New York City’s Lure Fishbar is one of the hottest restaurants in town. The seafood spot regularly serves some 500 diners a night, meaning that it goes through hundreds of pounds of fish and thousands of oysters a week.
For Eater’s Mise en Place video series, the restaurant’s executive chef, Preston Clark, walked the outlet through a full day of service, explaining how Lure operates and how the team puts together dishes like the $195 Grand Plateaux and a sesame-crusted-tuna salad that he first made 10 years ago. It’s not an easy feat running one of the busiest kitchens in N.Y.C., but Clark and his staff make it appear seamless.
“As far as services go in other restaurants, it is a dance; it is a fast shuffle. And I think that we manage it very, very well,” Clark says in the video. “Once everything’s working, it’s kind of like—it’s beautiful, organized confusion. It’s like an orchestra.”
As the conductor of that orchestra, Clark (the son of trailblazing chef Patrick Clark) oversees all of the ingredients that come into Lure. In any given week, that includes more than 3,000 oysters, 100 to 150 pounds of tuna, and a similar amount of ice, for keeping all of that fish chilled at the raw bar and on the seafood towers. Clark himself spends about 30 minutes a day eating oysters, to ensure that they’re up to snuff for the restaurant’s clientele. “My doctor doesn’t know I eat this many oysters,” he says while chowing down on the bivalves.
Sushi makes up about 35 to 40 percent of all the food Lure sells, and Clark devises that menu alongside the executive sushi chef, Akira Nakazawa. During a recent service, the two collabed on a spider roll featuring beer-battered soft-shell crab from South Carolina. Clark initially didn’t think that Nakazawa would like the Japanese-rice-beer coating, given that he tends toward traditional sushi-making methods, but he’s pleasantly surprised when Nakazawa declares the beer battering even better than the usual tempura.
While specials are a great way for Clark and his team to experiment with different flavors, they also recognize that they need to satisfy their regulars, who expect to see certain dishes on the menu. “I almost had a mutiny for taking the sea-urchin bucatini off the menu,” Clark says. “It was like a firing squad ready to come get me.”
Since that dustup, though, it seems like he’s found a nice balance between sticking to the classics and adding some flair to Lure’s offerings.