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NYC sinks into soft-shell crab season

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softshellcrab Photo Credit: Paul Quitoriano

Like lobster rolls and ice cream cones, soft-shell crabs are a classic warm-weather delight. Since the season’s in full swing, crab dishes are making their way onto menus all over the city, transporting taste buds to a seaside crab shack — if only for a while. The short soft-shell crab season will be over before you know it — most places stop selling them right after the summer — so get ’em while you can.

Bridge Café
279 Water St., 212-227-3344

The soft-shell crabs sold at this iconic South Street Seaport restaurant — which dates back to the 18th century — are almost as legendary as the spot itself. There are two dishes on the menu now, a soft-shell crab BLT ($22) and soft-shell crab cooked in a scallion beurre blanc ($17 to $28).

Bell Book & Candle
141 W. 10th St., 212-414-2355

Every Tuesday, executive chef John Mooney serves a special entree of crispy soft-shell crab with basil and fennel — grown in his aeroponic rooftop garden — along with grapefruit and hazelnuts (market price). At the bar, soft-shell crab sliders ($3) come with celery-root slaw and a Creole mustard sauce and are served on a homemade bun.

The Redeye
890 Seventh Ave., 212-541-9000

Redeye’s cornmeal-dusted Maryland jumbo soft-shell crab sandwich ($21) comes on a fresh baked bun and is served with aioli tartar sauce and crispy french fries. The cranberry “eyes” add a cute touch.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
89 E. 42nd St., 212-490-6650

The soft-shell crab dishes change almost daily at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, and they’re available through late September. There’s almost always an appetizer and an entree, and often a fried soft-shell crab sandwich. Recent preparations included an appetizer of pan-fried baby soft-shell crabs with spring pea and mint sauce ($14.50) and an entree of pan-fried Maryland baby soft-shell crabs with garlic herb butter ($28.95).

Niko
170 Mercer St., 212-991-5650

On the lunch menu at this Japanese eatery, you’ll find a soft-shell crab donburi (Japanese for “bowl”) with peashoots, kimchi, bacon and a poached egg, served over rice ($16).

Ciano
45 E. 22nd St., 212-982-8422

This Italian eatery serves its soft-shell crabs with peekytoe crab stuffing alongside a grapefruit tomato salad ($19) all month.

Bar Americain
152 W. 52nd St., 212-265-9700

Bobby Flay’s midtown American brasserie serves its soft-shell crab entree Southern-style, crispy and topped with a gumbo sauce ($33).

BLT Steak
106 E. 57th St., 212-752-7470

Forget the turf and focus on the surf: During the week of July 11, the restaurant will offer a tempura soft-shell crab served with a green papaya salad and aThai aioli sauce ($16).
 

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