Tag Archives: lobster roll

Betony: creative and delicious offspring of Eleven Madison

BetonyBetony
41 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

I’m going to take you through my meal at Betony the way I wish I experienced it: aka. without the pretentious crowd and stuffy furnishing. More on this later. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m not typically one to chase Michelin stars. Food that excites me is food that is undiscovered like Lan Larb or The Bao (though both have gotten pretty damn popular as of late). That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy fancy food. I like fancy pants food the same way I like going to art museums. I have a deep appreciation for passion involved in cooking and the creative work chefs do. I also like to paint though, and that kind of enjoyment is totally different. ANYWAY. LAW and I went to Betony recently and I was pumped because I had only heard good things. Started by two ex-Eleven-Madison-Park chefs, Betony has been raved about on the interwebs as a creatively delicious restaurant. Oh, it also has a Michelin star.

Betony
I started with the Beach Tea (Rhum Blanc, Cranberry Kombucha, and Absinthe Verte – $15). Oh. Hot. Damn. This is my jam. It looks pretty elementary but the mixologist performed some serious alchemy with this one. It tasted deliciously fruity and was REALLY strong in the best way possible: I felt a warmness creep into my body throughout the beverage without ever feeling like I was tasting alcohol. Alchemy.

Betony
Per my friend R.P.’s recommendation, we shared the Betony take on the lobster roll ($18). I was disappointed when I saw the dish because it’s nearly 20 bucks (enough for like 7 “burgers” at Xi’an Famous Foods) yet looks like a few sticks of Chinese egg rolls. Lesson learned to never judge a book by its cover because these little rolls were bursting (BURSTING, I tell you) with essence of lobster roll. I don’t understand how so much lobster flavor was jammed into these tiny cylinders but man were they tasty. The shell of the roll was a crispy, slightly flakey pastry. The filling was magic. Continue reading Betony: creative and delicious offspring of Eleven Madison

A desperate call for Pearl Oyster Bar’s blueberry pie

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
(between 4th St & Bleecker St)
New York, NY 10014

There are so many great places to eat in NYC that sometimes I forget to return to my favorites. Pearl Oyster Bar is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC for a number of reasons:

  1. I love seafood. Especially oysters, grilled fish, and lobster rolls, all things Pearl makes ridiculously well.
  2. Pearl is unpretentious.
  3. Something about the space, lighting, and simple furniture sucks me into a vacuum where I forget where I am and how long I’ve been eating.
  4. Pearl makes the best blueberry pie.

The fourth reason is the reason you must eat at Pearl in the summer months between June and August. Any other time, you are more likely to end up with some kind of strawberry-rhubarb or cherry-something pie. I find their non-blueberry pies to be underwhelming, often too sweet for my taste. Their blueberry pie tastes way less syrupy and more like the actual fruit. Imagine grabbing a large handful of fresh summer blueberries, the kind that is fat and bulbous, bursting with flavor, and eating it all in one monstrous bite.

LAW and I went at the very end of August because I realized I had not had Pearl’s blueberry pie yet and freaked out a little bit. I was excited the entire week for our Pearl meal. On the day of, I reminded LAW at least five times about going that evening. Come 7 or 8PM, I found that he was still working on something he needed to get out by 3AM. All of a sudden I became grumpy and extremely sad that we may not end up making it to Pearl and that I would have to wait an entire year for blueberry pie. LAW must have saw the desperation in my eyes and immediately understood the urgency. He carved out two hours for me as we raced to Pearl on our bikes. The stars aligned at this point. Normally, the wait would have been at least 30 to 45 minutes. There was still a line but there were miraculously two free seats at the bar that no one wanted. Continue reading A desperate call for Pearl Oyster Bar’s blueberry pie

Pearl Oyster Bar: Lobster Roll with Shoestring Fries

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
(between 4th St & Bleecker St)
New York, NY 10014

Pearl is probably my favorite restaurant in NYC. The only reason I haven’t posted about it already is because I usually am too excited to eat and do not end up getting a good picture. This photo doesn’t even do it justice. Pearl has everything I love about going to restaurants: Quality quality food, consistency, an expertise, friendly staff, and ambience. The first point though is of course the most important. This is the best lobster roll I have ever had and will probably be the best I will ever have. I have tried the “best lobster roll” in the “best” places all over Boston and New York and nothing else quite compares (Neptune Oyster in Boston came the closest). Warm buttery soft bun, fresh chunks of lobster with just the right amount of mayo and whatever yumminess they add to the “dressing”, and super thin shoestring fries that taste amazing with malt vinegar. It really isn’t that complicated. Pearl just manages to maintain great batches of sweet lobster. I think one of the reasons their roll is so great is that they discard the rubbery parts of the lobster. Also, they have a great temperature balance because the bun is warm and toasty while the lobster is chilled. The combination of the temperatures with the flavors explodes in your mouth every bite… I could go on but just go try it for yourself.