222 Lafayette Street between Spring and Broome Streets
$90 for three with Birch beer and two glasses of sparkling wine, without tip
Ed McFarland, another Pearl Oyster Bar graduate, has opened up his own seafood restaurant and rawbar. (Ex Pearl partner, Mary, left to open Mary’s Fish Camp.) The location is great because it’s quite hard to find a decent place to eat in SoHo without straying away from Broadway. Ed’s Lobster Bar is narrow in front and opens up in the back. There is wainscoting on the walls and bricks are painted white. The space and the menu reminded me of the many seafood places I’ve tried during drives around New England. Three of us were seated in the back during its opening weekend where it was busy and pretty tight. We were next to the bathroom and the kitchen but the collective buzz contributed to a happier ambiance than not.
Press writeups laud the lobster rolls and everyone around us ordered them, but I just couldn’t get into all that mayo even after picking the fresh lobster pieces in it. The fries were a bit soggy and I ended up pushing the boring greens that came with it. The best thing on the plate were the homemade pickles. They were perfectly salty and briny. I know I’ll be back for a jar of them and skip the $19 roll altogether. All those years visiting New England never taught me what proper clam chowder is. I liked Ed’s version because it was runnier, but my companion told me she would have prefered it chunkier, Brooklyn style. We also ordered three oysters from Blue Point and three from Pine Islands. They were fresh, sweet and salty just like the ocean. We would have appreciated the scallops better if we weren’t painfully full because they tasted like they were seared in glorious bacon fat. We had visited two other places beforehand, so we called it an early night as if we were actually in New England.