Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar is dying. Dead. Over. Give it another twelve months, tops. So says Eater at least, and they’re the experts when it comes to restaurant life expectancy.
Judging by our recent Thursday night visit, it would be tough to disagree with them. We expected to walk in on a buzzy room of East Village neighborhood regulars downing oysters and drinking fine wines. But not on this night, and from what we understand, not on many. So why not put Jack’s on the same list as Charlie Sheen and whichever one of the Golden Girls is left? Well, how about the fact that Eater published that article in October of 2007.
Somehow, Jack’s Luxury oyster bar is still hanging tough, more than three years after at least one obituary. And we have a theory as to why. The only feasible explanation is that this clams and chorizo dish contains the fountain of youth and/or stem cells. It’s been a while since we have had anything that satisfying at a restaurant, and we’re going to be coming back for it often. The oysters and the rest of the menu? Interesting and at times very good. But nothing else coming out of that kitchen has the same magical ability to sustain restaurant and human lives alike. You can read more about the sacred voodoo pot of eternity in the Food Rundown, but we suggest you go sit at the bar some night and try it for yourself. Just make sure you go soon. Who knows how much longer Jack’s can hold out.
We had some Kumamotos from Washington and some Salt Ponds from Rhode Island. Kumamotos were great per usual, and the Salt Ponds were actually amazing. That may have been the first time I have had them, but it absolutely will not be the last.
A small serving of room temperature scallops, sliced thin and dressed with something delicious and something crunchy. Unfortunately we cannot remember what, and that probably says a lot about the dish.
Risotto with Wild Arugula, Quail Egg, & Bacon
An excellent risotto with a quail egg in the middle and big hunks of bacon. Like you wouldn’t love that.
Clams and Chorizo
As previously mentioned, you need to eat this. Sure, Jack’s has a great tasting menu that’s nicely priced and always full of creative and delicious food. But this is one of the best things we’ve eaten in a long time. A iron pot comes out steaming and stocked full of clams, chorizo rounds, delicious broth and some white beans for good measure. That in itself is incredibly good. But when you introduce crusty white bread that’s been rubbed with smoked paprika and butter, things get crazy. And we didn’t even have to ask the waiter for extra bread. He just brought it ’cause he knew. Lay off me, I’m starving.