This year, I decided to skip Restaurant Week. Â Yes, I know that for some people, that may be a sin. Â But for me, I figured I’d use the money I’d spend on dinner and go to Pearl Oyster Bar instead. Â My friend Tom and I had been trying tons of lobster rolls around the city (except I’ve failed to chronicle the experience on the blog) and he promised me that this was his favorite roll in the city but was expensive. Â After we both had some extra money, we decided to splurge.
Tom warned me that Pearl Oyster Bar gets really crowded and I rushed to get out of work by 6:35. Â As we arrived, there was some seating at the bar and along the wall of the room the bar is in, but if you wanted a table, the wait was 20-30 minutes. Â By 7:15, the joint was completely packed. We sat up at the bar, and the bar had packets of oyster crackers that we could snack on.
Our first course, the New England clam chowder, quickly arrived. Â The texture of the soup was different than the normal clam chowder I’ve had before. Â While thick, it wasn’t chunky – you didn’t find chunks of clam or potatoes in it. Â Instead, it was smooth with small bits of potatoes – the oyster crackers were bigger than the potatoes. Â What also was interesting about this clam chowder is that it was made with bacon, and you could really taste the bacon flavor in it. Â The soup was a highlight of the meal and I definitely would recommend getting it (and ironically, it is National Clam Chowder Day on the 25th).
On to the lobster roll. Â My God, was this thing huge. Since lobster rolls are different everywhere, at Pearl Oyster Bar,you’ll find chunks of lobster meat (and yes, I mean huge pieces) smothered in mayo served on a roll. Â The roll was the shape of a hot dog bun, but it was more of a roll than just a bun, and nicely toasted. Â The amount of lobster meat was incredible, and I didn’t even attempt to pick the roll up. Â Instead, I picked most of the meat off the top, and then dove in with a knife and fork as if it was an open face sandwich. Â I’m sure as I consumed most of the lobster meat, it could have been easily picked up, but I was worried it would be a tad messy since there was a lot of mayo on it. Â So my only suggestion would be for Pearl Oyster Bar to lighten up on the sauce, just a tad.
In addition to the roll, fries came with the meal. Â There was a heaping pile of shoestring fries, and they were so thin, the shape reminded of the potato sticks that come in a can. Â I couldn’t even attempt to finish them all but they were definitely addicting.
The lobster roll was market price and came to $27 each. Â So yes, this was a splurge of a dinner but it was definitely enjoyable ad I left in a food coma, so much of a food coma that I couldn’t write this blog post for two hours for fear I was going to get sick just thinking of the amount of food we ate. Â I definitely want to go back though – I hear the blueberry pie is amazing, and blueberries are only in-season during the summer. Â If you do have a sweet tooth, there is an apple and cranberry pie at the restaurant now, but I challenge you to find room in your stomach after dinner.
If you do decide to check out Pearl Oyster Bar, keep in mind it is closed on Sundays and they do not take American Express.The Basics Name: Pearl Oyster Bar Location: 18 Cornelia St, between 4th and Bleecker Who to Bring: Parents, Date, One Friend (or you’ll be waiting for a table forever) Price: $$$ Overall: Not on my “must visit” list, but worth checking out if you can afford to splurge. 4 Stars.