New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Andrew Carmellini’s American bar, restaurant and oyster room occupies the old Cub Room space in SoHo. It’s been attractively renovated; the venue is light and bright with an oyster bar in front and a handsome back room with a working fireplace. The place is particularly popular on weekends and it’s easy to see why, even if the acoustics can be unforgiving when it’s crowded. The bar bears the slogan ‘eat bivalves’ and you’d wise to follow that advice as the oysters are top notch groups can order seafood sharing platters that will make your mouth water. The venue is open for lunch and dinner (it also does a super tasty brunch at weekends) and Carmellini’s food is a real draw. Impeccably American, and often locally sourced, the menu boasts fried chicken and collard greens, oyster po’boys, and a good selection of American cheeses, while dessert includes a daily changing selection of fresh homemade pies. They stock a vast range of bourbons as well as a nice line in craft beers. The cocktail list, the work of Josh Nadel, is compact but exciting, featuring idiosyncratic creations like the Pickled Ramp Gibson, a blend of gin, vermouth, bitters and pickled ramp juice we’d also be tempted by the Bert Lahr, which mixes Laird’s Applejack and St Elizabeth Allspice Dram with boiled cider and lime. The venue has proved such a hit that the team behind it has now opened a spin off joint in Miami Beach, but better weather notwithstanding, we’d plump for the New York City original every time.