An endless number of Asian restaurants have opened up in the East Village in the past few years, earning it the name “Chinatown North.” But one of those recent newcomers, Jin Kitchen and Bar, has been replaced by something a little different: a seafood shack specializing in bespoke boils.
The Boilery’s maiden location, created by Alexander Lee, sits in the Upper West Side at 710 Amsterdam Avenue. The seafood spot was so popular among uptown crab cravers that it has launched its second location on Third Avenue. In addition, four other outposts are planned, including two more in the city.
“Our focus is on a refined seafood boil, instead of the traditional way,” Kevin Zhang, the managing partner of the East Village location told Bedford + Bowery. Rather than taking seafood and dumping it into a big pot with potatoes and corn, The Boilery steams its seafood before shaking it up in a bag with your choice of sauce and spice level. “That way you retain the oceanic flavor.”
While you may come in for a Cajun-style boil, the menu also has a lot of New England influence. And there are even little hints of Thai cuisine as well. Dishes like the soft-shell crab sandwich, king crab legs and the NY surf and turf may jump off the menu (and into your boiling pot), but Zhang’s favorite is the whole branzino, served with Thai-inspired chili or garlic butter. When the menu says whole fish, it means the whole fish. Fins included.
The decor here has a more contemporary take on the nautical themes of the uptown original. Instead of rustic wooden walls and buoys to mimic the feel of a ship, the East Village restaurant has shell art, a clean-looking bar, and paintings. Okay, maybe there’s one life preserver…and a harpoon too.
Zhang believes The Boilery brings something different to an already diverse neighborhood, “We want the community to know that we’re here to build a long-term relationship,” he said. After all, in the food-filled East Village, that’s the only way a restaurant can stay afloat.
The Boilery East Village, 58 Third Avenue, 646-838-5556; open noon to 10:30pm Sunday-Thursday, closes at 11:30pm Friday and Saturday.