Tag Archives: oysters

Down and Out

My wife and I went to Down and Out in the East Village to try their crazy “double dozens” oyster happy hour. They currently offer two varieties of oysters for $1.50ea, but when you order a dozen, you get a second dozen for free. Essentially, they’re $0.75ea, which is the cheapest I’ve seen them in town!

We tried both the Kusshi (small ones, west coast of Canada) and Glidden Point (pictured above). My wife preferred the Kusshi, and I liked the ones from Glidden Point.

We also tried their “oyster pan roast,” which is a really nice bisque-like oyster and potato soup. It might not be much to look at in the photo, but I assure you it was delicious!

We also got down on their blue claw crab cake sandwich, which was nice and tasty, topped with a home made slaw.

They also serve a lot of high end canned fish items, like these sardines.

Their deviled quail eggs are good too. These come eight pieces per order.

Lots of these food items are discounted at happy hour, like the oysters. The happy hour runs daily from 4pm-7pm, and they also offer two different beers for $3, as well as discounted cocktails.

Most notable about this place, however, is the great whiskey selection, which includes some very rare, vintage bottles that the owner/bartender Josh secured from various estate sales.

He gave us some samples of a few really nice old bottles, like that Canadian Club from 1940! Soon there will be an entire separate menu of vintage whiskeys here, which will nearly double the current selection of whiskey on the menu. Stay tuned!

DOWN AND OUT
503 E 6th Street
New York, NY 10009

Kobo by Nai

The best way to get a feel for this restaurant is to watch my Ride & Review video on YouTube:

But for the traditionalists out there, here’s a breakdown of everything we had:

STARTERS

1. Oysters

These were beautifully presented.

2. Croquettes

Seriously delicious and addictive. The outer shell is thin and crispy, and inside is a delicious explosion of high end Spanish ham and cheese.

3. Mortadella

Yes. With some creamy ricotta on the bottom, this really took the starters over the top.

4. Iberico Ham

This was some seriously high quality stuff. Melts in your mouth!

PASTA

1. Cavatelli

I really dig this spicy beef version of my favorite pasta style, cavatelli.

2. Pappardelle

Probably one of the top three dishes of the night. The Iberico pork ragu was nuts!

3. Curry Lamb Bechamel Lasagna

This is a game changer! Make sure you get this. If you like cumin lamb szechuan noodles, you will love this Italian take on it.

4. Fideua

This squid ink “pasta paella” was my favorite dish of the night. The squid was perfectly cooked, and the pasta was so tasty.

MEAT MAINS

1. Iberico Pork Meatballs

This works as a shared starter too, but I could eat this every day. This is also top three of the meal.

2. Short Rib

So tender and flavorful. Ruben does a similar dish at his other restaurants and all of them are great.

3. Chicken Milanese

This could benefit from a slightly flatter pounding, but there was a sweetness to this from either apricot or honey that was incredible.

SEAFOOD MAINS

1. Whole Fish

Perfectly deboned and beautifully presented.

2. Mussels

Save some sourdough bread to drag through the deeply flavorful sauce that comes with the perfectly cooked mussels.

3. Shrimp

These Spanish style garlic and spicy oil shrimp were absolutely perfect.

VEG

We had the broccolini with Romesco sauce. Even the veg here is off the charts good.

The radicchio salad was also really nice, with poached pears and walnuts.

I’ve said it before with Nai, Emilia and Amigo: Ruben deserves a Michelin star at his restaurants. Everything he puts out is delicious and innovative. He’s one of the city’s most under the radar chefs. So much talent! I highly recommend all four of his restaurants.

KOBO BY NAI
202 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009

Il Tinello East

My buddy Benny from Greenwich Steakhouse opened up a second location of the Italian joint Il Tinello. Benny is second from the right in this picture, next to me. Ask for him when you go, and tell him I sent you!

The menu and ambiance here are a little different from the original location. It feels like a more lively restaurant with a younger crowd. It was packed both at the bar and at the tables on a Wednesday night.

The bartender AJ has a nine year pedigree at Benjamin Prime, and he mixes up some excellent cocktails. Ask him about his mezcal negroni and “new fashioned” drinks.

Don’t skip on this meat martini waterfall thing. Great selection of olives, cheeses and peppers to go with the hand cut prosciutto.

Table bread service comes with an eggplant and tomato dip, and nice freshly made bruschetta.

We started with the special oysters Rockefeller, which were awesome. Nice crispy pancetta on top!

We followed these with baked clams oreganata and beef carpaccio.

For a mid course, we tried three pastas. The favorite of the table was probably this orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage. Just like mom makes.

These crab ravioli on special were incredible as well. They had a nice robust, clean crab flavor. Not too heavy with a light creamy pesto sauce.

The tagliolini with seafood is PACKED with chopped scallops, mussels, and shrimp. Great stuff.

For our mains, we tried two veal dishes. The first was a delicious glazed rib chop.

So tender and perfectly cooked to medium rare inside.

We also had the bone-in veal parm that was on special.

This was massive! Definitely something to share with your date.

For dessert, we tried the creme brulee, Italian cheesecake, tira misu and panna cotta. I think my favorite was either the tira misu or the panna cotta.

Great meal with a great old friend. I’m happy for the success of his new venture here at Il Tinello. I’ll definitely be back again soon!

IL TINELLO EAST
244 E 46th St
New York, NY 10017

Corner Bar

This joint opened recently and is connected to the 9 Orchard hotel. There’s a lot I want to try here, but on this first trip my wife and I just stopped in for a couple of cocktails and some snacks.

The cocktails are great. I had a Gibson that used basil syrup in the mix. Very herbal and unique.

I also tried their amari-based old fashioned, which was really strong at first. But as the ice mellowed it out, it was perfect.

We had the Oysters Rockefeller, which were quite expensive at $24 for four. They were delicious, however, and reminded us of the flavor profile of escargots.

We also had an order of their perfectly cooked fries, which come with ketchup, mayo, and dijon. I love that they give you dijon automatically. It’s my favorite condiment.

Based on this trip, we will definitely be back to try more of the menu. Stay tuned for updates!

UPDATE 10-15-2022

On a second trip, after a LOT of hype in the food media world, I noticed a decline here.

First off, the nice ice cube in the old fashioned is gone now, and they replaced it with a bunch of small regular ice cubes. Bad move!

We started with the steak tartare, which was fairly good although it was very heavy on the onion and vinegar. The parm crisp on top was nice though.

The burger is no longer on the menu. I was excited to try it but they had a steak on special, so I went with that.

$185! Get the fuck outta here for 32oz!

It was just okay. Cooked perfectly, nice crust. But the meat itself was pretty dense and tough in places, and a good amount of connective tissue that was inedible. The best parts were along the bone, and edges, where some aged flavor managed to creep in. 6/10.

My wife’s duck was better, but parts of the dish were insanely salty.

The bread and butter here is fantastic, and complimentary. Get it.

Fries were still great, so there’s that.

CORNER BAR
60 Canal St
New York, NY 10002

Canary Club

My wife and I have wanted to try out this cocktail bar and live music lounge for a while. We finally made it in for an early dinner yesterday.

Quick take-aways: Delicious cocktails and good comfort food.

We really liked the broiled oysters and the french fries, as well as the ice cream sundae. The rest was just okay.

The snails were a bit under-seasoned and lacked that “snap” texture.

We also tried the shrimp and crab cake special. The shrimp were slightly overcooked and the batter on the crab cake needed work (no texture). The salad with fried green tomato was really nice though.

The batter on the fried chicken was too hard, but the meat was cooked nicely. The Voodoo seasoned fries were great.

Their coffee-based dessert cocktails are incredible. They have two, and each one is extremely unique, with one even having carrot juice espresso and tahini in it. Wild. They paired really well with the ice cream sundae.

We will be back for cocktails and live music, for sure. But maybe we’ll stick to the oysters and fries in terms of food.

CANARY CLUB
303 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

Essex Pearl

This place is incredible!

My wife and I have been dying to come here ever since we saw them setting up shop at Market Line soon after we moved in. It’s a beautiful seafood bar, done up really fancy as a place you’d love to just sit and have a cocktail, but also with open view to the kitchen and prep stations for all the delicious food.

We tried a lot of shit, so let me get right into it.

Raw littleneck clams topped with crispy shallots and a fish sauce mignonette. Perfect way to open up the meal. Pair this with their pickled ginger, shochu and gin martini.

Dry aged rib eye tartare, coarse cut. So tender and flavorful! The shrimp chips make for a perfect vehicle for mouth entry, and they add a great textural crunch.

Cumin lamb belly skewers. I really loved these. If you love cumin lamb noodles at places like Xian Famous, you need to try this. It’s LAMB BACON!

Tiger prawns. You’ll want to drink the sauce! This item was the whole reason my wife wanted to go, and it really delivered. It was her favorite dish (along with the hamachi collar).

Crispy baby octopus with Thai lemongrass curry and fried Thai basil. Ask for a small bowl of rice so none of that curry goes to waste!

The grilled pork jowls were next. This was probably my favorite of the meal. It comes with a lime pepper sauce that acts like a Carolina style vinegar BBQ sauce, almost, but Asian style as lime and pepper are common in places like Vietnam and Cambodia. It cuts the fat of the jowls so perfectly I can’t even describe it properly!

Turmeric dill hamachi collar. This is so delicious and large, it’s enough to share among two people. Light, flavorful, and amazingly aromatic.

Laotian ginger pork sausage over garlic noodles. WOW! The sausage is made in house and it’s so fucking good!

We washed it all down with this watermelon and lychee slushee. So refreshing and just the right amount of natural sweetness.

I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu, especially their surf and turf!

ESSEX PEARL
88 Essex Street
Cellar Level
New York, NY 10002

Hortus

My wife and I had a great meat at Hortus. We started with some of their wine and beer cocktails. This beauty was made with plum wine:

Then we dove into the apps. First, a chilled seafood plate with lobster tail, shrimp, oysters and tuna tartare.

Next up, crispy octopus and fried lobster claws with uni and caviar. HOLY SHIT THESE WERE GOOD!

For entrees, we had truffle rice with uni and ikura/roe, and short rib. Both excellent, but I surprisingly favored the rice dish.

On the side, some roasted fall veggies. These had a sweet and tangy glaze on these.

Dessert was green tea tiramisu and rice pudding. The tiramisu was the winner for us.

Great meal! I’d definitely come back here, and look forward to doing so soon.

HORTUS
271 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Bar Belly

Bar Belly has a pretty great happy hour that features dollar oysters, among other deals. We went with two dozen of these delicious, crisp, clean oysters, some fries for $6, and, of course, drinks. I highly recommend this oyster happy hour. It goes until 7pm every night.

BAR BELLY
14 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Mila’s Fish & Hook

My wife and I popped in here for a quick lunch and to take advantage of the all day dollar oyster special.

The oysters were great. Mild, creamy, fresh and crisp. I only wish they also served them with horseradish and a cocktail sauce. The grilled calamari appetizer was great, served atop a salad of arugula with balsamic and orange supremes.

My wife had fish tacos, which were very nice (no pics), and I had the burger. This was great, though I wish I had gone with cheddar instead of Swiss (they were out of American). That little thing on top, under the pickles, is crispy cheese! That was a nice bonus.

We will definitely be going back here.

MILA’S FISH & HOOK
81 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

Bourbon House

This Bourbon Street joint is serving some decent grub given the chaotic location, namely, the charbroiled oysters.

Those were great. The red bean hummus sounded promising but was pretty underwhelming.

I had a mixed fried seafood platter for my main course, which was nice, and a great way to beat back the remains of a Bourbon Street hangover.

The bread pudding, however, was awesome.

BOURBON HOUSE
144 Bourbon St,
New Orleans, LA 70130