It’s only July and you’ve already posted so many pics of your fabulous self poppin’ bottles on rooftops, lounging in private cabanas, and partying on yachts that your friends are starting to wonder if your summer Instagram is a liar.
So, what next? Not to worry, this city has a never-ending supply of opportunities to indulge your inner conspicuous consumer.
If you're going to show off, you might as well do it with something tasty and extravagant, like a seafood tower.
These multi-tiered structures of goodness are designed to satisfy with not only the tasty variety of shellfish, but also from the oohs and aahs from neighboring tables.
You don’t have to make it to the shore to indulge in some jealousy-inducing shell-cracking. Here are our picks for the most envious seafood tower insta-opportunities:
1. Aquagrill (210 Spring Street)
This fancy schmancy spot on Spring Street offers two seafood tower options. The more modest of the two, the Seafood Plateau, is a two-tier tower boasting oysters, clams, shrimps, mussels, lobsters, and periwinkles (small sea snails).
For the photo brag pros, there’s the Seafood Plateau Royale, a monstrosity including additional seafood treats like crab claws. Bring your snap game and maybe one of your friend’s parents—both towers are priced daily.
2. Balthazar (80 Spring Street)
Another SoHo spot with two tower options is Balthazar. The larger of the two, Le Balthazar, is $175.00 and includes lobster, crab legs, mussels, clams, oysters, snails, and ceviche.
If you have any cash left over, the cocktails at Balthazar earn rave reviews. There’s a Pomegranate Martini, a Peach Julep, and a Blackberry Smash, made with Avion Reposado, blackberries, lemon, ginger and agave nectar.
Prop a drink next to your tower and watch the likes to pour in.
3. The John Dory Oyster Bar (1196 Broadway)
The John Dory Oyster Bar offers a number of seafood plateaus, but if you’re coming with a large group, the Classic Chef’s Table menu is available for $95 and offers more bang for your buck.
You’ll get a snack, dessert, and three courses including the first, a shellfish plateau with East and West Coast oysters, Littleneck clams, mussels, Hawaiian blue prawns, cold poached lobster and Dungeness crab (a West Coast crustacean that’s having a great season—go crabs!).
4. Jeffrey’s Grocery (172 Waverly Place)
At Jeffrey’s Grocery, you can spend $95 for Le Royale, a seafood platter with 12 oysters, six Littleneck clams, six shrimp cocktail, half a lobster, 1/2 lb of king crab legs and marinated mussels…
….or you can spend a $125 for four more oysters, two more Littlenecks, two more shrimp cocktail, crudo (raw, flavored fish), diver scallops and marinated mussels. I think you know the call here.
5. London Lennie’s (63-88 Woodhaven Blvd. – Queens)
Perfect for a date night, London Lennie’s in Rego Park has a romantic vibe, valet parking, and, of course, seafood towers.
The Chilled Mixed Shellfish Tower comes with lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels, and snow crab claws. If you want to give your date something to gloat about, though, order its big brother, the Shellfish Castle (basically the same thing, but with more shells to fill her social media pics.)
6. Maison Premiere (295 Bedford Avenue – Brooklyn)
To be fair, almost everything about this lovely “Oyster House and Cocktail Den” is photo-worthy. Popular for its oyster happy hour and beautiful New Orleans-y garden, the Williamsburg hot spot also offers three seafood towers.
Le Grande Plateau, the largest of the three, includes oysters, clams, crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp, and—the ultimate display of economic power—caviar.
7. La Pulperia (Various locations)
The ultimate, snappable-seafood megaproject on our list is the Seafood Tower from La Pulperia, a lively restaurant with locations in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, and the Upper East Side.
The tower boasts four jumbo shrimp, 24 raw oysters, 1-1/4 lb lobster, Alaskan king crab legs, a crudo trio tasting, and four oyster shooters, for those days when you just need to shoot oysters from champagne flutes.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]