Pearl Oyster Bar

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90 Excellent

Come for the famous lobster roll, and make sure to order oysters and a hot-fudge sundae while you’re there.

18 Cornelia St., New York, NY, 10014


Known For

The lowdown

Like David Chang and his ramen, Rebecca Charles didn’t invent the classic Atlantic Coast oyster bar. But she deserves credit for reimagining it for a new generation of eaters, and her dependable, highly successful template — classic, comforting recipes imbued with first-class ingredients and technique, and a touch of New York largess — has been imitated, not just in the realm of seafood, but all over the endlessly expanding haute-comfort-food map. The vaunted house lobster roll still gets all the press, and for good reason. But the menu is dotted with a veritable murderers’ row of reliable favorites, like the Pearl Caesar and the smoky, bacon-rich clam chowder, as well as the other bountiful, less publicized lunchtime sandwiches (the fried oyster roll, the pan-fried fish sandwich) and the smoked Atlantic salmon, which is plated at this old downtown institution with a loose, buttery johnnycake instead of blinis and an elegant spoonful of crème fraîche.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

Recommended DishesClam chowder; fried oysters; lobster roll; grilled whole fish; hot-fudge sundae.

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized