We've put this one off long enough and it's time to come right out and say it - we don't love Ed's Lobster Bar. Apologies to those of you who do, we know we're in the minority here. Ed just doesn't do it for us the way Mary, Pearl, or Luke does.
There isn't much we love more than a good seafood shack. In fairness to Ed, it's not that easy to pull off a successful one, especially a lobster focused one, within the urban confines of this cement city. Are you ever really in the mood to get a full pound and a half lobster when you're in Manhattan, freshly off the pee smelling, rat infested subways? Lobster is most enjoyable when you can smell the ocean from which it came.
Lobster rolls are an extremely subjective delicacy. Everyone is entitled to their own personal preference. One of our all time favorites comes from Lunch in Amagansett. It's a mayo heavy, finely chopped lobster salad that you either love or don't understand. In Manhattan, Mary's Fish Camp and Luke's Lobster, while very different, make the rolls our dreams are made of. Ed's light on the mayo, heavy on the meat roll just isn't on the same level in our humble opinion. We've been back a bunch, just to make certain, and every time we're left with the same disappointing feeling. And the rest of the menu leaves us with that same empty feeling. It's all reasonable ocean fare, but none of it leaves us anxiously awaiting next time.
New England Clam Chowder
I've had this a couple of times over the years, and each time it's been a little different. Not once has it been particularly good. Too chunky, too thin, too cold - there's always something a little off about Ed's chowder.PEI Mussels with Horseradish Cream Sauce
At $10, this is a hefty sized serving of mussels. However, for as good as horseradish cream sauce sounds, the thin broth didn't actually taste like anything. We had to dump tons of the extra horseradish that comes on the side on each mussel to give these things any semblance of flavor.Lobster Roll
As discussed above, we're not crazy about Ed's lobster roll. The bun is lightly toasted and perfectly buttered and you get tons of lobster, but it's pretty much mayo and seasoning free. Also, the lobster chunks are huge, which makes some people happy, but not us. Big chewy lobster knuckles aren't what we look for in a lobster rolls...that's a cop out. I want claw meat.Oven Roasted Montauk Bluefish
Finally, a dish that's seasoned correctly. If you find yourself at Ed's and looking for a non-lobster choice, this is the way to go. Maybe because truffle salt.Ed's Slaw/Pickles
The slaw is whatever. Nothing to write home about. On the other hand, the pickles are incredible. Enjoy them in house, or take them home with you. They're for sale by the bottle.
They don't have a huge selection of oysters, but this is definitely the way to go. Last time we were here we enjoyed a nice selection of Beau Soleil, Malpeque, and Pipe's Cove. At $3 a piece, a dozen gets rather pricey. The $2 happy hour special is more like it.