El Fish Marisqueria (Spanish for Seafood Restaurant) opened Thursday, introducing Mexican-inspired seafood to the Upper West Side. It is the latest venture from Chef Julian Medina (Toloache, Coppelia, Tacuba) and Restaurateur Louis Skibar. The expansive menu focuses on local seafood with a Mexican flair, bringing a unique, family-friendly offering to the neighborhood. The restaurant is offering dinner service to start and will introduce weekend brunch in the coming weeks.
“We are excited to join the lively Upper West Side neighborhood, surrounded by so much culture,” says Chef Medina. “Like the area, our menu is diverse—we’ve blended Mexican traditional dishes with my own style—and we look forward to welcoming the community.”
To seek inspiration for the menu, Chef Medina embarked on a culinary odyssey to Mexico’s fishing capital, Ensenada. He visited fish and farmers’ markets, discovering the perfect ingredients to evolve new and traditional dishes from the region. Chef Medina and Skibar partnered with Matthew Parent, a renowned oyster farmer with more than 20 years of commercial sea scalloping experience, to source fresh ingredients for the raw bar, some of which come from Parent’s 5 acres of oyster farms in Massachusetts.
The menu also includes multiple options for ceviches and tostadas like the Tostada Ensenada with crab salad, octopus and shrimp ($25), traditional Mexican appetizers like Pescadillas Acapulco ($17), Yucatan Fish Dip ($18), and Latin-influenced New England-style seafood starters such as Clam Chowder Tortilla Soup ($15).
There are several taco options as well, including Tacos de Langosta with peanut salsa macha ($22) and Carnitas de Atun, chile-rubbed tuna ($17). The entree section features specialty dishes like Fideo Seco–Mexican noodles served with lobster in a black truffle tomato-chipotle cream sauce ($39), Brochetas De Salmon Kung Po ($32), and Langosta Ensenada ($49). The menu also includes a vast vegetable section, with sides such as Corn Esquite ($10), and Piloncillo-Miso Glazed Eggplant ($12).
The bar program was developed by Gustavo Zamora, El Fish Marisqueria’s Bar Manager, who was previously the Head Bartender at AtlaNYC, Cosme’s sister bar. Signature cocktails include the Mezcalita de Mandarina, with Bahnez Mezcal and mandarin cordial, and Fresa Sour, with Pisco 100, dry vermouth, and fresh strawberry. Margaritas include La Skinny, Chef’s Margarita, Sandia, Spicy, and Tapatio Mule. Sake, bottled beer and draft beer, are also available, in addition to a wine selection handpicked with a variety of old and new world options, including an option from Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico.
The 1,500 square foot space is semi-divided by a brick arched wall, with a 60-seat dining area and oyster bar on one side, and a 15-seat cocktail bar on the other. The interior decor embodies the oceanic theme, incorporating a calming blue and pale green color scheme to create a dialogue between the restaurant and the sea. The vintage bar is crafted out of mahogany with gold brass finishes, and plants and blue sea-inspired tiles are found throughout the space, for a continual coastal ambiance.
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