One of the ways in which I pretend like I’m rich, or just forget that I’m living in a constant looming threat of homelessness, is by eating shellfish. That’s right, shellfish. Mussels are the perfect way to pretend like you’re eating a full meal when you’re actually just eating a series of small sea creatures. If you have eating-way-too-fast problems like me and tend to order way more than you need and regret it 9 times out of 10, it’s a real money saver. Oysters are not as filling and are unfortunately more expensive, BUT, they have the advantage of almost having cocktail status in that it’s more about taste than stuffing your face. The thing is though, it counts as food! So, next time you think about having a martini or twelve, get a plate of oysters instead. Much healthier and much more filling.
Here are some places in NYC you can go to get some quality shellfish meals/snacks when you’d rather eat at one relatively nice place today than shitty soup or whatever all day long:
530 Driggs Avenue (at N.7th)
Brooklyn 11211 [Williamsburg]
Hands-down, the best moules frites ever. Although it isn’t technically shellFISH, I once had excellent escargot here (on the 4th of July too, partially just to be a dick). They specialize in cuisine from Marseilles and the South of France in general, so you’re pretty much guaranteed that any seafood you get here is probably pretty good. Amazing brunch too.
142 Mercer Street (at Prince St.)
New York 10012 [SoHo, Manhattan]
I know this place seems annoying, what with the ship decor and all, but these guys have one of the best oyster happy hours in the whole city. 4 piece oyster shooters for $10 and shucked oysters for $1.50!! Simply amazing. At regular times, they also have reasonably priced (and good!) sushi.
200 5th Ave (btwn 24th & 25th)
New York, 10010 [Chelsea/Lower Midtown]
Yes, yes, this place is on every NYC places to go list. And, yes, I don’t really “get” what’s “up” with their “rules” about table service, etc (seriously, if you bought mothafuckin’ foccaccia, you should be able to eat it wherever you want). But here’s one thing I do know: if you order one thing and are at the fish area of table service, get some oysters. They have an amazing selection, and they’re unbelievable. All of them.
59 Grand Street (btwn Wooster and WBroadway)
New York 10013 [SoHo/Chinatown]
This place is essentially a way more low-key Pastis. Though they don’t specialize in seafood necessarily, and it’s more pan-Euro bistro food, their moules frite is pretty bomb. Whatever white wine sauce they’re using, I want that shit bottled.
The Oyster Bar in Grand Central
68 5th Avenue (inside Grand Central)
New York 10019 [Midtown]
Ok, so I’ve never eaten here, but doesn’t it seem like it would be awesome? I’ve heard that it is. Someone get on that.