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Shaved Catfish, Anyone?

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When Billy Reid was a kid, his family made the drive to New Orleans with some regularity. And every time the Reid clan piled in the car for that trip, they marked its midway point with a stop at the legendary seafood restaurant Middendorf’s. “I guess you could say I was raised on shaved catfish,” noted Reid of Middendorf’s signature dish. “It’s a treat.” Thanks to Reid, New Yorkers can now attest to that fact: To fête his Fall collection, the designer opened the doors to his Bond Street shop last night and flew up a Mittendorf’s chef and many pounds of fresh catfish for the occasion. The fish was shaved wafer thin and fried on site and served with a selection of special rémoulades and tartar sauces, and as if that weren’t distracting enough, Reid had also set up a beer ‘n’ bourbon bar in the basement and invited local alt-country band Railbird to play live. “I’m really not worried if people aren’t checking out the clothes,” he noted. “I mean, that stuff will take care of itself, so why not have some fun?” Adding to the southern-fried flavor of the evening: Reid’s mother, father, and sister had made the trip up north as well. “My dad was like, I can’t believe I had to fly all the way to New York City just to eat some Middendorf’s catfish,” joked Reid. “I told him, hey, at least the bourbon’s free.”

Photo: Megan Maguire Steele

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