Cull & Pistol
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Tucked in the back of the seafood section at Chelsea Market, this cozy nook nods to two types of lobsters: a cull lobster, which has only one claw, and a pistol lobster, which has no claws. Name notwithstanding, patrons of Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar, a sister venue to the next-door Lobster Place, need not worry about there being enough crustacean meat to go around here as well.
Diners tuck into heaping platters of seafood at snug, wooden tables in the narrow-but-warm single-aisle dining room. With a handful of Edison-style lightbulbs strung over the bar and candles behind the expansive bench, decoration here is minimal, promising not to distract your appetite. Food is the star of the operation.
The raw-bar menu—which comes with a golf pencil for customers to indicate the number of each per-item order they want—includes a dozen types of succulent oysters and clams, flavorful and sizable Jonah crab claws that seem a bargain at $3 a pop, and a variety of towers that include different combinations and quantities of offerings.
Highlights of the well-executed dinner menu include an inventive shrimp-shitake toast appetizer ($9), which layers meat and mushroom with fiery red chili, fresh scallion and lemon in a garlic aioli atop soft-yet-crusty ciabatta; and a seared sea scallop number ($27), which plates five of the tender medallions, brushed with a savory lobster-broth reduction, on a bed of maitake mushrooms, Swiss chard and sweet-potato puree. But the clear pièce de résistance is the one-and-a-half pound North Atlantic lobster ($30), which is either prepared grilled with tarragon butter or steamed and served with drawn butter.
A selection of wine, beer and cocktails rounds out the grub—along with a singular dessert offering of a key lime tart. It's the perfect end to a spread of simple-yet-solid fare, leaving you feeling like you've found a tiny pearl in the sea of garden-variety oyster bars.
75 Ninth Ave
|Cross street:||at 15th St|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave|
|Price:||Average entrée: $20|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 11:30am–3:30pm, 5–10pm; Sun 11:30am–4pm, 5:30–9pm; Mon–Fri 4–6pm|
|Do you own this business?|