Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cull Comfort

Cull & Pistol is the best of the Lobster Place... without the fish market


A couple weeks back we told you about the revamped Lobster Place, which planned a sitdown joint for late spring.

Well, it's here. It's called Cull & Pistol, and it deserves a spotlight of its very own.

The name goes deep into lobstering culture: a "pistol" is a sea bug that's lost both its claws. A "cull" has just lost one. Perhaps to a loose seal.

But why a second spot? It's fine to go next door to pick up a tail or two, here the Jean-Georges alum in the kitchen gives crustaceans the table service they deserve.

Case in point: Dolled-up Long Island clam toast topped with tasso ham (from Dickson's next door, duh) and aioli, or deviled eggs stuffed with a mix of lobster and caviar, or vodka-cured salmon and trout roe. Follow that with a lobster roll or grouper tacos — or, if you're a philistine, grilled sirloin flap steak.

But the star here is the always-avilable clambake lunch for two. It's a heap of littleneck clams, Maine lobster, Hollander mussels, steamer clams, Dickson’s chorizo, cob corn, and potatoes.

It's the Skip's Scramble of seafood.

Come up for air between mouthfuls of sea-meat at the bar, which offers a few choice beer cocktails, such as the Hopped Mary: pale ale blended with horseradish, pickle brine, and "excessive" garnish.

"Excessive" being the operative word here.

Cull & Pistol
75 9th Ave. (W. 15th St.), Chelsea
(646) 568-1223

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Subway: A/C/E/L to 8th Ave.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Best bets: Anything you damn please
Nearby: Long Island clam toast; clambake lunch; Hopped Mary

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