|Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar|
Cuisine: Seafood , Southern , Oyster Bars
Menu: View the Menu
Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar is the sort of place that makes you feel like a million bucks, even if you are worth significantly less. This stunning little townhouse in the East Village - owned by Jack and Grace Lamb, the picture perfect couple behind the sushi temple known as Jewel Bako - is a dollhouse-sized gem wrapped up in cherry-red gingham wallpaper, where chef Allison Vines - Rushing has created a magical wonderland for discerning gastronomes - what she describes as "a New York kind of place, with a little Southern heart a inspiration."Review By: Andrea Strong
Dinner at Jack's can take one of two paths. Your first option is down in the more casual, but no less stunning, Oyster Bar, where you'll find tall cherry-red leather banquettes and a magnificent marble oyster bar for sipping glasses of 1990 Dom Perignon ($250 a bottle), slurping back oysters six ways (with a variety of perky mignonettes, $14), or making your way through the assortment of fruit de mer like littlenecks ($2), taylor bay scallops (in season), Maine lobster (out of the shell $24/$14) and west and east coast oysters ($2).
If you chose to dine upstairs, you will pass through a precious little kitchen where Vines-Rushing and her husband Slade Rushing (her co-chef) cook, side by side, in peaceful harmony. (So far, no fights have erupted.) The small dining room is like a fairy tale - a handful of tiny tables, elegantly appointed with fine linens, and vintage china and flatware. The food is similarly magical. Oysters Rockefeller "Deconstructed" ($16)- oysters poached in beurre fondue, topped with spinach and watercress cooked in brown butter, garnished with a bacon chip and grated licorice root—is a delicious dish that hits all the flavor zones and reminds you what good cooking is all about. A salad composed of shaved vegetables dressed in a racy pickled peach vinaigrette ($9) is a perfect example of how to fire up simple ingredients with some Southern love. Tender braised pig cheeks are perfectly cooked and served with collards finished with a lip-licking housemade pepper vinegar. A pink peppercorn crusted halibut is similarly flawless—meaty and moist and doused in a fierce morel bourbon sauce.
Desserts are worth the extra weight, especially the delicate Bananas Foster ($9), served with fresh whipped cream, spooned, tableside, over a delicate rum-soaked baba. This is luxury.
Neighborhood: East Village
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