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It's funny because Amarin was the first restaurant I ate at when I moved to
NYC (almost exactly) five years ago. It's all a blur, I didn't know what I
was doing, and barely knew the girls I was staying with. It was hot, humid,
I was overdressed (not formal, too many layers) and nervous, the cab got
lost on the way to the apt. and the driver called everyone "Poppy" so I
figured that must be a Brooklyn thing though I've only heard it maybe once
or twice since, and think it's actually spelled Papi. We ordered
take out and two of us got a chicken thing that came as a whole chicken leg.
I was fine with that but the other person was upset that there was skin on
it. I sensed trouble from the get go. What possible friendship could be
forged with someone who's scared of chicken skin? I only stayed with them
for about a month, but they must've liked Amarin because we went in person a
second time (I later discovered that's very Williamsburg, like people only
know a handful of places and only frequent those places in this peculiar
provincial way). This time the skin-shunner ordered the $9.95 fish entre,
which I thought was pretty ostentatious. She'd just started a new, fancy
internet job at and was making what I thought at the time was
big bucks (amusingly, I've yet to make that much). It's hard to remember a
time when $9.95 seemed outrageous for dinner, but that's the beauty of
pointless remembrances.

Anyway, I hadn't been back since '98. In fact, I didn't even know where
it was other than in Greenpoint on a main street. It's weird because I
frequent Williamsburg and have friends in Greenpoint, but like a good
visitor I never go over, past McCarren Park. It was only recently when James
was driving around Greenpoint, scoping the neighborhood for a potential move
that I re-discovered Amarin. The food's nothing to write home about, but
it's likeable, nonetheless. They employ oddball touches like serving mashed
potatoes, and putting carrots, zucchini, and bean sprouts where I don't
think they belong, but it's OK by me. I felt comforted like I'd come full
circle, back to where I'd started my NYC food journey. Everybody likes
closure, right? I would've ordered the skin-covered chicken, but now I'm
watching my weight like a true pathetic New Yorker. Jeez, at least I'm
eating carbs. Five years makes a world of difference, no?

Amarin * 617 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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