Hours: Lunch: Sunday, Wednesday-Saturday; dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till midnight
Seafood-centric Spanish food in a small, cheery spot from Scott Worsham and Sari Zernich Worsham.
Named for the great American food writer M.F.K. Fisher, MFK is a Spanish-influenced, seafood-focused restaurant located in a subterranean space where former Drawing Room chef Nick Lacasse is turning out small plates of unvarnished simplicity. He has the good sense not to obscure the attributes of salt-cured anchovies from northern Spain with anything more complicated than buttery toast and a light shower of lemon zest, and lightly pickled boquerones, white anchovies, are mounted on grilled bread with shaved fennel and piquillo peppers. Either way, the fish is the focus on these little bites. That same priority is evident among a selection of simple, mostly unadorned grilled sea creatures, particularly a skewer of head-on shrimp dressed lightly in chile oil. Those shrimp appear on the menu more than anything else: in a lightly dressed green papaya salad, and in one of the few larger plates, a rustic bouillabaisse featuring clams and two pieces of fatty cobia collar. The fryer produces some crispy manchego-and-ham croquettes, one of the few things on the menu that would benefit from more seasoning. Among the mostly vegetal plates is a bowl of the small, circular Sardinian pasta known as fregola, not unlike Israeli couscous, tossed with julienned strips of tart green peaches, mint, basil, and grated raw sheep's milk cheese. The small plates at MFK qualify it as one of the most unaffected tapas bars in the city. You're meant to drink with them from the list of brisk, bright cocktails and the predominantly Old World biodynamic wine list of mostly whites and rosés. There are a few reds too, and you'll naturally turn to those when contemplating the 18-ounce steak for two, the most remarkable dish at MFK and the one most at odds with its sea-centric focus. Read the full review >>
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