Lure Fishbar

September 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

It’d been years since I last visited Lure Fishbar, the yacht-looking, below-street-level seafood restaurant in SoHo right under the Prada store, but after a random visit with Jackie early in the summer, it’s become a favorite yet again. Twice we sat at the sushi bar for an impromptu seafood meal and once we sat in one of the really cushy banquettes for a Father’s Day and belated Mama Quan’s birthday dinner and each time, had a really enjoyable experience.

At the sushi bar in the back of the restaurant, a typical dinner starts with just-out-of-the-fryer salt & vinegar chips and a glass of bubbly

One reason we preferred the sushi bar when it was just the two of us were the complimentary little bites the sushi chefs would send over. Here, a refreshing kanpachi crudo with yuzu and ponzo sauce

More free bites – this one, a much more substantial bite of spicy tuna and avocado over scaldingly hot crispy rice. Certainly not traditional in any sense but damn, it tasted good.

The Dynamite roll of spicy scallop topped with spicy tuna, yellowtail and tobiko and the Shazam roll of yellowtail, salmon, avocado and kewpie topped with tuna. Despite lately favoring more traditional omakase-style dinners with an emphasis on nigiri, I really enjoyed the freshness and wackiness of the rolls at Lure Fishbar. The Dynamite was particularly good given the sweetness of the scallop against the spicy mayo (of which there wasn’t an overwhelming amount) and fresh fish on top. Plus, they’re pretty stunning to look at.

Oyster sampler – Beau Soleils with pineapple relish; Blue Points with caviar and creme fraiche; Kushi with jalapeno ponzu; and Kumamoto with wasabi leaf. I didn’t care for the Blue Points – they were a bit too big for me personally and something about the creme fraiche didn’t sit great with me – but the Beau Soleils and Kushi were dressed beautifully and not too large.

If I see anything with sea urchin on the menu, odds are I’ll try it at least once. Here, sea urchin bucatini with blue crab, garlic, crushed red pepper and breadcrumbs. Nicely executed and appreciated the kick from the red pepper and the generous amount of garlic, neither of which overpowered the substantial amount of buttery uni. Delicious.

For our Father’s Day and Mom’s birthday dinner, we ordered the whole stuffed lobster with seafood stuff, garlic-chili butter and grilled lemon; tempura shrimp with spicy sesame mayo and grilled octopus with chickpea puree, celery and lime-Aleppo pepper dressing. Not a dud in the mix. We especially liked the super tender octopus for its Mediterranean flavors.

For Jackie’s last dinner in NYC this summer, we stopped by the sushi bar again, this time starting with a salad of field greens with pickled peaches, goat cheese, chicory and poppy seed vinaigrette. I don’t usually like fruit in savory foods but the peaches were tart and still firm to give an interesting texture to the dish.

A generous crab cake with fresh corn and tomato salad and lime aioli. Flavors of summer in one dish.

Kenai roll of spicy wild king salmon, cucumber, scallions and fried shallot and the Shazam roll again.

A classic lobster roll with warm chips and coleslaw to round out the summer. Appreciated that it was an overflowing amount of sweet, perfectly cooked lobster that was barely dressed in mayo and garnished with chives.

I think sometimes Lure Fishbar can be a bit of a scene and the prices are certainly pretty steep for it to be a casual haunt, but given my past few visits and the surprisingly high calibre of seafood and service each time, it’s definitely worth the occasional splurge.

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RW – Lure Fishbar

July 30, 2008 § 2 Comments

Lure was the second experience of Restaurant Week 2008 and a true treat. I went with my old tennis teammate Joming and her friend Scott Yang Monday night for dinner to this subterranean seafood restaurant in Soho near Dean and Deluca. Let me first say that the decor inside is amazing – it looks like the inside of a yacht which makes sense. Clean lines, wood panels, leather booths, lots of blue.

For appetizers, Joming ordered the raw bar, I had the shrimp tempura, and Scott got the salmon tartare – a good spread. We were also surprised with two amuse-bouches, crab cakes on a stick and eggs on eggs (caviar topped deviled eggs) and an introduction to the executive chef himself, Josh Capon. A really nice touch if you ask me.

First: my tempura was AMAZING. I’ve never had shrimp that succulent and the outside crust wasn’t soggy at all, which is usually one of my biggest fears. The spicy mayo sauce had quite a lot of zing and reminded me of the sauce that comes with volcano rolls at Fujiyama Mama (a favorite local sushi place in Westfield). My mouth was so darned happy. And the portion wasn’t teeny tiny either which just meant more shrimp for me!

I didn’t get to try the tartare or the rawtasting, but therewas sound approval from both Joming and Scott, so I’m going to go with their statements and say they were both delicious as well.

Main courses: Joming and Scott had the nori crusted tuna and I went with a perfectly cooked and delicate (rare in my books) grilled salmon. My favorite part of this dish though was the lemon gnocchi underneath, which had the perfect smooth texture and a unique twist in taste from the citrus. This is something I want to try making the next time I get in the kitchen. It just added a whole another aspect to your regular gnocchi pasta. Yum.

Dessert started with another treat from the chef – strawberry creampuffs with a sour-cream poppyseed gelato. Joming couldn’t get her spoon away from the gelato, she just kept spooning away little by little (she though she was being subtle) until there was none left. I loved the creampuffs! They weren’t heavy at all and wonderfully buttery/flaky, but the strawberries cut the richness of the pastry.

There was also a lemon meringue bar, which would’ve been too sweet if there weren’t also the tart blueberries on the side. The sake mojito sorbet was…different. It took a bit to get used to the intriguing taste, but I came to like it by the last couple of bites. Very refreshing. Joming had decided to get the chocolate panna cotta, which I liked. Creamy, silky, smooth…a little bit of bitterness that mellowed out. I wanted more though. The cookie and banana in caramel sauce I didn’t care much for.

All in all, a wonderful meal, no doubt enhanced by the additional bites. I’d love to try Lure’s sushi next time and the raw bar since that’s mainly what the restaurant is known for. Given that it’s passed my initial tasting with flying colors, I’m now definitely more willing to shell out (haha! or not) money for a couple of special rolls and oysters. And now, I’m hungry again! Coming up…BARBECUE!

Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer St.
near Prince St.
212.431.7676

 

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