Of all the Neapolitan pizza and banh mi that 2009 hath brought, one of the more interesting additions to the city's culinary scene is an influx of new seafood options. On top of big name openings like Marea and Ed's Chowder House, there was the relocation and upgrade of Oceana, the debut of the lovely little lobster shack Luke's Lobster, and a few new dishes found in unexpected places (10 Downing, Minetta Tavern). Though the temps may be dropping soon, it's still a great time to be eating seafood—especially oysters and lobsters—so check out the newcomers.
240 Central Park South
To his empire of northern and southern Italian stalwarts Alto and Convivio, Michael White has added a swanky coastal restaurant by the name of Marea. Maybe you've heard of it. They recently unveiled a "Le Collezione" menu at the crudo bar: 125 bucks gets you six crudi, five portions of pasta, and a dessert. Sam Sifton pretty much covers the rest.
1221 6th Ave.
Last month, Oceana, the well-regarded seafood temple, debuted its new corporate digs on 49th and 6th, which include a raw bar that is getting tons of love. The extensive oyster roster is the standout here, but you can't really go wrong with the "contemporary" items or much of the other stuff, either.
154 Orchard St.
One "big" offering at Michael Huynh's genius LES project Bia Garden is the baked whole fish. Diners are served, yes, a whole fish, with veggies, an herb basket, and fish sauce. Rice paper (made malleable by a side of water) lets you combine all the goodness.
4)10 Downing's Crab Boils
10 Downing St.
Earlier this month 10 Downing announced that it was bringing back its popular "summer" clam bake special. Stuff is absolute money: lobster, mussels, clams, and prawns, all for twenty bucks. Goes down Sundays and Mondays.
93 E. 7th St.
Luke Holden, former Maine lobster fisherman and co-owner of Portland Shellfish, opened this lobster shack at the beginning of the month to serious buzz. The sweet, succulent, small lobster rolls are the obvious hit here; a little bit of oregano and pepper, a little bit of mayo, and a whole hell of a lot of lobster meat. Also on the menu: shrimp rolls and crab claws.
6)L'Asso's Clam Pie
192 Mott St.
Back in April, Nolita pizza joint L'Asso entered into direct competition with Lombardi's when they introduced a clam pie. Suffice to say that these pepper, pecorino, garlic, and parsley-laden things are not to be missed. According to many, they're giving the folks over on 32 Spring St. a serious run for their money.
645 9th Ave
The Hell's Kitchen sandwich shop from Angelo Sosa (ex-Yumcha, Jean-Georges) has been swarmed practically since the day it opened, and a subsequent endorsement from a certain French chef in a certain New York City publication only made things more buzzed. Yes, there's plenty of meat on offer, but the fish chaca la vong and the lobster roll are winners.
8)Ed's Chowder House
44 W 63rd St
A reworking of the failed Center Cut space, Ed's Chowder House has proven one of El Chod's most successful openings in quite some time. Although early diner feedback points to weaknesses in the namesake offerings, it sounds like Ed Brown is firing on most, if not all, cylinders at this haute "seafood shack." Get the arugula pesto risotto, scallop ravioli, and lobster crumble.
9)Aldea's Shrimp Alhinho
31 W 17th St
George Mendes' interpretation of this Portuguese classic earned him raves when Aldea opened earlier this year. Shrimp jus, garlic, coriander, and pimenton make up the killer, addictive sauce, which is probably still eliciting its fair share of oohs and ahhs in the dining room.
113 MacDougal St
The wild card. Some would say that it's all about the cote de boeuf here, and they'd be right. But the trout meuniere, creme billi bi with garlic bread, and lobster salad are all top-notch. Hell, that Bruni guy loved them, so why not give them a try? That's of course if you can get in.