Every weekday from 4-6 pm you can savor an amazing selection of the freshest oysters for only $1 each at Cull & Pistol right in the heart of Manhattan at Chelsea Market. What makes this one the best in Manhattan? The selection and the quality. Most oyster happy hours around the city offer one or two, maybe three, types to choose from but at Cull & Pistol you are able to choose from several different oysters (ten the night I went), sourced from both the West and East Coasts. On the Monday night I was there with two friends, the oysters were from the East Coast only (West Coast oysters tend to arrive later in the week, usually by Wednesday). They tasted fresh and briny as if they were just out of the sea.
Arrive by 3:45 to secure a seat at the bar facing the oyster shuckers and their beautiful oysters. Order a bottle of Greek 2014 Adoli Ghis Lagorthi white wine from the Peloponnesus ($41) which, with its refreshingly high acidity and subtle saltiness, is a great complement to the oysters. Or, if you are in the mood for a white wine with a bit more richness, try the French Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine in the Loire Valley, Domaine Baron 2014 Vieilles Vignes ($28 as a happy hour special...a deal!). This wine has great acidity and fresh grapefruit flavors. Then happily sip and wait until it is 4:00 when you can order your selection of $1 oysters.
Here are the stand-out oysters...the ones not to be missed if they are on the menu:
- Fire Lake, Cape Jouriman, NB. - Creamy and briny with a bright, clean finish.
- Ram Island, Long Island Sound, CT - Full flavored, briny and rich, a bit buttery with a salty finish.
- Cape May Salt, Delaware Bay, NJ - creamy texture with a lot of flavor, including herbs, with a lingering, slightly metallic aftertaste.
- Ship Shoals, Hog Island Bay, VA - fleshy and sweet with a very long finish. This was our #1 oyster.
One other killer dish to order here (from the happy hour menu) is called Pistols on Horseback. These delicious fried oysters are wrapped in jamon serrano and sit atop an herb crepe with smoked aioli. They are just bursting with flavor from both the sea and the land.
FUN FACT: Where does the name Cull & Pistol come from? A cull is a lobster which has lost one of its claws and a pistol has lost both.