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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bait & Hook's Re-Opening

I attended the opening celebration of Bait & Hook Seafood Bar, a newly revamped joint in Manhattan's East Village. It's reminiscent of a shanty by the sea--netting, apparently resting after having made the catch of the day draped from the ceiling, harboring starfish. A few lobster traps hung close by with Edison lighting suspended from above. Consulting Chef Dave Martin's new menu is fun and we set our course with a number of fat oysters from Long Island to start. 


Beer and wine flowed freely with passed hors d’oeuvres delivered to the bustling crowd. My friend and I navigated our way to two seats at the bar and dropped anchor--a kind bartender was quite attendant and helped us commandeer some of the seafaring fare! A Sicilian Villa Pozzi pinot grigio was a fairly marvelous pairing with the mollusks and my friend enjoyed the Argentinean Diseno malbec with a light acidity and notes of fruit.

Chicken sandwiches served on a soft grilled bun went down the hatch, topped with what tasted like piccalilli-flavored pickles. Panko crusted cheesy mac with lobster arrived in a cast iron skillet shortly before a tray of scrumptious lobster rolls lightly dressed in drawn butter came out in grilled rolls.

My friend went wild over coconut shrimp (I resisted) and tangy, moist fried chicken is seen below, served with sharp blue cheese dressing for dipping--and yes, another oyster. A neighboring fellow at the bar ordered a frosty pint of a Lagunitas IPA and I readily took the bait too, so fantastic, in turns bitter, fruity and floral with just the right amount of foam.

The merry faux ice sculpture anchoring the bar--it's a little blurry but since we were all packed in like a tin of sardines it wasn't exactly easy to take a picture!

Thanks to Shari Bayer for the invite!

Bait & Hook Seafood Bar is located at 231 Second Ave (@ 14th St), New York, NY, 212-260-8015,

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