New York 10028
(Btwn Lexington & 3rd Ave)
Phone: (212) 717-7772 (212) 717-7772
Memorable Seafood By Way of Prince Edward Island
By Nancy Walman
Located in the former premises, of Zócalo, arguably New York’s best Mexican restaurant, owners Bobby and Laura Shapiro, have imported their Prince Edward Island success to Manhattan and it is a roaring success. There is a buzzing bar area that turns out potent libations as well as entertainment, provided by the quick hands of an oyster-shucking whiz. The main dining room, sectioned in two areas, offers an open kitchen and a sparse, clean atmosphere with shiny wooden floors, walls hung with colorful paintings of P.E.I and a lovely mural commissioned by the same local artist. Further back are beautiful photographs of an award winning P.E.I. photographer.
The specialty of the house may be those plump, luscious mussels in no less than 23 sauces, all made to order (and they are wonderful), but don’t fail to sample the best oysters in town. On our visit 6 varieties from the east and west coast. They were so delicious they didn’t need the very good sauces that accompanied them.
Specials are also really special. We loved two appetizers, an olive oil poached octopus and a miraculous “Pacu” fish from Brazil, served “Rib-Style with an Asian glaze. Fabulous and worth a detour, as the French would say.
Outstanding mussel preparations range from Classic (white wine, herbs, and garlic) to Thai (curry coconut broth, lemongrass, coriander, lime, garlic, ginger), Bombay (Indian curry, mango puree, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, white wine) San Daniele (prosciutto, caramelized onions, white wine, garlic), and Maine (lobster, corn, white chowder, parsley) variations. Our favorite was a Southern take: bourbon, mustard, roasted corn, country ham and cream.
All are accompanied by good skin-on French fries and country bread. The wine list is a real joy with plenty bottles under $40, with the outstanding La Caravelle Rose Champagne priced at $95. The beer list, too, is awesome. We loved the two Canadian draught specials, one dark the other a perky apple pilsner. And wonder of wonders, there is an eco-friendly filtered water (still or sparkling) for just $5.50 the bottle.
Leave room for great (but light) desserts like several varieties of a play on jelly-donuts including wild blueberry and Meyer lemon.
Service is courteous and efficient and you’ll like the warm, family feel of the restaurant. When the Shapiro’s are manning their two stores on P.E.I, their lovely daughter, Alexandra is there to greet customers and keep the show running. Don’t be surprised to see a 2nd Flex Mussels open in your neighborhood. In the meantime, make you reservation now. Flex Mussels is deservedly packed and rates A Major on The Walman Report.
The Original Store
mussels, mussels, mussels
| white wine, herbs, garlic
| San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, fresh basil
| lobster stock, drawn butter
| curry coconut broth, lemongrass, coriander, lime, garlic, ginger
| Indian curry, mango puree, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, white wine
| tomato, basil, saffron, orange zest, pernod, garlic, white wine
| kaffir lime leaf, cilantro, white wine, lemongrass
| butter, white wine, herbs
| red peppers, jerk, dark rum, tamarind, lime
| Belgian triple, caramelized onions, orange zest
| kalamata olive, garlic, tomato, oregano, olive oil
| bourbon, mustard, roasted corn, country ham, cream
| sake, green onions, pickled ginger, garlic, birds eye peppers
| gumbo sauce, shrimp, andouille
| wild mushrooms, double smoked bacon,garlic, cream
| chorizo, sweet peppers, Spanish olives, red wine, tomatoes
| chipotle adobo, chorizo, calamari
| prosciutto, caramelized onions, white wine, garlic
| linguica, clams, tomatoes, white wine, garlic
| lobster, brandy, tomato, garlic, cream
| lobster, smoked bacon, corn, white chowder, parsley
| calamari, roasted garlic, red wine, tomato sauce
THE NUMBER 23
| flavor changes daily, ask your server for details
FLEX FAMOUS HAND-CUT FRIES
"Find the shortest, simplest way between Earth, the hands and the mouth"
We serve the freshest oysters in NY. Selection changes daily. Ask your server or call for today’s availability.
flex mussels fresh chowder of the day
GOAT CHEESE |
toasted goat cheese, simple greens, roasted beets, candied walnuts, apples
SPICEY GREENS |
prosciutto, arugula, shaved fennel, pecorino, blood orange vinaigrette
CRAB CAKE |
Maryland lump crab cake, vegetable slaw, citrus aioli
BURNT FINGERS |
crispy fried calamari, shrimp, oysters, shallot rings, spicy aioli
ICEBERG WEDGE |
crispy bacon, shaved radish, chunky blue cheese dressing, grapes
SMOKED SALMON |
Kim Dormaar’s PEI pepper smoked salmon, caper tapenade, arugula salad, brioche toast
LOBSTER ROLL |
1# lobster, citrus aioli, celery, lemon, toasted bun, flex fries
FISH AND CHIPS |
tempura battered halibut and codfish, hand-made tartar sauce creamy coleslaw, flex fries
roasted salmon, brussel sprouts, pearl onions, parsnip puree, blood orange curry emulsion
warm vegetable hash, orange fennel salad, blood orange vinaigrette
BOBBY’S REDNECK SEAFOOD BOIL |
shrimp, clams, mussels, red peppers, corn on the cob, potatoes, old bay beer broth
tomato ginger fondue, heirloom tomato, cucumber, basil
OYSTER PO’ BOY |
crispy hand shucked oysters, tartar sauce, toasted bun, flex fries
ask your server about tonight’s selection
Murray’s organic chicken breast, fingerling potatoes, red peppers, wilted arugula, pan jus
Raventos I Blanc ‘L’Hereu’ Reserva Cava, 2005, Spain
Bisson Prosecco ‘Vino Frizzante’, 2007, Italy
Gonet Medeville Brut Tradition Premier Cru, Champagne France
Gimonnet ‘Blanc de Blanc’ Brut Premier Cru, Champagne France
La Caravelle Brut Rose Champagne, France
El Coto Rosado Granache/Tempranillo, 2008, Rioja Spain
FRUIT AND MINERAL
A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris, 2007, Willamette Valley Oregon
Christian Moreau Chablis, 2007, Burgundy France
Bisson Cinque Terre (Marea), 2007, Liguria Italy
Thomas LaBaille Sancerre (Chavignol) ‘Les Mont Damnes’, 2007, Loire France
Cave des Tilleuls Fendant de Vetroz Chasselas, Valais Switzerland
Cave Caloz Petite Arvine, 2007, Valais Switzerland
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, Marlborough New Zealand
Lucien Crochet Sancerre ‘La Croix du Roy’, 2006, Loire France
Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, California
Johann Donabaum Grüner Veltliner ‘Loiben Reserve’, 2006, Wachau, Austria
Geyerhof Gruner Veltliner, Rosensteig, 2007, Austria
Jacques Puffeney Arbois, 2004, Savagnin France
Domaine Ostertag Riesling, 2007, Alsace France
Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris ‘Calcaire’ 2006, Alsace France
Domaine Philippe Gilbert Menetou Salon, 2006, Loire France
Gunther Steinmetz Riesling Spatlese, 2007, Mosel Germany
Xavier Flouret Torrontes ‘Flaca’, 2008, Cafayette Argentina
FLAVORFUL & ELEGANT
Domaine J.A. Ferret Pouilly Fuisse ‘Les Moulins’, 2005, Burgundy France
Stadlmann Zierfandler ‘Mandel Hoeh’, 2006, Thermen, Austria
Artadi Blanco ‘Vinas DeGain’, 2005, Rioja Spain
Kongsgaard Chardonnay, 2006, Napa California
Ferrando Erbaluce di Caloso La Terrazza, 2007, Piedmont Italy
Michel Picard St. Aubin 1er Cru, 2005, Chassagne Montrachet, France
Cakebread Cellars, Chardonnay, 2007, Napa Valley California
Vinosia Fiano de Avellino, 2006, Campania Italy
Walter Hansel Chardonnay, 2006, Russian River California
Domaine du Grand Tinel Chateauneuf-du-Pape White, 2007, Rhone Valley France
Ferrari Carano Chardonnay, 2006, Alexander Valley California
Monastero Vitorchiano Coenobium, 2007, Lazio Italy
Paolo Bea ‘Santa Chiara’, 2007, Umbria Italy
Triacca La Contea Pignola, 2007, Valtellina Italy
SOFT, LIGHT & EASY
Mudhouse Pinot Noir, 2008, Marlborough New Zealand
Wyatt Pinot Noir, 2007, California
RIPE FRUIT, MEDIUM BODY, SOFT TANNINS
Ridge Zinfandel ‘Paso Robles’, 2006, California
Goldeneye Pinot Noir, 2005, Anderson Valley California
Domaine La Manarine Grenache, 2006, Cotes du Rhone France
Melini Chianti Classico Riserva ‘La Selvanella’, 2003, Tuscany, Italy
Cavallotto Nebbiolo d’Alba ‘Bricco Boschis’, 2005, Piedmont Italy
Walter Hansel Pinot Noir, 2006, Russian River California
GRACEFUL & SOPHISTICATED
Susana Balbo Malbec, 2006, Mendoza Argentina
Alan Paret Syrah ‘Valvigneyre’, 2005, Cotes du Rhone France
Château Soucherie Anjou Rouge ‘Champ Aux Loups’ ,2006, Loire France
Domaine du Grand Tinel, 2005, Châteauneuf-du-Pape France
Jacques Puffeney Arbois, 2006, Trousseau France
R. Lopez de Heredia ‘Vina Bosconia’, 2000, Rioja Spain
Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Napa California
BIG, RICH & DISTINGUISHED
I Paggioni Sangiovese ‘Rosso Toscano’, 2006, Montalcino Italy
Marziano Abbona Dolcetto di Dogliani ‘Papa Celso’, 2006, Piedmont, Italy
Cana’s Feast (Cab/Merlot), 2003, Red Mountain Washington
Francois Gaunoux Pommard 1er cru ‘Les Grands Epenots’, 2003 Burgundy France
‘Blanche de Chambly’ White Ale – Quebec – ABV 5%, 12 oz.
Mildly malty, slightly sweet, refreshing with notes of spice and citrus.
‘Maudite’ Strong Amber Ale – Quebec – ABV 8%, 12 oz.
Spicy and complex with a crisp hop finish.
‘La Fin du Monde’ Strong Triple Golden Ale – Quebec – ABV 9%, 12 oz.
Smooth, slightly tart with the balanced flavors of wild spices, malt and hops
‘Éphémère’ White Apple Ale – Quebec – ABV 5.5%, 12 oz.
Bouquet of Granny Smith apples and spices. Great with the Big Apple Mussels!
‘Terrible’ Dark Ale – Quebec – ABV 10.5%, 25 oz.
Elegant, fruity and full-bodied with notes of roasted malt and Madeira
Hefe Weisse – ABV 5.3%, 12 oz.
Refreshing with a wonderful yeasty fragrance and citrus flavors.
‘Maudite’ Strong Amber Ale – Quebec – ABV 8%, 12 oz.
Spicy and complex with a crisp hop finish.
Brother Thelonius’ Strong Dark Ale – Pennsylvania – ABV 9.3%, 12 oz.
Like a Belgian
‘Old Crustacean’ Barleywine – Oregon – ABV 11%, 24.5 oz.
Intense, unfiltered, robust, malty and dark. The cognac of beers; designed for sipping.
Mocha Porter – Oregon – ABV 5.3%, 12 oz.
Bittersweet balance of malt and hops with a light cream finish.
Pils – Pennsylvania – ABV 5.4%, 12 oz.
Traditional German style, it’s delicately dry with firm bitterness.
Lager – New York – ABV 5.2%, 12 oz.
Amber golden color, firm malt center, supported by bitterness and floral hop aroma.
‘Deus’ Spiced Ale (Methode Champenoise) – ABV 10%, 25.4 oz.
Bright, crisp and bubbly with lavender, cardamom and other exotic spices.
‘Karmeliet’ Triple Ale – ABV 8%, 11.2 oz.
Blond, robust, smooth, and fruity.
‘Noël’ Winter Ale – ABV 10%, 12 oz.
Full bodied and thick, tart but also sweet with nice wintery spices.
Triple Ale – ABV 8.5%, 11.2 oz.
Rich aroma with a unique combination of aromatic hops, spices and fruit
Saison Farmhouse Ale – ABV 6.5%, 25.4 oz.
Full-bodied and malty, it sparkles on the palate with zesty hops and citrus.
‘Cinq Cents’ Trappist White Ale – ABV 8%, 25.4 oz.
Golden, slightly hazy with a fine head, good fruit, bitter aftertaste.
‘La Chouffe’ Strong Dark Ale – ABV 8%, 11.2 oz.
Rich brown colored ale with a big, malty flavor and a round finish.
Strong Golden Ale – ABV 8.5%, 12 oz.
Fruity and lush with strong noble hop aroma, full body, and a smooth finish.