Summer brings lots of great things (Vitamin D, barbeques, summer Fridays, the list goes on), but one of the definitive best is the onset of soft shell crabs. Fried, sauteed, on a bun, in a salad - there's endless ways to serve this crunchy, crispy delight, and these days, restaurants are revisiting simple, straightforward creations just as much as they are pushing the envelope of innovation.
Here, five of the summer's most promising soft shell crab dishes that are sure to keep you from getting crabby (get it?)
Trattoria Il Mulino This lively Italian eatery - the offshoot of upscale Washington Square Park mainstay, Il Mulino - is celebrating the season with a lunch and dinner special dish of grilled soft shell crabs with peppery arugula. (36 East 20th Street)
Delicatessen This Soho spot is featuring a slew of soft shell specials. Favorites include crispy soft shell crab burritos with charred corn avocado salsa, and lime crème and fried soft shell crab sandwiches stacked with fried tomato, Brussels slaw and avocado ranch; there's even a breakfast dish, the soft shell crab Benedict, to start the day off right. (54 Prince Street)
Catch Ah, the Spider Roll: Soft shell's foray into Japanese cuisine. At Catch, the classic Spider Roll is ramped up avocado and a touch of sweet chili garlic. (21 Ninth Avenue)
Bodega Negra Café While their big sister, Bodega Negra’s, soft shell crab tacos have long been a crowd favorite, Bodega Negra Café is now upping the ante with soft shell crab tortas. These savory Mexican-Milanese-style sandwiches are served with chipotle slaw and guacamole on a toasted potato bun. (355 West 16th Street)
recette Jesse Schenker's restaurants, including recette and the more recently-opened The Gander, are popular for a reason: His phenomenal cooking. Stop by recette for Sunday brunch, and feast on his soft shell crab sandwich with egg salad, pickles and coleslaw. (328 West 12th Street)
Porter House New York Porter House highlights its lighter side this seasons with a savory dinner special. Swing by on a hot evening to savor their sauteed soft shell crabs with capers and lemon. (10 Columbus Circle, Floor 4)