I don’t eat shellfish very often. Not because I don’t like shrimp, crab or lobsters, or even because I’m allergic, but instead because my boyfriend is.
I’m all about sharing food, and if he can’t eat something because there’s a sea creature in it that’s gonna make his lips balloon and his throat swell shut, than I’m not gonna order it. Really, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I did? (And if I were allergic to anything, I would expect the same from him.)
So on the eve of his return to the city, I decided that it was only fitting that I have shellfish, one last time while I still could without feeling selfish. My good friend and soon-to-be-West-Village-neighbor, Vanessa, had recently been to Pearl Oyster Bar and raved about it so we decided that’s where we’d go. (Side note: In case you were interested, yes, the gods of New York city apartments finally heard my prayers. As of Dec. 1 I am homeless no more.)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Oysters aren’t shellfish, silly. And I know that, thanks. But lobsters certainly are, and we went to Pearl for that creepy looking crustacean’s delicious meat chopped and served in a buttery, mayonnaisey sauce in between two soft buns. Behold: the lobster roll.
But before we got to the shellfish, we split an appetizer of fried oysters, which came battered and fried in golden coats of delicious crunchiness. Each oyster was served still in its craggy shell, but sitting atop a fat dollop of some creamy, tangy sauce. A zesty squirt of lemon over the soft juicy meat of the oyster and the saltiness of the fried exterior mixed with the finger-licking sauce underneath the oysters… well, it was enough to make me wish I was somewhere like Cape Cod in the summer and not in chilly, wet New York.
After the fried oyster portion of our evening was when the lobster roll came out, sharing a plate with a heap of shoestring fries. Vanessa and I split it, eating just enough of the cool, creamy lobster and doughy, soft bun to satisfy us perfectly. I never doubt my own eating capabilities, but eating an entire lobster roll might have been pushing it. The fries, too, were the perfect complement to the lobster roll, just crispy and salty enough to play up the buttery richness of the lobster without outshining it.
It’s moments like those, sitting there full and happy with the sheen of butter and mayo still glistening on my fingers, that I wish Flaneur could eat shellfish. Boy, is he missing out.