The Hungry Cat | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

The Hungry Cat

photo by Anne Fishbein

With all the new restaurants vying for our attention, it can be easy to forget the places that were the new hotness just a few years back. And the truth is, when you return to those formerly hot eateries, too often the food and ambiance have not stood the test of time, and you get a feel for why this business is so, so difficult. The Hungry Cat certainly has its share of devoted customers, but if you’re not already among that company, I’d like to implore you to revisit one of the restaurant’s locations. Unlike so many of its brethren, these seafood-focused spots from chef David Lentz have not only stood the test of time but are, in fact, far better than much of what now qualifies as the new hotness. It’s a recent trend to open oyster bars and serve lobster rolls, but Lentz has been doing that for 10 years now, as well as delivering a menu of beautiful seafood dishes that aren’t built on nostalgia but rather a foundation of creativity and old-school technique. For its cocktails, its bright, airy dining room, its convivial brunches and fantastic dinners, the Hungry Cat is deserving of our renewed attention, even as it ends its first decade.— Besha Rodell