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“Ed's Lobster Bar”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Seafood Soho Moderate Great


It must be tough to be Rebecca Charles. For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about, she's the chef and owner of Pearl Oyster Bar. Let me rewind for a moment. When she opened Pearl, she pretty much put the lobster roll on the map for land-locked New Yorkers. She did it with the help of her co-chef, Mary Redding. When their relationship ended, Mary left, and opened her own seafood shack, Mary's Fish Camp, and started serving her own lobster rolls, steamers and fried clams. (I prefer Mary's. Sorry Rebecca.) So, anyway, then came Ed McFarland, who was Rebecca's sous chef for the past six years. And then, well, Ed goes off and opens his own lobster roll joint called Ed's Lobster Bar.

Now, look, it's not like Rebecca invented the Lobster Roll, but it must sting a little bit to have two of your protégés leave you and open competing businesses peddling the same sort of fare in similar environments. But hey, that's the way the lobster crawls. And you know what, Mary and Ed are very talented and they've created their own visions of a fish shack, and I am glad to have more options than just Pearl. In fact, I don't really eat at Pearl anymore. About a four years ago now, maybe more, I had made plans to have a late lunch at the bar with a friend. We got to the bar at 2:25. Lunch service ended at 2:30, and we were refused a seat. I pointed out that there were five minutes left and that all I wanted was a lobster roll, but Rebecca didn't care. She turned her back on us and walked back into the kitchen. I've never forgotten that and I will not return and eat there again. I've worked in the business, and I know what it's like to be at the end of the shift and not want to do one more cover, but there's something called hospitality, and I didn't feel any of it there.

However, I do feel it at Mary's (even when the wait is long), and I did feel the other night at Ed's, an absolutely fabulous (yes, I know that's effusive, but that's how I feel) new lobster bar that opened a few weeks ago on Lafayette Street, just across the way from La Esquina and Room for Dessert.

Ed's is a cute little shop of lobsters. A narrow windowed storefront is shaded by an awning of wide navy and white stripes. Walk inside, and you'll find a pencil-thin room lined in wainscoting that plays host to a stretched out white marble food bar (that can seat 30) lit up with bright globe lighting that leads back to a snug dining ... [more, click below]

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