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“Outstanding seafood, cozy location”
Review of Pearl Oyster Bar

Pearl Oyster Bar
Ranked #499 of 14,125 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch
Neighborhood: West Village
Description: Pearl Oyster Bar opened as a 21-seat Seafood restaurant in 1997 to extraordinary acclaim. It was the first establishment in NYC to serve New England cuisine and popularized the lobster roll, never before served in New York. Pearl was also responsible for the upscale oyster bar trend and dining at the bar. The restaurant expanded in 2003 and is considered a New York Classic. Celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2017.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

I try to avoid places that have been lauded by celebrity chefs, but before going to NYC I read an article by Mario Batali about his favorite restaurants in NYC and his mention of Pearl Oyster Bar piqued my curiosity. There's near unanimous love on review sites for this place, along with warnings of long waits (it's a small place). Well, we showed up post-lunch on a rainy Tuesday and walked right into a comfortable seat at the bar, there were only 3 other people on the bar side, a few parties in the restaurant side.

We had half dozen oysters to begin, which were the best either of us had ever had, truly superb! Followed that up with the much lauded lobster roll, which was as good as everyone has said. Heaped with lobster, this is a must have for lobster roll lovers. Third dish was the fried oysters, which were good, but nowhere close to the raw. Highly recommended, we'll go back every time we visit.

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1  Thank dolworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 191 of 464 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2013

I have been in this restaurant 4 times and It was always very busy. It worth while to wait for your table or your seat at the bar with a glass of wine ! One of the best seafood I have ever eaten !!! Service is excellent ! Thank you Maria ! Whenever I am in NY I will never miss the opportunity to go to The Pearl for dinner !

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Thank MrBxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

I crave Pearl Oyster Bar lobster rolls - they are so delicious! Start with a few raw oysters then enjoy a yummy lobster roll and fries cooked to crispy perfection. Great wine list too - well worth the wait for a table (but sitting at the bar is also a great option). Go early and put your name on the list!

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1  Thank Karla E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Great seafood and desserts. The downside is you have to wait for a good seat/table, as they don't take reservations. I also had problems with payment because they only accept certain credit cards.

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Thank vagabond_for_life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

After it was featured in an e-newsletter and I had checked it out in TripAdvisor, I chose Pearl Oyster Bar for dinner with my sister on one of her trips to the City.  

TripAdvisor warned that the Pearl does not accept reservations and that they do not have much space for waiting.  My train into the City was about ten minutes late and there was a very long wait for a B/D train at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue so I was about twenty minutes late.  However, my sister was on time and we were seated as soon as I got there.  Tables turned over fairly fast a JD there were no lines on the sidewalk.

The seating was intimate but the other patrons were pleasant.  The tables to each side of us turned over twice while we ate.  However, we were seated in the very back where there was little traffic.  It might be worth a little extra time to sit in the back.  

The little neck clams were to die for.  I eat a lot of clams; these were the best I have ever had.

The newsletter rated it as one of the best lobster rolls in the city so we both had it.  The roll itself was of the style that I associate with Howard Johnson.  HoJo used it for hot dogs and fried clams.  While I have been known to eat the lobster and leave the roll, I ate this one.  The lobster was sweet and tender and well dressed.   I might have liked some cracked black pepper and they had taken away the giant bottle of Tabasco that was served with my little necks.  After a bite or two, I forgot about it.  

The lobster roll is served with wonderful "shoestring" fried potatoes.  If your selection does not come with them, they are available on the side.  They are worth the trip.  

One reviewer described the menu as limited but that does not mean that you will not be faced with hard choices.  The Pearl does no more than it can do to its high standard.  While I went for the lobster roll, I am already planning my next couple of trips.  On one, I will go alone, eat at the bar, and have oysters and the crab cake with tartar sauce.  

We are both watching our weight so we passed on dessert but it was not easy.  Think "comfort food" desserts.  If comfort food does not work for you, think decadence, like blueberry bread pudding with custard sauce and a big spoon.

I had to think about what I had in my pocket when I heard the waiter tell the party at the next table that the Pearl does not take American Express.  Not to worry; my sister said it was her turn to pay.  

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1  Thank whmurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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