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Pearl Oyster Bar


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#16 Wilfrid1

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 03:53 PM

I feared the worst on a first-time mid-evening visit when I discovered a scrum of punters hunkered grimly inside the door, enduring the half-hour wait for a table or seat at the bar. However, it turned out that they had all rejected seats at the counter opposite the bar. Maybe that's Pearl's Siberia. We were less fussy, and were comfortably seated without delay. :rolleyes:

The star of the evening was a whole black bass, simply grilled, fresh and tasty and not in any way messed about. The lobster roll was okay, but I am perhaps spoilt by memories of lobster rolls in Australia - I just wish the filling had been a little less chilled. I don't personally like shoestring fries, but that's my problem.

To my surprise, we both preferred the crab cake to the fried oysters, which were heavily breaded and not noticeably superior to other versions we've tried. The crab cake was loose and meaty and served with a very good celeriac remoulade.

With several glasses of Trimbach pinot gris, fifty bucks a head.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#17 Ron Johnson

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:03 PM

You can get the lobster roll with a side of very nice mesclun salad instead of the shoestring fries.

I get both. :rolleyes:

#18 yvonne johnson

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:50 PM

Oh, right, celeriac not jicama with the crab cake. Despite my roots, I don't know them that well.

Sounds as though you aren't as taken with Pearl as we are, Wilf. Vive la differance* and so on.

*Just for you. :rolleyes:
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#19 Wilfrid1

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 07:39 PM

Not at all - the black bass was incredibly good.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#20 marcus

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 10:35 PM

The lobster roll was okay, but I am perhaps spoilt by memories of lobster rolls in Australia - I just wish the filling had been a little less chilled.  I don't personally like shoestring fries, but that's my problem.

To my surprise, we both preferred the crab cake to the fried oysters, which were heavily breaded and not noticeably superior to other versions we've tried.  The crab cake was loose and meaty and served with a very good celeriac remoulade.

Very much my view. Although Pearl's roll itself is quite unique and good, the lobster seems to lack flavor intensity, possibly the meat is left sitting around too long. The shoe string fries are too dry and like cardboard. However, you shouldn't give up on them as a category until you try the pommes alumettes at l'Ami Louis. I also found the fried oysters to be too heavily breaded and lacking in the sweet intensity of fine oysters. They do fried oysters very well in New Orleans, but there are good oysters around here as well, so someone should be able to do it.

#21 marcus

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 11:32 AM

Not just tomato but tomato ketchup. Reminiscent of the "Rose Marie" sauce that graces a Berni Inn prawn cocktail. (Though it wasn't that bad.)

I went back to both Mary's and Pearl's last week for the lobster roll. Could not detect any taste of tomato in Mary's lobster roll. I asked and was told that the reddish cast of the Mayo was from the red skin on the lobster. Absolutely no tomato in any form. Pearl's has a reddish cast as well but, Mary's is a bit redder because the chunks of lobster are cut larger. What was noticeable, was that Mary's, at least this time, had a much more pronounced taste of celery. Both were served at the same temperature, cool, and perhaps on the edge of being too cold. The great strength of Pearl's lobster roll remains the roll itself which is superior, there is more lobster flavor with Mary's. I wonder whether this difference has anything to do with sourcing. I may be wrong, but I doubt that either place is using Maine lobsters, so these lobsters could be potentially coming frozen from South Africa or Australia. Something to ask next time I visit.

With regard to the fries, I continue to prefer Mary's which are flat and very thinly cut versus Pearl's which are true shoestring style. Mary's are a bit greasier, but have more potato flavor.

I tried the new engand clam chowder with bacon at Pearl's for the first time. Although the flavors are clear and in balance, it lacks a notable characteristic flavor to give it direction, and comes across to me as a good soup base, rather than being finished.

Overall, I've had enough of either lobster roll for quite awhile. The person sitting next to me at Pearl's counter was having the striped bass special, which really looked good, and I was thinking that I would much rather be eating that.

Edited by marcus, 22 March 2005 - 11:35 AM.


#22 Ron Johnson

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 01:16 PM

I guess one shouldn't expect too much of Pearl as it is a NYC restaurant. :lol:

#23 omnivorette

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 01:56 PM

I may be wrong, but I doubt that either place is using Maine lobsters, so these lobsters could be potentially coming frozen from South Africa or Australia.  Something to ask next time I visit.

I cannot imagine that they are using frozen lobster. You can get live lobsters all over this city every day of the year.

And on their menu on their website, the lobsters that are served boiled, grilled, or chilled are actually called "Maine Lobsters" - I can't imagine they are using other lobsters for the lobster roll.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#24 ngatti

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 02:44 PM

I may be wrong, but I doubt that either place is using Maine lobsters, so these lobsters could be potentially coming frozen from South Africa or Australia.  Something to ask next time I visit.

I cannot imagine that they are using frozen lobster. You can get live lobsters all over this city every day of the year.

And on their menu on their website, the lobsters that are served boiled, grilled, or chilled are actually called "Maine Lobsters" - I can't imagine they are using other lobsters for the lobster roll.

However, the current wholesale price is heinous.

Recently 10.5/pound for 2 and ups

Even culls (the lobster you would use for a roll) were significantly higher. As the season progresses this should come down.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#25 ngatti

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 02:46 PM

They are *not* warm water lobsters. Aside from the obvious taste dffs, these things are even more expensive.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#26 Orik

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 02:58 PM

should be easy enough to call and ask.

By the way, I wasn't aware that lobsters were also being farmed, but the delivery of live lobsters to a well known midtown steakhouse comes from something something lobster farm, Maine.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#27 mitchells

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 03:00 PM

should be easy enough to call and ask.

By the way, I wasn't aware that lobsters were also being farmed, but the delivery of live lobsters to a well known midtown steakhouse comes from something something lobster farm, Maine.

Which steakhouse?

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#28 wingding

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 03:03 PM

Don't forget that the flavor of lobsters vary from season to season as well.For that matter,every lobster tastes different.Some have the thang that will make you sing,some don't.Every lobster roll at Pearl is not guaranteed to make you get up on the bar and scream...stray off course,and try the pan fried bass next time-it's delicious.
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#29 ngatti

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 03:04 PM

should be easy enough to call and ask.

By the way, I wasn't aware that lobsters were also being farmed, but the delivery of live lobsters to a well known midtown steakhouse comes from something something lobster farm, Maine.

I don't know about farming. Some guys with regular pounds and traps may call themselves farms. As far as I know, lobsters don't eat in captivity/tanks.

What may be happening is that the lobsters aren't so-called Canadien Hardshells. Meaning they come from warmer waters south to NJ, MD. These are cheaper and though connoisseurs may be able to tell the dif, most of us plebes will not.

FYI--a cull lobster is one missing a claw and will sell at a discount.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#30 ngatti

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 03:07 PM

Don't forget that the flavor of lobsters vary from season to season as well.For that matter,every lobster tastes different.Some have the thang that will make you sing,some don't.Every lobster roll at Pearl is not guaranteed to make you get up on the bar and scream...stray off course,and try the pan fried bass next time-it's delicious.

In cold water winter waters Lobster = super sweet?? An old wives tale.??

I buy lots of big boys in a year. My experience is that the meat deteriorates (flavor) as the summer progresses. This to the point that I don't want to touch them in Sept. But the members insist and I am here to serve. :lol:
yer 'avin' a larf, mate