When you think of the best raw food dishes in NYC, sushi is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But today, many NYC restaurants offer raw foods that think beyond the traditional Japanese staple. Much to the delight of adventurous diners, chefs are preparing carpaccio, crudo, and ceviche with flavorful and sophisticated twists. Most dishes are seafood based, but you’ll come across tasty vegetarian options too. Whether you’re craving savory salmon crudo or vegetables marinated in olive oil and spices, these are five of the best raw food dishes in NYC.
Zucchini Carpaccio at Fig & Olive, 420 W 13th St
Founder Laurent Halasz wanted Fig & Olive to celebrate the simple, fresh cuisine of the South of France. The restaurant reflects Halasz’s vision in dishes like the zucchini carpaccio. A signature recipe by head chef Pascal Lorange, this light appetizer uses few ingredients – zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts, with salt and pepper to taste. A perfect medley of flavors, the zucchini carpaccio proves less is more. Not near the Meatpacking District? Fig & Olive has locations in Midtown and the Upper East Side.
Lobster, Coconut, and Avocado Ceviche at ZZ’s Clam Bar, 169 Thompson St
Brought to you by Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalanznick – the trio behind Parm, Carbone, and Santina – ZZ’s Clam Bar specializes in raw seafood plates and elegant cocktails. This is not a flip-flops and picnic table kind of establishment. Expect the concept of the clam bar re-imagined – the restaurant accommodates only 12 people in plush black leather ballroom chairs and a reservation is required. Nonetheless, you are guaranteed an ultimate dining experience thanks to exquisite dishes like the lobster ceviche soaked in coconut milk with avocado and chili. And you can look forward to a drink menu by Thomas Waugh formerly of Death & Co.
Cheezy Burrito at Rockin’ Raw, 171 Sullivan St
The flavors of Southern Creole and Peruvian cuisine come together at Rockin’ Raw, a vegan and gluten-free restaurant in Greenwich Village. Ingredients are organic, seasonal, and for the most part, locally sourced. The inventive, nutrient-packed menu will make the heart of any raw foodie sing. One of the most raved about dishes is the Cheezy Burrito made with fresh greens, salsa, sour cream, and seed cheese in a sun-dried tomato wrap, and served with Cajun jicama fries.
Raw Scallops at Estela, 47 E Houston St
Estela opened in 2013 in a space that counts the Knitting Factory as a prior occupant. Under the direction of co-owners Thomas Carter, former beverage director at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and James Beard Award- nominated chef Ignacio Mattos, Estela serves up Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with New York flare – many ingredients come from the city’s independent bakeries and food purveyors. Melding sweet and savory, the raw scallops with green almonds and ramps are the perfect meal on a warm summer’s evening. A diverse wine list boasts bottles from France, Italy, Spain, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
Estella raw scallops photo via Instagram.