NYC Food Post #3: Pearl Oyster Bar

I asked my friend J what she wanted to eat during our time together in NYC and she said lobster rolls. I’ve never had one, and I was game to try. So I Googled “best lobster rolls in NYC” and narrowed down the options to the three places that always showed up on the lists “best of” lists I found. We didn’t want to go all the way to Brooklyn for Red Hook Lobster Pound, so it was down to Luke’s Lobster and Pearl Oyster Bar.

Since it’s considered by most as the city’s lobster roll pioneer, we decided to go for Greenwich Village’s Pearl Oyster Bar.


Each order of the lobster roll comes with shoestring fries, which were great. I don’t know how they did it (and boy, I’d like to know), but they managed to make fries that thin still crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. These are nowhere near like the shoestring fries we’re familiar with, PicNic. Haha.

Like I said, this was my first ever lobster roll, so I have nothing to compare it against. But with just one bite, I could very well see how Pearl Oyster Bar’s version could be one of the best, if not THE best lobster roll in New York. The generous chunks of lobster were tender and slightly sweet. The dressing (although for me there was slightly too much of it) was creamy but not overwhelmingly so, with celery providing a counterpoint against all that mayo. And that bun was perfection. Normally, I don’t pay that much attention to the bread in a sandwich (bread on its own is a whole different matter) but the bun that Pearl uses is too yummy to ignore. It’s soft and excessively perfectly buttered with that wonderful nutty saltiness providing great contrast against the creaminess of the dressing.

Pearl Oyster Bar’s is one of the more expensive of the lobster rolls (our bill was $80++ for two lobster rolls and a glass of white wine) but I didn’t mind paying a premium for my first ever. It was definitely a great first try and it made me curious about the other (cheaper) contenders in that best of list.

So maybe I should do a lobster roll taste test for my next NYC trip?