Ed’s Lobster Bar tries to bring a New York City elegance to the traditional Lobster Shack. The owner (Ed), learned everything he knows during his time as a sous chef at my all-time favorite Lobster Roll joint, Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village. After a little bit of shopping in Soho, I decided it was time to check out Ed’s. The first few hot days of summer had come and gone, and I hadn’t yet enjoyed my first lobster roll of the season. It was time to change this.
The front area of the restaurant consists of one extremely long bar area, with a few tables towards the very back. I snagged one of the seats at the bar, watching one of the quiet chefs shuck oysters and artfully slice raw tuna into tartare. Lots of young, beautiful people stand around sipping glasses of wine and beer waiting for one of the seats. It’s a place that you need to take a date you feel comfortable with, since any dish involving lobster is going to get a little messy. The best kind of messy.
The couple next to me picked at their spaghetti and meatballs, as I looked on in confusion. Then a burger was placed in front of the gentleman to the other side of me. I thought this was a lobster bar. Then I glanced at the menu and all of my questions were put to rest.
Lobster everything! Lobster Burger, Lobster PotPie, and even Lobster Meatballs, which are only offered on Tuesday and Saturday. A+ for creativity, as I began to question my already pre-decided order. As the couples around me ate crab and artichoke dip, and other bizarre concoctions, I finally concluded to stick to what I know.
It’s Lobster Roll Time.
The roll placed in front of me seemed to be a little bit of a joke. It was extremely tiny, especially in comparison to the gigantic pile of golden brown, crisp fries, which took over the plate. A little ramekin of sliced pickles rounded out the dish, along with a single leaf of lettuce serving as decoration.
With one bite, I quickly forgot my negative first impression of the roll. It was everything I hope for in a lobster roll. Lightly dressed, big pieces of claw and knuckle meat are the main star. A little bit of chives and very light mayo enhance the natural sweetness of the lobster. The mixture sits inside the most delectable, buttery potato bun, toasted until golden brown and crisp. It was delightful, and despite the small size, I found myself struggling half way through.
The fries on the side were some of the best, super crisp with a creamy inside. I chose mayo and malt vinegar as my condiments of choice, which are always the best with the creamy lobster. It adds a slight bit acidity and richness to the already decadent lobster roll.
But the pickles are what people write home about. They were super acidic, full of vinegar and a subtle spice. They had a unique pinkish color, telling you that this is not something you can buy in stores. Simply put, these are great pickles.
Upon asking for the check, the waitress placed little, dark chocolate lobsters in front of me. A sweet note to end on.
The lobster roll was a good one. It really hit all of the key spots for me, especially the delightfully buttery bun. However, at the end of the day, I can’t look past the miniature portion with the highest price point I’ve seen in the city. There are far better destinations for more reasonably priced rolls, bigger portions and higher quality. Next time the craving comes for a lobster roll, regardless of where I am in the city, I will make my way to Pearl Oyster Bar. Sorry, Ed. I tried.
Ed’s Lobster Bar – 222 Lafayette Street – New York, NY
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Location: Soho, NY
Type: Seafood, American (Traditional)
Perfect For: Quality Seafood, Impressing Foodies, Dining Solo
Reservations: Not Available
Favorite Dishes: Lobster Roll