Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Murray St., Tribeca, NYC
212 962 3750
Review by SuSu, Runt, Diana, Sparticus

A few of us had been to Fresh on a dark, cold night and in a sense, it had saved us, in that it redeemed some so-so restaurant experiences. We had been so delighted in that place that we immediately decided to find a way to eat at its sister restaurants: Shore and Coast. An opportunity finally came on a Sunday brunch.

In other reviews, we'd gone on about the virtues of seafood shacks, those equivalents of holes-in-the-wall places that served great seafood cooked in a deep-deep-deep-fat fryer, and how you need to be one of those to have really great seafood. Places like Fresh and Le Bernardin put fail to that arguement; fishing fleet owner Eric Tevrow pointed out that the best fish goes to those who pay for it, no matter where they are located. Thus the number of apparently excellent seafood places in Denver ... but anyway, we were somewhat heartened that this place certainly did look like a shack, even though it was located on the edge of the Financial District on the lower west side. It has metal and wicker furniture which was a little unrealistic, in that in a real shore shack, the metal frame would be all rusted out.

The service was genuine, but patchy. We guess that could be in keeping with this "shore shack" theme. But they were also unprepared for guests, even after noon — there was no corn bread or banana bread ready, though they feature it on their menu and website. These things typically take about 15 minutes to bake in muffin form, maybe close to an hour in loaf form, but they were not ready at all even by the time we left. So was the waiter lying?

The first cup of coffee was terrible — really "chewy" like it'd sat on the hotplate for too long. Or had been made by someone who was not a coffee drinker or didn't like them. The food was good, but not stellar. The fried clams were so-called "cheater's clams" which came minus the belly meat (i.e. they were pre-breaded and frozen). The shrimp sandwich was good but the roll was oddly greasy. The watercress salad which accompanied both was good, but again there was a heavy hand with the oil in the dressing. The eggs benedict came with crabcakes beneath them instead of the traditional Canadian bacon, and the home fries were decent but not worth eating if you're being low-carb or prefer to get your calories and starch elsewhere in the meal. The french toast looked good, but was rather dry — no custard within the bread, which caused one of us to reject it wholehandedly. The apple pie à la mode was good, even though it looked rather blah. But then again, we tend to reject the "sprinkle over with powdered sugar" or "BAM!" approach to decorating food.

The meal actually was inexpensive — about $15 per person for brunch cocktail (bloody mary or mimosa, as usual), coffee, and your choice of dishes. It was also sparsely populated, probably in contrast to the night before when it might have been packed to the gills. It does advertise itself as a bar and tavern, after all.

So overall, a decent experience, but not one worth getting up for, or going to a deserted downtown for. Maybe the oyster bar stuff was better? The food was good, but not worthy of its parent restaurant, and the service and organization certainly needed some work. Maybe if we find ourselves down here again, we'll give it another chance on another day.

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!