“I feel like I’m in St. Tropez!” says a blonde in a tight black dress at the bar, looking at the busy dining room of Lure Fishbar in Manhattan resembling a luxurious yacht more than a trendy restaurant hidden beneath the Prada store in SoHo.
This late Friday night, the bar is filled with bankers, models, and other trendy Manhattanistas who enjoy a lively lounge scene, good drinks, and exquisite little nibbles like trumped-up Deviled Eggs topped with caviar. Large groups of friends, and some couples cozying up in the corner, fill the room, dining for the most part on the sushi, shellfish, and plated fish dishes that form the menu’s center core.
Chef Josh Capon cooks with a refreshingly light hand, letting the ultra-fresh flavors of the seafood and fish center the dish and using accents like ginger to simply accent natural flavors. You can order seafood towers or choose among appetizers such as fluke ceviche, Butternut bisque with shrimp, or salmon tar tar. Many of the lighter entrees, such as the steamed Branzino and Dorade, along with the nautical theme, really help perfect the fantasy that you’re in an exclusive seaside resort, even though it’s pouring rain and freezing in the concrete jungle above.
If the décor of Lure looks familiar to you, it might be because you’ve been to Lever House, that midtown favorite of deal-making bankers. Serge Becker, designer for both establishments, favors a bold, modern design that is fun and contemporary, and vaguely redolent of the sixties “pop-art” movement.
Wine is big at Lure, and sommeliers — even the waiters — are able to describe virtually any wine on the list and suggest pairings. During one visit, the sommelier recommended a “GSM” - a Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre blend from the Red Mountain appellation of the Columbia Valley in Washington State, the 2005 DeLille Cellars Doyenne Métier. Quite nice! Many cult wines and champagnes are also available by the glass, including the NV Alfred Gratien.
All in all, very friendly staff, a happening vibe, and a great place for convivial drinks and food with friends. Right now, Happy Hour is Monday – Friday 5- 7, and Brunch takes place weekends 11:30 – 3:30. If you find yourself in SoHo, check it out.
142 Mercer Street, New York City