On the Lower East Side is not immediately where you might think to look when you want an authentic taste of Lousiana Cajun cuisine. Come to think of it, New York City in general is not the first image that comes to mind when conjuring images of brown paper cover tables and heaping piles of glistening seafood, crackling with sumptuous spices and steaming hot from the boil. But step through the door at Claw Daddy’s a new “seafood boil” on Orchard Street, and you’re stepping into a new realm of roll up your sleeves and lick your lips (all washed down with a crisp cold beer) that transports you right into the balmy deep South.
Still, there are a few unique twists that remind you that New York’s cultural melting pot is actually right outside that door. For one, aware that you might be coming from work or going out after, or otherwise dressed in something you don’t necessarily want drenched in delicious cajun seasoning and smelling like crawfish, they offer the most thorough seafood eating protection you could ask for: a lobster bib complete with a little catch shelf, plastic gloves to keep your hands clean, all sorts of implement to gracefully remove the tender meat from the shell, and plenty of paper napkins. Your only real conundrum will be: to remove the super messy plastic glove to pick up your pint glass or not to remove it.
Another clue to the multicultural influences is the addition of garlic noodles to accompany the seafood boil. Traditionally something found at Vietnamese crab houses (another famous type of boil, and it is also of note that the Vietnamese population in Louisiana is huge), at Claw Daddy’s it makes a unique and delicious replacement to the usual, bland bread roll or saltine crackers that come on the side.
All in all, Claw Daddy’s NYC offers a wonderfully authentic, decadently seafood-centric “Louisiana boil” experience, with a few unique twists that makes it more than memorable: utterly crave-able.