Walk into Live Bait, and you feel like you are out on the bayou instead of the middle of the Flatiron district. Its decor looks like a Cajun bait ... More
Walk into Live Bait, and you feel like you are out on the bayou instead of the middle of the Flatiron district. Its decor looks like a Cajun bait shack, which it is the right place for down-home southern-style cooking. Specialties like Aunt Bea's Boarding House fried chicken and Jailhouse Chili are popular items, as well as their smokehouse spare ribs and mashed potatoes. Live Bait also features a raw bar complete with clams and oysters. Flatiron workers stop by after work to sample Live Bait's broad selection of beers and specialty drinks like the Oyster Clam Shooter made from raw oyster and Tabasco sauce. Live Bait is the official home of the Bubba Slush created by one of its patrons. There is also a lively late night scene.
Since I am a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and fomer Chef Instructor, I think it is safe to say I know food.
I was brought to this place for a precursor to the Friday evening fun to come. I had never been here before and being a very big fan everything Cajun, Creole and Southern, I immediately browsed the menu while waiting for my friend to arrive. I spotted the mentioin of Jambalay and my all time favorite...Gumbo.
We sat at the bar and since my friend is a regular there the bartenders were very attentive. The atmosphere was cute...reminding me of some other places I have been lucky enough to find in my travels all over the east coast with the southern nautical theme.
We ordered the crab rolls which were good and something diffeerent compared to most bars bar bites. Also ordered thier shrimp in the raw which was good but could have been better if done in a Shrimp Boil. No sign of real Cajun.....crawdads...? Why on earth if you are going to go with the Cajun menu do you not have crawdads..even if they are seasonal?
The next week I was asked to meet this same friend in the city for lunch and decided to go there since I didn't get the chance to have thier gumbo. This time I ordered it. What a disappointment!!! Bland with no seasoning whatsoever....no gumbo file, no signs of anything to make me think this chef has any clue of how to make Cajun food..even if you have to look it up on the computer or in a Paul Prudhomme cook book....which I use for references to authenticity. It was thick to the point of being wallpaper paste which made it even worse.
I wil not eat anything else there ever again and will reduce it to a bar with interesting snacks. I hope someone from the establishment will read this because you can't get better if you don't address your problems and this I know first hand with over 25 years in the biz.
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