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Good News/Bad News: Butcher Bay

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Krieger, 2/8/09

Last week every media outlet in town went to some great lengths promoting East Village newcomer Butcher Bay, (short of dropping fliers from the sky) and it looks like accordingly, after only 5 days, everyone in town has already eaten there. The less-than-a-week old revamping of Seymour Burton from owners Adam Cohn and new friends Jason Hennings and Bob Giraldi (of E.U.), has already drummed up a hefty stack of early reviews and we’re sorry to report, a bevy of bad news seems to be the early consensus. Poor service, mediocre food, deafening volumes, and misshucked oysters are among the early laments of commenters and Yelpers alike. But nobody’s rushing to final judgment just yet—the place has only been open since Friday, folks. So without further ado, the super early news: good, bad, and everywhere in between.

The Good News: Let's start with the good news. A satisfied commenter posts this little bit of sunshine: “Ate there on Saturday and enjoyed everything we had: oysters, salad, shrimp hush puppies, and a whole lobster. Keep in mind, we sorely missed Seymour Burton and are very excited to have an oyster place around - so we want to like it. We sat down around 6pm; it was full by around 7.” [Eater Comments]

The Bad News: Moving on, this disgruntled Yelper is not impressed with the fried offerings and is ready to sound the alarm over a hair in her food: “Call the Health Department please! Eating here on the second night of its opening and what do I find in my food--a long dark hair! The noise here is so loud that you can't hear what what your companion opposite you is saying. The food is Coney Island frozen french fries and fried anything you want. “ [Yelp]

The Mostly Good News: This commenter thought the service was good but the food not so tantalizing: “Went last night for dinner. Accommodating staff. Shrimp hush puppies were a bit too bread-y for my tastes, but flavorable. Had the oyster-bacon po' boy as well: a foot long sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, dressing, fried oysters and two strips of maple bacon, accompanied by a nice serving of shoestring french fries. Sandwich was bland, even with the bacon adding some heft to the mix. Fries could have been crispier. Also witnessed one of the staff having difficulty shucking oysters: some of the oysters served were mutilated.” [Eater Comments]

The OK News: Another Yelper had a mixed experience and offers some specific suggestions: “Apps - shrimp hush puppies - Nice and light, nice dipping sauce. Oyster Chowder - Star of the show, excellent flavour and three large oysters. Reminds me of the chowder at Flex Mussels. Corn bread with cheese – meh. Oyster poor boy with bacon - too much bread, needs refining - not elegant. Things that need to change -Smoke and cooking fumes - awful, they need an extractor fan ASAP. Coat hooks! A lobster roll on the menu~!!!!” [Yelp]

The Mostly Bad News: This commenter was generally displeased with his experience, in particular the poor oyster shucking: “I ate there on Friday. OK. I'll give it to them that it was their opening night. But really poor management. And food was mixed. SERIOUS KINKS. We ordered Oysters. We painfully watched as a guy behind the bar shredded the shells. Grinding the knife into the poor little oyster. A couple of them he had to ask someone if they could still be served. If you have to ask, they should not. But of course they were. . .giant chunks missing from the shell. A couple were so obliterated that they were served on the bottom of the shell. Very very poor? What else? Oh. we never got our po boy (which i was actually excited about) and the fish and chips we did get were bland and soggy. But the shrimp fritters were delicious. And the oyster chowder (while being a bit salty) was also tasty.” [Eater Comments]

The Not So Good News: And finally this commenter liked the ambiance but was unhappy with the service and prices: “I ate there on Saturday, the interior is really cool but the food was so so and a bit pricey. Also the fumbling manager was making a big stink how the owner was coming in and the front table must be held for him...unbeknownst to the staff who kept seating people there (including myself) and then asking everyone to move or then wait. It was so painful, that after the 5th time this happened my friend made a "reserved" sign and put it on the table. when the "owner" finally showed the manager ripped the sign down and acted like it just happened to be vacant. Not a great dining experience.” [Eater Comments]

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