Pepe Giallo: Branzino

Pepe Giallo
253 10th Ave
(between 24th St & 25th St)
New York, NY 10001


I had this fish for the first time in Santorini. This was the most expensive type of fish on the island because it is apparently the most tender and moist. That of course also has to do with how good the chef is… Just had this fish last night at a small, hidden Italian place in Chelsea. Though not rated very well on Yelp (3.5 stars), I thought it was actually pretty good. The fish was very fresh and grilled with lemon and sea salt. Simplicity was what I was in the mood for and it was what I got.

Friends ordered the Gnocchi Gorgonzola, Penne with meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, Pesto Spaghetti, Sea Bass with white wine and lemon sauce, and the Fusilli Norcina Sausage & Parsley In Cream Sauce. The Fusilli was by far the beat dish of the night. I’m pretty sure truffle oil was used though they did not mention it on the menu. Fusilli was perfectly al dente and the norcina sausage reminded me of my grandma’s Rou Mou (肉末). Sea bass was not very good. Definitely made from a frozen piece of fish. Sea bass is supposed to be soft and flaky and creamy tasting. Once you freeze the fish, it is impossible to get the softness and the creaminess back. Dessert was mediocre.. We tried three things. Only the tiramisu was decent. Pinot Noir was horrible.


I guess 3.5 stars is a good reflection of the overall place then. If you know what to order, it could be a 4.5 (Branzino and Fusilli). The ambience is also very nice and cozy. I would definitely come back.

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