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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

At Hunt & Fish Club, great food on your plate, but no big game heads on the wall

At the Hunt & Fish Club in Manhattan, my Restaurant Week entree of juicy Arctic Char was pan seared to crisp the skin, finished in the oven; and served with shaved fennel, orange segments, Kalamata olives and oven-roasted tomatoes, above.
My son, who is trying to cut down on beef, chose Chicken Giardiniera -- a half-bird served over arugula and pickled vegetables.



Don't look for the stuffed heads of big game animals on the walls of the elegant dining room at the Hunt & Fish Club NYC or for wild boar on the menu.

And despite the name, the Manhattan restaurant isn't a club. 

Instead, the "hunt" and "fish" in the name means the kitchen specializes in steak and seafood, the hostess told us after we had a delicious three-course, fixed-price lunch there on Tuesday.

My first thought: 

Is anyone really "hunting" cattle, most of which are confined to pens, and forced to eat grain, chicken-house waste and other nasty stuff. 

Luckily for a non-meat eater like me, the limited 2017 Summer Restaurant Week lunch menu at the Hunt & Fish Club offers salads, seafood dishes and sorbet for dessert (three courses for $29, the price of an entree at other times, plus tax and tip).

Just off the dining room is a wall case filled with steak knives engraved with customers' name, including one for "Tony Orlando."

25th anniversary

The NYC Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs until Aug. 18 at about 300 fine-dining restaurants in Manhattan, plus 90 more in the four other boroughs.

If you spend $35 or more and charge your meal to a pre-registered American Express card, you'll receive a $5 statement credit.

Our total was $74.75, including a 20% tip and $5.15 in sales tax.

My advice is to pick a menu you like, not just go to a restaurant run by a celebrity chef, and eat as early as 11:30 a.m. to avoid crowds and delays in getting your food.

And drink tap water. Ordering iced tea and coffee will blow all of your savings and could easily drive the cost of lunch for two to more than $100.

The Restaurant Week promotion began in 1992, when three-course lunches were $19.92, plus tax and tip.

I try to avoid all the carbs in bread, but couldn't resist the enormous hot popovers served at the Hunt & Fish Club -- perfect for sopping up the broth of my fish entree.
Me and my son shared two appetizers, a cold Three Grain Salad of farro, lentil, quinoa, cucumber and radish in a tangy red-wine vinaigrette, above; and Broiled Oysters, served in the half-shell with creamy corn, pancetta and spicy bread crumbs, below.
I usually don't eat dessert, but enjoyed the refreshing sorbet, above.
My son loved the Almond & White Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Lemon Sorbet.
The main dining room, above, and the barroom, below.
DETAILS: Hunt & Fish Club NYC is at 125 W. 44th St., in Manhattan's Theater District; 1-212-575-4949. The restaurant is part of the AKA Times Square Hotel. Website: Go fish