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Lure Fish bar

142 Mercer St., New York, NY 10012

NYtimes recommended dishes :
Fried calamari, $13; whole grilled dorado, $27

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When the owners of downtown's cutest retro clubhouse, Canteen, decided it might be fun to play with grown-ups, they gambled big, opened Lever House and discovered that when it comes to success, there's no time like the present. Next? How they gonna tweak it down in Soho, after they'd been uptown? By replacing Canteen's basement playpen with Lure Fishbar's yacht-docked-in-Saint-Tropez interior. So spacious and kitsch-free is its glamorous high-gloss-wood-and-white-leather fantasy that it quells any lingering queasiness one may have about its sub-sidewalk location. (What may shake your equilibrium is that all the hard, reflective surfaces richochet sound enough to shiver your timbres.) Lure's most grown-up maneuver, though, is its least obvious. Josh Capon, Canteen's former chef, remains at Lure's helm, yet not only does his brisk and flavorful seafood preparations betray no trace of his earlier commission, it reveals a much more adventurous spirit than one would have guessed was hiding behind all that melted cheddar. — Hal Rubenstein
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