Lured in

Lure Fishbar that is.

About 30 minutes after I finished my 14 hour journey back to New York this Friday, the bf announced he wanted to go out to dinner and celebrate our new jobs. Being the fatty that I am, I jumped in the shower and threw caution (and sleep deprivation) to the wind as I revved my jetlagged appetite for a long night out. Unfazed by our utter lack of a reservation, we decided to resort to our foolproof strategy of walking into restaurants and asking to be seated at the bar. So much for that… After striking out with Peasant, Balthazar and Cafe El Portal, we followed Yelp’s directions to Mercer and Prince and were warmly welcomed into Lure’s boat-like Fishbar.

One of the first things we noticed about Lure was the sheer volume of alcohol being consumed. Dozens of wine glasses littered the tables and there was a relaxed yet convivial air to the place. Its a large large space, much bigger than I thought when I first walked in. The lighting is dim and the acoustics are perfect with catchy 2005 tunes on the ready (if you need them) for awkward silences. The crowd is pretty mixed in age – some groups of 20 somethings, a few large tables of older couples, a few girls’ nights and some small tables with dates. Definitely a higher end crowd but without the aspirational element of some other Mercer Street establishments…

I’m a huge fan of eating at the bar. Not only is it prime real estate for watching elaborate cocktail mixage, but if you’re lucky enough, you can witness the creation of every piece of mouthwatering sushi, every plate of delicately shaved carpaccio, or in our case, every glistening oyster arranged perfectly upon a bed of salt.

We ordered mostly large appetizers (the bar menu is identical to the standard dinner menu), choosing to start with the shellfish plateau, followed by the fluke ceviche, yellowtail & scallion roll and lastly the octopus salad. The service was attentive and friendly with a busboy appearing after each course to change our silverware and our waiter apologizing for something being slow even though we hadn’t noticed. The dishes were beautifully presented, the portions larger than expected and the food was fresh and absolutely delicious.

I savoured my standard (seafood) accompaniment – a lychee martini – which was muddled and strong, but fell slightly short of the Bond Street version. The boyfriend loved his Dulce Caliente. Thoroughly stuffed, we decided to skip dessert and head instead to a friend’s party.

The Damage: $100 for two people who ate mostly appetizers, with two cocktails and no dessert.
The Verdict: classy ambience, warm service, delicious food … bonus points for hosting your menu on tumblr, well done Lure. Not bad at all for a celebratory dinner.

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