Under a Hundred: A surprisingly filling meal of spaghettini and sea bream at Joso's

How our bellies were left happy and our gums stained at this Yorkville stalwart


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A view of the pescatarian-friendly meal

For the past four decades, Joso’s (202 Davenport Road) has been wooing guests  — everyone from David Cronenberg to Drake — with its fish and bacchanalian artwork. And at 41 years young, the place is ever perky.

Upon walking in, you are seduced by the voluptuous sculptures, and you can’t help but get in the mood … to dine, of course. So, armed with our Sir Robert Borden, we trotted upstairs and settled in a cosy nook, ready to feast on Dalmatian fare.

The sips 
This time, there was to be wine. After having eschewed wine for all the carbs last month at Buca Yorkville, we knew the error in our ways. Unfortunately, only one glass of Riesling was ordered — costing a reasonable $11 — and it was relished by Karolyne, who, unlike Caroline, hadn’t been recently struck down by that ubiquitous flu. 

The picks
Gleefully mopping up olive oil with bread, plentiful (and free!) in the table’s basket, we perused the menu with the remainder of the hundo. Two things were a must: something done up in cuttlefish ink and seafood from the grill. With two sepia options available — the giant risotto and the far more manageable spaghettini — it was clear that the $28 pick was ours (the risotto would’ve gobbled half the budget!).  

 

After we inquired about the fish of the day, the server sauntered over with a silver tray heavy with today’s varietals. There were oysters, squid, octopus and a myriad of fish from various seas. Rather than embarrassingly asking the price of each fish, we opted for the orata (sea bream). We threw in some swiss chard for good measure and good health. With those three items, our money was swiftly eaten up. 

The main event
The spaghettini arrived first: Strands of the stuff swimming in a black sea. It took about two bites for our faces to be splattered with ink. By the bowl’s end, our napkins had become Rorschach tests. A first date dish this is not (our tongues and gums remained stained well into the next course). 

Next was the fish, with golden skin and fork-tender flesh. We divvied up the night’s perfectly grilled star, which looked slightly less glamorous after our botched attempt at deboning. Regardless, it was delicious.  

As we prepared to depart, Croatian crooner Oliver Dragojević serenaded us at the end of our (surprisingly) filling meal. It wasn’t quite a trip to Dubrovnik, but for a moment we forgot we were on Davenport.

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