Lure Fishbar - 142 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012
6 Train to Bleecker Street or N/W/R to Prince Street
I've been wanting to come here ever since I heard about their amazing happy hour special--$1 oysters and littleneck clams! How could you go wrong?
Aside from that, I've heard nothing but great things about the food and decided to do a girl's only dinner here on Monday night for Restaurant Week. We had a delicious time and we all agreed to come back for happy hour and another meal very soon.
What a cool space! Lure resembles a retro yacht, complete with wooden wall paneling, plaid rugs and crescent shaped leather booths. The restaurant is located on the lower level of the building, giving you a genuine feeling of being under waters--even its front doors look like the entrance to a galley. The bar is offset to the left and it gets pretty crowded, given the reasonable happy hour special I mentioned above. You'll find some of NYC's trendiest urbanites chillin' in Lure's quarters--its definitely a hip scene to be seen in.
The food highly surpassed our expectations--and they were already pretty high. I was also impressed by their hefty restaurant week menu. While some places skimp out on choices during restaurant week and sometimes even charge an extra couple of bucks for things, Lure did a fantastic job of staying true to its regular menu. They gave customers a taste of their signature dishes at generous portions. Below are some of the things we ordered:
New England Clam Chowder - This is one of my all time favorite dishes to get at seafood joints and a good one can satisfy me to no end. Lure's version was outstanding--it was hearty but not too thick, packed with flavorful ingredients such as potatoes, bacon and of course fresh littleneck clams. The portion was perfect and I'd say it was in between a big cup and a medium bowl. My friend Cindy who's a native Bostonian also ordered this and it passed her taste test with flying colors. As Cindy would say, this soup was "muy, muy bien."
Steamed Branzino - This sounded amazing to me right off the bat and when our waitress mentioned that it's one of their most popular dishes, I just had to have it. Flavored with oyster mushrooms, ponzu (Japanese citrus sauce), cilantro and paired with jasmine rice, it was the perfect entree--light, fresh and citrusy. I loved that the citrus sauce and cilantro were sandwiched in between the fish, its skin almost playing the role of a bun--very innovative and different than I'm used to. I highly recommend this dish even on a regular night.
Seared Yellowfin Tuna - This was Michelle's entree and she enjoyed it immensely. It was dressed in a crust of nori (dried seaweed), shitake mushrooms, edamame and dashi (Japanese stock) glaze. I tasted it and the meat was nice and tender on the inside and firmer on the outside. Its flavoring was nice but I'm not much of a tuna person and preferred the branzino, which was a lot lighter and crisper.
Dessert Tasting - We each ordered a dessert which we shared, thus creating a mini dessert tasting. The warm chocolate cake was the most luxurious with thick, fudgy dough and a liquidy topping. The ice cream was a nice accompaniment, providing a clean vanilla flavor and a welcoming chill factor.
The chocolate panna cotta (cooked cream--sort of like a custard) with roasted bananas and warm chocolate cookies was also sensational. The panna was smooth and light and the best part was the cocoa crumb topping. It reminded me of the crunchies that they use in Carvel cakes, which is one of my all time favorite things in the world. The bananas were a fabulous treat, especially when smothered in the salty-sweet caramel sauce. The miniature cookies were delicious and I think they were flourless, which was a nice touch.
Last but not least, we ordered the lemon-lime meringue bar, which illustrated innovation at its best. The lemony treat was served alongside an out-of-this-world mojito sorbet. This was by far my favorite part of this and it reminded me of the frozen wine sorbet's I've tried at various food events--it was refreshing, flavorful and truly different.
Service and Cost:
The service was wonderful and as attentive as can be. Our waitress was friendly and not in the least bit snobby--which could be the case in ultra trendy spots. While she sort of messed up Cindy's entree order, she was apologetic and ready to fix the problem immediately. Another nice part of our dining experience was when the chef came out to meet us and make sure that all was OK. I thought that was a nice touch--especially during prime-time dinner hour.
The cost was a straight up $35 fee plus tax and tip. We ended up paying about $44 each--not bad for such a delightful meal. I'll be back here in a jiffy!