Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Massive New Seafood Restaurant Is Open in New York
The Fulton offers sweeping views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.
Prolific French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten recalls visiting the Fulton Street Fish Market back when he was "first starting as a young chef in New York City,” adding that in the mid-to-late 1980s, nobody really visited the Seaport District. Yet, over the last 30 years, the seaside neighborhood has become a top tourist attraction, and when the original fish market relocated to the Bronx in 2005, its historic 180-year-old home opened up for new tenants. On Tuesday, Vongerichten’s career came full circle with his debut of The Fulton, a sustainable and wild-caught seafood-centered eatery hugging the East River, located near the original Fulton Street Fish Market, on Pier 17.
“I wanted to find a way to respectfully pay homage to this previous time and place in my life,” says the chef, adding that he was keen to partner with the Seaport District to contribute to the waterfront area’s revival.
With aesthetics schemed by globally-recognized architecture firm Yabu Pushelberg––known for designing spaces for mega brands like Louis Vuitton and Four Seasons hotels––The Fulton claims a bi-level plot, equipped with indoor and outdoor seating for 200, pending the weather. On the ground floor there’s indoor seating for 40, plus an addition cocktail bar, meanwhile level two is equipped with room for 60 indoors, a raw bar, plus a 12-seat private dining room. It’s also worthwhile to note that tables by windows on The Fulton’s upper floor afford some pretty stellar views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.
With or without water in sight, The Fulton’s nautical theme manifests via earthy moss green ultra-suede banquettes and leather chair cushions, intermeshed with lightening fixtures made from hanging ropes that resemble buoys, and underwater motifs painted on walls by artists Chandler Noah and Diego Castaño of Manhattan-based art studio, En Viu. Vongerichten explains that he and his team wanted to illustrate the undersea journey from wall to plate.
And on the plate one will find seafood––mostly sourced from the East Coast, between nearby Montauk and Stonington, Maine––infused into a contemporary, New American-style menu. Think classic raw bar offerings––clams, oysters, and crab––alongside more composed, seasonal plates built of consciously-sourced and wild-caught seafood. There’s red snapper ceviche with rhubarb juice, and yuzu mustard-laced yellowfin tartare, alongside tagliatelle specked with cockles, and Maine lobster given the spring treatment via fresh green peas in a Gruyère broth. A couple meat dishes––wagyu tenderloin, and sweet and spicy grilled chicken––provide respite for non-fish fans.
By way of beverages, those keen on the health-oriented elixirs and zippy cocktails over at Vongerichten’s Flatiron plant-based number, abcV, the same man behind that plan––Jeremy Mustakas––is tackling beverages at The Fulton. Expect fruit and herb-forward tipples built with mostly lighter-color spirits, from a raspberry-lychee Bellini to a daiquiri spiked with white rum, Campari, and grapefruit.