dinner at Fishtail, David Burke, proprietor

David Burke's enterprises are proliferating faster than offshore garment factories. Not that that's a bad thing. Necessarily. We've had several lunches at this one, have been to others over the years, and by and large concluded that he runs a professional operation. So today I was mixing dough for the gfs at 6:45 this morning (cue tiny violins), just didn't feel like making anything for dinner. Not even reservations. Coats on, walked over, bar booths at Fishtail. True to the "I'm not really dieting, I'm just avoiding excess" mantra, I did not allow myself their Dark and Stormy (classic: Pusser's Dark Rum, ginger beer, fresh lime, all very cold in tall glass, over ice; Burke's: all of the foregoing plus a little cane syrup). Now there's a treat.

But Dr. Atkins is still haunting us.So for starters, Burke's Wedge Salad, one for two. This we liked. Half a baby iceberg lettuce, tomato vinaigrette plus lumpy blue cheese dressing, a little mache, a few chunks of bacon and two (two?) pecan halves. I gave him one of mine. Dr. Atkins likes nuts. Mains: mine - tempura monkfish with "Thai peanut chili" sauce (no peanuts, no heat) and slivered veg; his - grilled branzino with caper herb vinaigrette. The tempura treatment made the monkfish take the shape of a Koi ready to do battle; I asked the server to remove the head and tail. Fish dishes, taken together: B minus. No dessert, no coffee, one glass of drinkable pinot noir for me, tap water. $130. Now really. I would say he's spreading himself too thin except that would not be kind.

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