This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

12Jun/16

HERRING FESTIVAL 2016

The new Dutch herring arrives in the city on June 15 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Grand Central Oyster Bar, Grand Central Terminal, lower level, 212-490-6650
Russ & Daughters, 179 East Houston St., 212-475-4880
Restaurant Aquavit, 65 East 55th St., 212-307-7311

The new herring is almost here. After being sampled by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the Hollandse Nieuwe Haring from Scheveningen will be air-expressed to New York City, where it is available at several prime locations June 15 through July 1. The Grand Central Oyster Bar serves the Silver of the Sea from its special cart (marked De Haringkoning — the Herring King) in a cozy nook by the bar, accompanied by chopped egg, diced raw onion, and seeded flatbread, along with genever (Dutch gin) as desired. Each bite is a delectable taste sensation that should be slowly savored, never rushed. You can also delight in the new catch at Russ & Daughters, where the marvelous matjes herring, two fillets attached at the tail, is available for takeout at the counter, although you should strongly consider ordering in advance; there’s a reason why their latest book is called Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built. There will also be a special herring menu at Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard St. as well as kosher herring at their restaurant downstairs at the Jewish Museum. Tickets are also still available for the Russ & Daughters Herring Pairing at Astor Center on June 30 ($79), with chefs Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone of Contra and Wildair preparing special herring dishes accompanied by sparkling wines, spirits, and other cocktails, along with live music by the Jamie Saft Trio. And Aquavit’s annual Herring Festival runs June 20 through July 15, with various herring plates available for lunch ($16-$32), including the Adventurous, comprising matjes fillets with rhubarb, rullmop, lingonberry, sherry, horseradish, curry, and ramp. Advice columnist Ann Landers once said, “If you want to catch trout, don’t fish in a herring barrel.” Well, for the next several weeks, fishing in a herring barrel is definitely the way to go.

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