Some restaurants are all about the scene, while others have great food and no scene at all. We respect a good crowd, but if we had to choose between them, we’d opt for excellent food. But once in awhile, a restaurant comes along that’s just the right combination of scene and cuisine.This fall, it’s Catch, a new, three-story seafood spot in the Meatpacking District. When you consider the owners also run Abe & Arthur’s and Tenjune, it’s no surprise that they can draw a crowd. What’s more surprising is that the food is as good as it is thanks to Top Chef’s Hung Huynh, who’s overseeing the menu. And if you sit on the second floor, you can watch the chefs in act through the open kitchen as they turn out sushi rolls, raw bar offerings and more creative fare, like a salmon belly carpaccio and even better chorizo and crab-stuffed calamari. Not everything is terrific, but there are plenty of great dishes on the menu, including desserts.My favorite find was the Dungeness Crab Tagliatelli in a vibrant scallion tomato sauce. It’s served in the shell and seasoned with plenty of fresh basil, shallots and garlic. What really sets it apart is that it’s tossed with flying fish roe, which lend the dish texture and a briny burst of flavor — tangy, light, and full of flavor.
Address: 21 Ninth Ave., at 13th Street