New York, New York
June 28, 2001
In the middle of the street, sandwiched between a French and American restaurant is a small space, long and narrow, with a bar and one lone table at the window. This place is called Pearl Oyster, the home of buckets of steamers, raw oysters and the infamous lobster roll. Step in and you'll be transported to the New England coast. Service is very casual, and if you don't get the bar, you will probably have to sit at the narrow strip of bar by the wall. Either way, you'll still get to enjoy a cold beer (Brooklyn Lager is my favorite) and good seafood.
There is a small menu of staples like oysters, clam chowder, grilled scallops etc. But look for the specials, which are written on a blackboard by the kitchen. Try the grilled fresh fish stuffed with fresh herbs and surrounded by grilled vegetables. Usually, it is red snapper or bass. The lobster roll is always good, with big and plentiful chunks of lobster in mayonnaise sauce on a bun. The fries are excellent, thinly sliced and fried just right.
Desserts tend to be on the heavier side. Last time I was there, I tried the vanilla ice cream with homemade caramel sauce and the chocolate cake, both a bit too sweet and heavy for my taste. I would rather load up on the oysters and clams instead.
Unless you arrive early (on or before 6pm) or very late (after 10pm), be prepared to wait. Good times to come are when turnover is high. For example, 7pm is when the 6pm crowd are getting ready to leave. There are only about 25 odd seats so you do the math!
There is also a choice now as one of the original partners have parted ways and opened her own restaurant. It is called Mary's Fish Camp and is located within walking distance at 64 Charles Street (at West 4th). Needless to say, that is also packed as the space is small as well. But it could be worth a try as the walk is nice on a breezy night.
From journal Eating Well in New York City