was so yummy with crunchy meringue, whipped cream and fresh berries ($16). Being a colonial, my husband was very familiar with the divine Mess ($12).

Dame, described as a English seafood restaurant,  began with a $1000 investment.

It was called Dame Summer Club, a 2020 pandemic pop up a few doors away from the permanent restaurant, created by business and personal partners, Patricia Howard who manages to perfection and British chef Ed Szymanski.

I would consider an encore at Dame.

Beyond the essential fish and chips, ignore the mains and order all the appetizers and a bottle of wine, a cocktail or beer.

I would love to see the prices deflate a bit or the portions increase.

I must acknowledge Szymanski and Howard’s commitment to donate profits to social-justice causes.

The couple also host guest chef dinners and Sunday series events.

Recognizing the community minded and social justice intentions, I still think Dame is pricey.

Perhaps Malibu Seafood with an ocean view has spoiled me. 3 huge pieces of perfectly fried fish with crispy chips are as delish as Dame and the price point of $19.95 much more affordable.

Dame 87 MacDougal Street New York City, New York. Open Tuesday-Saturday 6–11pm. Proof of vaccination is mandatory. Reservations on Resy. New reservations are released on Resy at noon three weeks in advance.

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