Friday, May 19, 2017


Lure may not be the see-and-be-seen hotspot it was when it first opened, but those who were drawn to it initially have become loyal customers, and the appeal of the outstanding seasonally seafood-centric cuisine and comfortably classy room still entice a savvy crowd.  Even with what must be some of the priciest real estate in the city, owner John MacDonald and chef Josh Capon have maintained Lure as a totally destination-worthy restaurant.

The stately room successfully channels the luxury and calm of a posh cruise liner, seductively moody and with more than a hint of swank.  For those of us who luxury travel is still a bit elusive, the transporting interior offers a fancy escape- at least as long as dinner lasts.   And that dinner will be excellent, the sea-centric menu includes all the expected classics of utmost quality, but ebbs seamlessly with modern tastes
and seasonal shifts.  Begin simply with a luscious deviled egg
with crunchy bits of onion in the creamy whipped yolk, crowned with a dollop of caviar for some seaworthy finesse.  Warm shrimp glazed with a tangy barbecue sauce flecked with a chiffonade of allium were so zesty and delicious I would've ordered them as an entree, if that would've presented itself as an option.

A lengthy portfolio of sushi, sashimi, oysters and rolls concede to purists, and three iterations of decadent Shellfish Plateaux (from $65 to $195) cater to the expense accounts.  There are creative salads, like a springy celebration of mixed greens with pickled rhubarb, its tang constrained with snowy goat cheese and a subtly sweet poppy seed vinaigrette.   Velvety leaves of butter lettuce and smooth avocado are  tossed with crunchy cucumber and radishes in a classic, smooth green goddess.  The requisite clam chowder is prepared  in the creamy New England style, lobster bisque is spiked with cognac, and the landlubber option
of white asparagus soup coddles green spears within the ivory puree, and a spritz of toasted garlic atop to enliven the gentle pabulum.

Entrees get more interesting in my opinion; I was having a seriously difficult time deciding, and it didn't help that my table mate decided on salmon, which is probably my least favorite fish.  But even it looked magnificent.  A thick filet's (they cook it according to your preference) rich coral color is bolstered by a bronze glaze of miso smattered with sesame, both black and white.  The accoutrements continue with the Asian theme, sugar snaps and shoots and chewy little mushrooms nestled beneath.  Most plate are noticeably starch-free- concessions to either the gluten averse or carbophobes, but
 scalloped potatoes or an excellent lobster mac and cheese are available as sides, along with an expansive selection of seasonally appropriate veggies like grilled asparagus with roasted shallots or more durable suspects like the requisite roasted cauliflower, here dusted with parmesan and chili, or king trumpets, crisp-edged and chewy.   More mushrooms find there way into an regallly bronzed filet of meaty halibut, these ones shiitake, and springy favas and spinach rival each other's greenness.  Pickly rhubarb atop confirm the season and add a nice snap against the mild beurre blanc pooling below.

My only misstep of the night was dining with a lovely, amiable, charming companion who, however, is not a dessert fan.  I was so close to ordering one to devour solo but none of the ones that were tempting me were very shelf-stable, and I didn't want any remainder to go to waste. But I should've  gotten that pineapple upside down cake, because I'm still thinking about: a hazelnut sponge with passionfruit sauce, or even less durable an Imperial Chai creme brûlée.  In a very uncharascteric moment  I decided to go with her uncondonable restraint and forewent dessert.... and still regret it.  Just another aspect of Lure's allure.... the desire to return.

142 Mercer st 
tel 1.212.431.7676 

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