Franchising on a name with a reputation for reliable quality crustacean eats, Ed McFarlans of Nolita’s Ed’s Lobster Bar has ventured even further south, bringing quality seafood digs to the Lower East Side. An endowment to the eclectic culinary scene of this diverging and overachieving neighborhood, Ed’s Lobster Bar Annex shines a bright light on the otherwise gloomy Clinton St. adding a touch of ocean goodness to the scene. With a bar among two dedicated to our dear crustacean, it was mere few days before we grabbed a mesh chair out in their wooden beamed back garden and had a taste of what Ed had to offer. Disappointed we were not.
Strategically stopping by on a Tuesday we were pleased to discover that just like the original, the Annex was offering their happy hour $2 oyster (typically they are $3 a pop). Five varieties on the menu, we had a taste of each. Sorry West Coast lovers, Ed is strictly an East Coast kinda guy, and so are his oysters. Nonetheless, each variety was well selected, detached with brine in tact, and fresh. The day’s selection included Beau Soleils from North Brunswick, Cape Blue from Maine, Malpeques from Prince Edward Island, Rappahannocks from Virginia and Stingrays from Virginia as well. All from the same neck of the woods, the flavors were not terribly diverse, all taking on that East Coast briny quality, with the Beua Soleiels a bit on the sweeter side, the Stingrays more robust in flavor, and the Rappahonnocks, an across the board favorite of the night, on the meatier creamy side.
Moving on to some more substantial material, we found amusement in discovering a full-shelled clam among the chunks of meat and bacon in the creamy New England Clam Chowder. And from the salads, the Chilled Seafood Salad had substantial fruit of the sea constituents all covered with a generous helping of the refreshing cilantro garnish.
The rest of the menu, although quite similar to Ed’s Lobster Bar, had a few small additions, which we opted to explore. Center menu, a section dedicated to small bites, we chose to try the mini lobster rolls, a comparable version of a bilini with caviar, the chunky lobster meat overflowed on a buttered “blini” style bun. The lobster ravioli, with savory lobster meat tucked away in a perfectly al dente pasta shell was even further enhanced by its coating of a decadent mushroom cream sauce. And the lobster meatballs, served over spaghetti, although did not impress us, was a nice spin on the Sicilian original.
With a lot more leg room, a spacious out door garden, and some good quality seafood, Ed’s Lobster Bar Annex is not only a successful spin off the original, but adds a touch of personality to the new neighborhood it now calls home.
Ed’s Lobster Bar Annex
25 Clinton Street
New York, NY
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