142 Mercer Street at Prince Street, SoHo, (212) 431-7676
Getting There: 6 to Bleecker Street; N,R,W to Prince Street; B,D,F,V to Broadway-Lafayette Street
Restaurant Review: Lure Fishbar
Lure Fishbar. Sounds more like a local bait-and-tackle shop in the country than a massively stylish tribute to the sea, doesn’t it? But surprising as it sounds, first timers to this SoHo restaurant are in for a special treat of both sight and tastes with a truly unique restaurant design and some exceptionally noteworthy fare. Head Chef Josh Capon (also of Burger & Barrel) makes sure of it.
The place simply exudes the word “cool.” Slipping down the steps right below the Prada store where the basement restaurant lies, the entrance feels like an underground find for New Yorkers in the know. Inside, the restaurant is energetically packed with a chic bar scene filled in by suits and classy, casual attired ladies. The first look around at the décor reveals a truly distinctive interior- from the circular windows looking out at the street like portholes to the wood paneled walls, and classy cushioned seating- the restaurant feels like you’re eating inside of a posh, docked yacht or dining aboard an elegant cruise ship. Either way, the setting is unlike any other in Manhattan, even if just for a few drinks at their hotspot of a bar.
With an extensive raw bar, and hand cut sushi rolls aplenty, we took a drastic approach and began with an appetizer from the bar menu- the chicken lollipops ($8)- buffalo sauce doused wings which have been pulled from the bone and then refried together to ensure an easy removal of the tender meat. The starter was perfectly sized for two and is a highly recommended opening dish. After polishing off a bowl of salty potato chips which graced our table, we also tasted an incredible tuna tarare with fresh avocado and a cucumber vinaigrette drizzle, and a “raw bar tasting,” meshing a bevy of little neck clams, cold shrimp cocktail, and east and west coast oysters, with three tasty dipping sauces.
The seared yellowfin tuna ($27) entrée was a perfectly cooked rare served with a Thai peanut sauce over a bed of mushrooms and delicious soba noodles. The soft, cool tuna steak paired impeccably with the salty exterior seasoning. The steamed branzino ($29) was similarly savory, served with scallions and cilantro, and with sticky white rice. Each seafood dish was delectable in its own way, and reinforced Lure Fishbar as one of the freshest and best overall seafood restaurants in the City. Non-fans of fish however, need not fear, for there are sirloins ($39), and cheeseburgers ($15) aplenty on the menu as well.
Finishing it all off, the plate of ice cream sandwiches ($10) is one of the best cold desserts we’ve ever had the pleasure of giving our mouths. Both varieties of chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream, and vanilla shortbread cookie and strawberry ice cream (half-dipped in hardened chocolate sauce) were absolutely exceptional. Similarly, Lure’s “warm chocolate cake” ($9) is served aside a scoop of fantastic salted caramel ice cream over a bed of popcorn brittle. The hot and cold collaboration is a sweet and salty flavor paradise.
Enough praise simply cannot be bestowed upon the experience we enjoyed at Lure Fishbar. From the modern vibrant bar, to the intimate evening at our table, and the tremendous service that we had been delivered, Lure Fishbar proved itself as versatile as it is special- for a night out with your pals or a dinner date with a lady, this can’t miss restaurant is truly one of a kind.