’Tis the season for seafood al fresco. We’ve rounded up New York’s best in a tail of five lobsters, from fine dining to the underground. More drawn butter, please.
1. ZZ’S CLAM BAR
Raw bar. Fancy drinks. Twelve seats. Need we say more? ZZ's is the epitome of cool, not to mention intimate with its scant seating, borne of a real estate deal that piggybacked the minuscule space onto the Carbone property lease. The food is incredible, but that's a given when considering the Major Food triumvirate. Every element of presentation is curated, no detail left behind. Chef’s lobster ceviche is quite the stunner, marrying coconut and avocado to balance the acidity of the dish. It's a dining experience not easily paralleled, perfect for the edgy epicurean. Attaché Insider: skip dessert and go straight for the coconut cocktail, a show in itself with a stick of cinnamon smoked straight into the shell and served on a grand platter of ice and foliage.
169 Thompson Street between West Houston and Bleecker Streets
2. GRAND BANKS
What’s more New York than chilled lobster on a refurbished 142-foot schooner docked at Pier 25? Marlow & Sons vet Mark Firth’s new-wave dining brainchild is the product of trial, error, and innovative conceptualization, coming back to life this month for TriBeCa’s dining pleasure after a seasonal migration to Florida. Helmed by an Eleven Madison Park vet, this season’s menu is killer, especially on the lobster front. Go for the Maine lobster roll with herb and citrus emulsion with a side of spiced chips, or opt for the raw bar offerings, namely the chilled lobster with smoked paprikaise sauce. Attaché Insider: this seasonal hotspot does not accept reservations, so it’s best to get there on the early end. Either way, the view (and the food) make it worth the wait.
Pier 25 (North Moore Street at West Street)
Marea’s long list of seafaring specialties is certainly its claim to fame, drawing Italophiles and foodies alike to Central Park South’s crown jewel for both the prix fixe and à la carte experiences. Take the astice, for example. A perfect plating of Nova Scotia lobster with burrata, eggplant al funghetto, and basil is a testament to Chef Michael White’s culinary prowess, showcasing his signature take on Italian classics. It’s no wonder this Midtown seafood staple has been recognized by GQ, Relais & Chateaux, and the James Beard House, to name a few. Attaché Insider: looking for the perfect pairing? Marea’s carefully curated cocktail list will not disappoint — go for the Colombo with Maestro Dobel tequila, Combier pamplemousse, aperol, grapefruit, and Controne salt, a bright and complex concoction that stands up to the flavor profile of the astice dish.
240 Central Park South at Columbus Circle
4. LE BERNARDIN
With three Michelin stars, nearly 30 years of accolade-laden expertise, and more Beard awards than any other restaurant in New York City, Le Bernardin has carved out its niche as Manhattan's go-to for haute simplicity in the seafood realm. Chef de Cuisine, co-owner, and poissonier extraordinaire Eric Ripert brings an impressive résumé to the table with experience working under internationally recognized chefs such as Daniel Bouley and Jean-Louis Palladin, not to mention having earned a four-star New York Times rating at just 29 years old. Ripert’s lacquered lobster tail with an herb spring roll and lemon consommé keep things interesting, both aesthetically and gustatorily. Attaché Insider: in need of a nightcap? Le Bernardin’s resident sommelier, Aldo Sohm, recently opened a cozy wine bar just across the courtyard — perfect for pre or post-dinner drinks.
155 West 51st Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
5. LURE FISHBAR
Dockside dining minus the seasickness...and the actual dock. Enter Lure Fishbar, SoHo's very own catch of a subterranean seafood establishment, complete with portholes and all things yacht-y. Four-time People's Choice award winner chef Josh Capon is at the helm serving up tantalizing dishes from sand to land along with all the necessary accoutrements. Lure’s lobster fra diavolo is the ultimate for those in search of a bit of heat — served atop a perfect pile of squid ink tagliatelle along with shrimp, calamari, and spicy tomato, this dish is a standout menu staple. Attaché Insider: not a spice fan? Opt for the lobster ravioli, stuffed to the brim with lobster and cushioned by a hearty plum tomato sauce and mascarpone.
142 Mercer Street at Prince Street