Ditch Plains. The latest seafood type shack in the West Village. The Pearl came first (still my favorite), then Mary’s Fish Camp but I believe their heritage is from New England. Ditch Plains is the surfers hang out in Montauk at the end of Long Island. I had high hopes.
Situated on the corner of Bedford and Downing street where there are a mecca of good restaurants. The interior is dark yet open. High ceilings with large booths on the right, tables for 2 and four on the left and a big bar area when you walk in with 2 flat panels showing surfing. Plenty of hanging can be done.
They serve food starting with breakfast thru late night. You can order anything on the menu anytime.
The music was fantastic. They get a A plus for that. Modest Mouse, The Clash, The Killers. Someone knows their music.
We found it hard to decide what to eat. There is plenty for sharing but very few main courses. Of course there is a lobster roll but the other main courses were chicken pot pie and fish of the day. One of the best things on the wine menu is you can order full and half bottles. I like that. These are the same guys that own Landmarc where half bottles are abundant.
The fish of the day was salmon, not my favorite, so we spent some time trying to figure out what to eat. We began with a dozen oysters called Moons from Rhode Island. If I were a betting person, I’d guess our waitress had never been a waitress before. When I asked where the oysters were from she was baffled. She also kept just filling up our wine glass even if we had just a few sips. Very annoying. The oysters were good. Plump and juicy served with a heavy handed vinegar mignonette and a too light on the horseradish classic oyster sauce.
We decided to go with 4 other appetizers because there are really no main courses. One thing is nice that we didn’t order is a cheese platter and a meat platter which is great for parties to share. We ordered the spicy calamari salad. Pieces of deep fried calamari mixed in radicchio and greens. Tasty but way too heavy handed on the spice. Too too spicy. The other salad was a warm shrimp salad with frisee and bacon. Earlier on, I had asked the waitress if the mussels could be made without garlic. She had no idea how mussels were made by her response but she asked and said they could. So, you would think she would mention that the warm shrimp salad is laden with garlic. Alas. Big chunks of bacon served in a warm vinaigrette with shrimp and frisee was nice but was there a reason behind the 30 plus pieces of sliced garlic? Someone back in the kitchen is way over thinking this.
Our next 2 appetizers were mussels and salmon tartare. Mussels come 4 different ways which is nice. We opted for the standard white wine and shallots. They were very good and the sauce was delicious. We hit the bread basket and sopped everything up. The salmon was chopped finely with a lemon flavoring and served with tiny toasted breads. Not that interesting or appealing.
When the check comes so does a small bowl of salt water taffy which is a nice touch. I love salt water taffy. I’m not running back to Ditch Plains. They really need to rethink the menu. It is way too limited for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is fine. Maybe I am not the customer. It is good for grazing with a young crowd. The music rocks and is loud which is fine because I like that music. The couple sitting next to us were village locals checking out the spot. They were probably in their mid-50’s. She says to him, three times because he couldn’t hear her, this is a place to come stoned to. He laughed. I think she summed it up.