The Boil is a bayou-style seafood joint that opened in the LES in early 2013 to high acclaim. Everything you've come to expect from The Big Easy are here, from the brown paper lined tables, the bucket used to dispose of cracked shells, food served by the pound, and the garlic and butter sifting through the air. Touches like the exposed brick and tech-friendly POS system remind you you're still in the city. However, this place smells like heaven, especially if you love seafood.
Eating with your hands isn't a new thing... as a patron of The Boiling Crab, and numerous crab shacks along Maryland, which put this segment on the map for seafood lovers, I'd been anxious to compare this place for many, many months, and I'm glad to finally have that opportunity. One of the most obvious features is the blue gloves and the bib. Things that urbanites love right off the bat. No need to wash your hands 50 million times to wash out the scent! The appeal also lies within eating together as a group, like family, having a great time cracking shells and sharing the moment.
When we were seated we were reminded of the 1:30 time limit. Interesting, but makes sense... they typically have crowds building up from 5:30pm straight on 'til closing, so arrive early or be prepared to wait an hour or more.
I decided on one of their combos, a 1.5lb. lobster with half pound of shrimp (crawfish were substituted out) in "TheBoil's special sauce"...I have no fondness for crawfish so this was a welcome surprise. Note that with the 2lbs of food ordered, this comes with corn and potatoes. Win!
We also ordered cajun fries and oyster sliders. The fries come with a spicy remoulade sauce that goes well with the crunchy season fries. The sliders with the breaded oysters were fried to perfection. The goods were delivered soon ofter in an obligatory plastic bag of yumminess, opened up in front of us for us to dive in.
(Pro tip: take your foodie pictures before you start digging in and then put your technology away! You're welcome.)
You know when the food is fantastic when there's a distinct silence befallen at the table. (This is a good thing, yes?)
Throughout service, the servers were attentive and stayed on top of everything, including water, swapping out buckets full of shells, and handing out towelettes/wetnaps,which was just awesome. (I'm told that service may vary but it was not the case with our table.)
The Boil deserves high marks for just about every aspect of the experience. Food, service, ambiance. As a first-timer here, I am impressed and will likely be back for more. It's no wonder why countless New Yorkers understandably wait patiently for a table here in the LES.
One of my favorite New Orleans style Comfort food when you feel like getting drenched in spicy buttery goodness. The first time, I heard about this place I didn't think much of it until I went and tried "the boiling crab" in Dallas Texas. Experiencing the culinary sensation for the first time in Dallas... I had to try it once at "The Boil" in NYC and to decide once in for all... is it worth it to wait to get inside?
Let me say.........Yuuup!! If you like salty, buttery, spicy, seafood.. This place is the right place for you. The reason I say comfort food is simply because comfort food is supposed to be greasy, unhealthy, hearty and homey. It is the trigger for worldwide obesity and foodcoma. So don't expect a sophisticated fine dine experience, just expect your food to be freakin good!!
My recommendations are the king crab and shrimp.. Some people may prefer to eat the crawfish but Im not a fan of eating seafood with just shells. Yes, their good but shrimps have more meat and crabs are just simply crabs.. their always good! I love eating the king crabs because they suck in the sauces quite nicely. I also recommend getting "The boil sauce" since that's how you're supposed to eat seafood there. Any other way would be considered a disappointment to whomever invented this style of seafood.
So if you're in the mood for hours of stinky breath and never ending flavor, go over to the boil. It will definitely satisfy you.. for days!
Crawfish is Delightful!
I came here with a bunch of friends while visiting relatives in the area recently. They said it was an incredible experience. Normally I consider myself quite plain with how I eat. I like to use utensils and abhor getting messy. However, at The Boil messiness is actively encouraged and the food is made in such a way that you cannot cleanly eat it. Not at least without significant issue (believe me, I gave an earnest try!) but part of the fun is eating with your hands. Cracking open spiced crab and crawfish is an experience every person should have at least once in their lives.
The food was great after I got over the messiness of it. The staff was friendly, fun, and inviting. The atmosphere was relatively loud but in the manner of friendliness that was one of a kind.
So it's literally blizzard-like outside with wind gusts and sideways snow. Figured it was the perfect time to trek down to theboilnyc, since there would be no wait :) and corn, and sausage all smothered in this garlicky, lemon pepper, old bay, buttery #Cajun goodness. Had the tangy Cajun spiced to start, squirt of orange slice and addictive chipotle sauce. Got garlic bread to sop up all that sauce too.
Serious Eats Require a Bib and Gloves
Dinner in a Plastic Bag Can Still Be Classy
While we were waiting at Fig. 19 for our table to be ready, I received a text message from the restaurant, The Boil (http://www.theboilny.com/). I love that restaurants are now using this form of communication to tell you when the table is ready - no more guessing or waiting around in a crowded waiting area!
I love the efficiency!
We closed out our check and headed next door to the restaurant. We were seated in the rear of the restaurant, which was nice since we were away from people coming in and out - aka the freezing cold air coming into the restaurant.
Before we ordered any food, one of the servers dressed each of us in a bib. Naturally, I had to take a shellfie (this is a selfie at a seafood restaurant, just FYI). Check out my hot outfit below.
Don't be jealous of the bib - if you go here, you can get one too! We were going to order Bloody Marys but decided to get beers instead. I ordered the Abita Purple Haze. Yum!
Much Better Than Water
To start, we go an order of Cajun Fries. We ate these before we put on our gloves to eat all the seafood. SO TASTY! The dipping sauce was almost like a tartar sauce. Very good. Also, as a side note, my hands still smelled like Old Bay, Butter and Shrimp even with the gloves. This is what soap is for.
We also got an order of Oysters. The cocktail sauce and the vinaigrette were yummy. The oysters were super fresh and tasty.
We ordered the Combo bag of 1lb of Crawfish and 1 lb of Shrimp as well as 1lb of Snow Crab Legs. We got them with everything (The Boil Special): garlic butter, Old Bay, and lemon pepper. For the temperature, we got Mild. This was the right call for me since spicy can get too aggressive too quickly.
Snow Crab Legs
The snow crab legs were easier to eat than the crawfish. They were SO HARD TO EAT! I never had them before and neither had Scott. Like some people I've dated, I'm not sure they were worth the effort. The shrimp had more payoff for the work required to peel them. The crawfish just didn't have much meat in them.
So many eyes looking at us!
The boil included sausage, potatoes and only ONE EAR OF CORN! We felt a bit robbed since there were two of us. I ate it and Scott seemed sad. While I was eating it, I didn't realize I was eating the ONLY one. Oops. It tasted great!
I highly recommend coming here, especially with someone you're close with. I say this because you will be a complete slob and look like a fool while you're eating. I had on blue gloves, a bib and managed to have food on my face the entire time. Scott doesn't judge, so he was the perfect companion.
Check out The Boil! Note: Cash only!
Last week, our brother in law, Paul was here for business and we decided to meet up for dinner. Ken and I weren’t sure where to take Paul because he’s been to practically every restaurant in New York, but he suggested we go to The Boil because he had something similar in LA the previous week and was craving it. We’d never been to The Boil but I’ve walked by the place many times (and celebrated a friend’s birthday at a bar nearby) so we were down to check it out.
The restaurant sells seafood by the pound that’s doused with their special house sauce (you can get it mixed multiple ways, we chose The Boil special for all of the seafood we ordered, which uses: garlic butter, Old Bay and Lemon Pepper).
We started with fresh oysters:
And oyster sliders:
I didn’t like the oyster sliders (the oysters tasted a little dirty/not entirely fresh).
After you order, a waiter comes by to give you surgical gloves and a lobster bib because it gets super messy:
We ordered a pound of shrimp (with their heads on):
A pound of king crab legs:
And a pound of Dungeness crab:
We also ordered a side of corn on the cob:
And French fries:
The Boil sauce is really good – it’s very buttery and garlic-filled (the next day, I felt like I couldn’t shake the garlic breath!) We all enjoyed the food but I thought it was slightly disgusting – the sauce was leaking through the gloves and by the end of dinner, everyone was a mess. My favorite seafood item was the shrimp – they were easy to eat and easy to dip in extra sauce.
The restaurant only accepts cash and there usually isn’t a wait if you eat at the bar instead of asking for seats (we did the bar because we were ready to eat!) They also play 90′s R&B and rap while you eat! Worth a visit, don’t wear anything nice when you go!
My dinner last night, served in a bag and eaten w my bare hands! It was fun, messy and deeeelish! Lots of garlic, lots of spice, a ton of butter. It's pretty aggressively seasoned and you'll feel the thirst later in the evening but while you're eating it, it's just yummy. I prefer the shrimp and lobster over the crayfish though.
Combo of spicy crawfish and shrimp, with lemon pepper sauce theboilny Get ready to dirty your hands, because I'm sure you can't resist this! Combo crawfish (tm hm t) v tm, st tiu chanh. Ban u hi ngi v n mn ny phi c bao tay v "ym" nilon, c m sau v qu ngon nn qun ht s d lun Trng th nh m mi mi n ht c combo ny... nyc food
The Boil serves seafood in the Lower East Side of New York City. Be prepared to eat with your hands, as shellfish and crawfish are served whole, boiled in spices and seasonings, and put in a bag for you to crack open. Dine upon shellfish, sausages and side dishes such as gumbo - and don't forget to include corn on the cob on the side! The food is messy but diners have high praise for The Boil.
The restaurant is down to earth and laidback, with a relaxed vibe running through the place. The brick walls and plain tables offer a casual touch, while the food is served with bibs and in buckets, allowing customers to really get into the idea of eating with their hands. Some have complained that the music and talking combined lead to an uncomfortable noise level.
Waiters and waitresses are trained to let you know about the various aspects of the menu at The Boil, such as the spiciness level and portion sizing. The restaurant fills up quickly, and they do not offer reservations, which makes getting a table at peak hours difficult.