Sunday, February 1, 2015

Shuck Yeah

The Torrisi guys crack open the very small ZZ's Clam Bar


We don't need to introduce you. You know these guys already.

Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone — the brains behind Torrisi Italian Specialties, sub shop Parm, and red sauce joint Carbone — have teamed up yet again with Jeff Zalaznick for a new spot satisfying all of your raw bar needs.

It's called ZZ's Clam Bar, and it has nothing to do with ZZ Top.

Instead, it's got everything to do with transforming the city's staid seafood scene in the way the original Torrisi did for Italian food.

Things to know: First, it's tiny. Like, 12-seats-tiny. So get in line for a reservation.

Second, don't come expecting stuffies and clam rolls. Here the focus is on oysters and crudo in petite portions. Think grilled pretzel bread topped with sea urchin, cured Japanese sardines with Cara Cara oranges, and a carpaccio of tuna and bone marrow.

Behind the bar's a Death & Co. vet serving rum cocktails in frozen coconuts, just to bring the serious atmosphere down a peg. More refined is the concoction of gin, freeze-dried strawberry, calamansi puree, rosemary-infused vermouth and Pernod.

Don't ask what a calamansi is. Everyone will hear you.

ZZ's Clam Bar
169 Thompson St. (Bleecker St.), West Village
(212) 254-3000

Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 1 (out of 4)
Subway: C/E to Spring St.
Scene: A very tight one
Hot seat: The first available
Best bets: Cured sardines; tuna and marrow carpaccio; cococnut rum cocktail
Nearby: Carbone; The Dutch; Le Poisson Rouge

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