I hope you NY1, Food Network, and Google employees know how good you have it. Ok, Google employees definitely know how good they have it, thanks to the endless supply of free snacks and money at their disposal. But the rest of you lucky f*ckers get to work in the Chelsea Market building, and for that we're jealous. Say what you will about the crowds, but this is as good as workday eating probably gets.
We have a few favorite destinations in this great upscale food court, including The Tippler for a drink, Num Pang for a Cambodian sandwich, and One Lucky Duck for something a bit more healthy. Now we can add Cull & Pistol into the mix for anytime we've got the itch to throw back a dozen oysters and some beers in a place without windows. (We have very specific cravings).
Cull & Pistol is a casual raw bar and seafood restaurant from the owners of the adjacent market, The Lobster Place. The Lobster Place is a prolific wholesaler of seafood to area restaurants, and their Chelsea Market storefront is one of the best places to buy fish in town. So there's no question as to the quality of Cull & Pistol's product. The food they make with that product is pretty good too, as long as you know what to order. The question is, why should you eat here, as opposed to the hundred other places in New York that serve oysters and a lobster roll? The short answer is location. This isn't the best lobster roll in town, but it's probably the best one in the neighborhood. They also have a $1 oyster happy hour that you should be taking advantage of if you work in or near this building. As a matter of fact, you should probably put a "very important meeting" in your calendar for 4-6pm one day this week, subject line: "Secret Meeting At Google," or "Drinks with Pat Keirnan." Whichever one will be easier to explain to your boss.
We've seen more East Coast representation than West Coast on our visits, but that just may be a function of what's fresh that day. The $1 happy hour is the best way to dive into oysters here at Cull & Pistol, but other times of day work too. We like them with a side of California IPA, which they'll usually have on hand.
A pretty excellent bowl of pasta, with squid ink noodles, an "uni sauce" and breadcrumbs. This might be the best thing on the menu, assuming you're down with all of those flavors.
An interesting presentation of three deviled eggs, each with some kind of fish in the mix. One has some lobster, one has some crab, and one has some smoked salmon and trout roe. They're all rich and pretty tasty, but at the end of the day we're deviled egg purists. Give us mustard and pickles or give us nothing.
Our favorite thing to eat at Cull & Pistol. These tacos are slammin', thanks mostly to the grilled pineapple-jicama slaw on top and the mole sauce on the shrimps. Get some.
We like both the and cold "ME" versions of lobster roll on this menu about the same. The lobster salad is excellent, and in both cases, it's dressed perfectly. But there's a problem here, and it relates to the "toasted top-split bun." The damn thing is way too thin, and falls apart the second you try and pick it up. The next thing you know, you're eating lobster with your fork, and that's an entirely different experience. If I'm eating lobster with a fork, I want an awesome lobster bib and that's non-negotiable. So Cull & Pistol either needs to fix this bun or start handing out plastic neck wear immediately.
No idea what "New Bay" means, but we suspect it's an attempt to dodge a cease and desist from the Old Bay people. Either way, these fries are really good.