Summer nights in NYC are absolutely beautiful; all of the city goers dine out in the restaurants that fill up each block and enjoy a relaxing night out with great eats. This past Saturday, I finally found sometime to myself where I could take a break from my usual routine of work, and I headed out to Bleecker Street with my good friend Amanda for a girls’ night out. Bleecker Street is extremely popular for having some of the best restaurants in the city and is a popular hot spot for people of all ages. Out of the many restaurants on Bleecker Street, Amanda and I dined at The Mussel Pot for a seafood experience that we were sure that we would love.
Known for having some of the best seafood in the West Village, The Mussel Pot takes great pride in their mussel pots, as their name states. The restaurant is warm toned with soft lights, exuding a romantic atmosphere throughout. The Mussel Pot also has a small garden behind the restaurants for diners who wish to have a peaceful outdoor dining in a busy Manhattan neighborhood, giving the diners a great chance to escape from the city. The Mussel Pot has an extensive list of drinks from an entire page of beer to specialty drinks. To start off our meal, Amanda and I each ordered a specialty drink: Amanda ordered the Hemingway daiquiri martini which contains rum, grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and a maraschino cherry while I ordered the almond joy: a mix of Godiva white chocolate and Malibu coconut rum swirled with chocolate. Shortly after we ordered, our drinks arrived and it was clear that we were both greatly satisfied with our drinks. The Hemingway daiquiri martini was light with a tart sweetness to it, making it a great drink to start with. The almond joy that I had ordered was delicious as well, with a strong chocolate taste to it.
After receiving our drinks, we ordered our entrées right away. We started with the seafood rigatoni and Guinness battered fish and chips, our two seafood favorites. Then we ordered two different mussel pots: the Bouillabaisse and the Louisiana. One of the fun things about The Mussel Pot’s menu is that their mussel pots are named aptly by the region of the style that they’re cooked in. For example, the Bouillabaisse uses a French technique and ingredients, and the Louisiana utilizes great southern seasonings and ingredients such as okra. With six different regional categories, diners are able to experience different provincial dishes.
The seafood rigatoni and Guinness battered fish and chips arrived first and these two dishes simply blew us away. The rigatoni was cooked to a perfect al dente with an excellent creamy, cheesy sauce over it. The seafood rigatoni was overflowing with different types of seafood, containing baby shrimp, scallops, and mussels. All of the ingredients used were fresh and Amanda and I both loved this delightful dish. The Guinness battered fish and chips were also astounding. Lightly battered, perfectly seasoned, and cooked to a great crisp, the fish and chips were my personal favorite. The dish came with three different sauces: ketchup for chips, tartar sauce, and vinegar. The tartar sauce and vinegar were great additions to the dish, each giving different yet delicious flavors to the fried fish.
After we finished our two dishes, our long awaited mussel pots arrived in large stainless steel pots. The two mussel pots were steaming and packed with fresh mussels and seafood waiting to be devoured. The bouillabaisse contained fresh scallops, clams, shrimp, and a thick saffron broth –a classic French styled dish with a great richness to it. All of the seafood incorporated into the dish was well-cooked and the mussels were especially amazing. The natural taste of the sea within the mussels mixed with the saffron broth created a great balance of flavor to the mussel pot. The Louisiana contained Andouille sausage, baby shrimp, crawfish tails, gumbo sauce, and scallion. A classic American mussel pot, the Louisiana had a smoky heat to it that is often found in southern dishes. The bouillabaisse was rich and worked off the natural briny flavors of the seafood, while the Louisiana added a great contrast to it with its spices and distinctive seasonings. The two mussel pots were packed with flavor and were a great finish to our meal.
There’s no doubt that The Mussel Pot is one of the most popular restaurants in the neighborhood – diners flowed in out and of the restaurant, crowding the place by peak dinner time. With friendly service, great atmosphere, and amazing food, there’s no surprise that The Mussel Pot is a favorite of many NYC diners. Amanda and I loved our experience at The Mussel Pot, and I highly recommend this place to seafood lovers and others alike who simply enjoy a quality meal in the city.