By David Porat
Nighthawks on Christopher was previously reviewed and was in search of an identity, which has been found with a new Chef and a new angle for the menu. Mediterranean seafood, very fresh and prepared simply is something that is not overly available in the West Village similar to some mid-town restaurants. Thanks in part to Eddie Seitllari, who has grown passionate about fresh and organic ingredients. Seitllari is originally from Albania and worked at Kellari Taverna uptown. The prices at Nighthawks are much more gentle than the midtown prices for freshly grilled fish and seafood.
During a recent tasting that included some new menu items and some existing menu items, the primarily fish oriented plates were delicately prepared with clean tasting ingredients. Both the Iron Skillet Shrimp and the Maryland Crab Cake had added ingredients that complimented the seafood flavors.
The Shrimp was with a very refreshing combination of a bed of beets and orange in a light dressing. The crab cake had a good bit going on with grilled squash and a “cashew pesto” dressed with an orange olive “pistou” that I may have called a salsa. We also tried the Ktzitzot meatballs which, according to the owner Fikret, are an Israeli style made with ground lamb and rib eye. They stood out to me with their flavor and texture.
Plates from the main courses included a Stuffed Lobster and Dover Sole. We also enjoyed a side of Cauliflower which was braised in tomato and middle-eastern spices. Both the larger plates were attractively plated. The lobster with crab, which can be “dressed” up too much, was in fact not overly breaded and did have the sweetness of crab and chunks of lobster, some back in the shell. This was served dramatically with crispy fried fresh linguini that helped make the dish stand up tall and provided a contrasting crunch to the tender seafood.
The atmosphere is warm, with gentle lighting and friendly service. Fikret Uslu is working hard and thoughtfully to make Nighthawks a local friendly place where you can get great food at a very reasonable price. We hope they stay around and get better known in the neighborhood.
679 Greenwich Ave at the Corner of Christopher