Mike Price_Pristine Seafood

Posted on October 26, 2012 06:00 pm

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by Ishita Rapino


Quality Clam, Mike Price’s new venture, is opening next year on Hudson and Leroy.   You heard it here first even before the NY Times posted the name of the restaurant!


Mike Price from Market Table gave us the opportunity to go back to his childhood in the Chesapeake Bay by enjoying a menu of delicious seafood dishes.  Some of these dishes were honestly some of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten, and I have some experience with seafood from growing up in the bayous of Louisiana, where crawfish boil parties were all the rage.


Seriously Emmy – you are an artiste!



Although this was a seafood tasting, we started the evening with stuffed ham biscuit – it was so cute and a perfect bite of salty and buttery, with a hint of mustard. 





On to the seafood – we enjoyed a trio of “stuffies”, first being the clam dip.  If you read my Ted Allen blog, he gave me a tip about balancing an entertaining menu with dishes at room temperature, and this clam dip is on the list for my first party!  This dish was a really elegant party dip, with huge chunks of clam and it was served with homemade potato chips.  




This serving was supposed to be for two, but I basically ate the entire thing myself.



Next up were the other two “stuffies” – on the half shell and a baked clam.   Sounds simple, but I cannot describe in words how surprising and delicious these clams were!  My friend Diana joined me for this class and she was so excited about the clam on the half shell, since it was served with a Bloody Mary cocktail sauce, and the girl loves her brunch cocktails.  This version was made with Sir Kensington’s ketchup, which is apparently all the rage.  The dish had a nice heat with the crunch of the celery and the clams were very fresh.  Even though Diana and I truly enjoyed the Bloody Mary clam, the baked clam had us going crazy.  Wow!  It had chopped chorizo and was so spicy and flavorful – I literally licked the clam clean.   My in-laws are Italian and we always have baked clams for Christmas Eve, and I am going to make this for my father-in-law – he will love this recipe!


Hidden beneath that breadcrumb is a real blast of flavor!

Next up was the Oyster Stew, which was Mike’s grandmother’s recipe.  He really gets inspiration from his whole family (many of whom were in the audience), who encouraged Mike to cook from an early age (starting at 5 years old).  As I was writing this, the room started to smell like bacon, and I knew this was going to be good.  And boy was it good – I would argue it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.   As I told Chef Mike after the class, I eat soup almost every day so I have some experience in this area, and this was so creamy, with the salty and crunchy bits of bacon.  The best part was the huge pieces of oyster that tasted like bursts of the ocean.  Another plate licked clean.



Check out that whole oyster!

Next up was the Rockfish stuffed with Crab Imperial.  Chef Mike showed everyone how to butcher the snapper and I didn’t think it would be that interesting since I personally do not ever plan to butcher a fish or meat, but it was truly fascinating.  It was like watching a surgeon – the precision and care he took to take extract all of the meat and removing the bloodline was really mesmerizing.  I’m sure it doesn’t sound appealing, but to know that the chef cares so much about those details – those are the restaurants I want to eat at.  The dish was really flavorful, especially when you got a bite of the creamy crab with the acidic Imperial sauce.  The broccoli side dish was also delicious (even his 3 and 4-year-olds eat it), and would go well with steak. 




The final dish was a baked apple with sour cream gelato, which was the first dessert Chef Mike ever made.  The dish was adorable – it had a great presentation and was delicious.  The stuffing was nutty and just perfectly sweet, and paired really well with the tart and savory gelato. 




Talking to Chef Mike at the end did feel like talking to a friend, which was kind of true since it turned out that we had some people in common in our lives.   When he told me he actually loves Popeye’s, everything kind of just came together for me.  Growing up in Louisiana and then moving to New Jersey, my family would drive hours to find a Popeye’s, so I can totally relate to a love of their fried chicken and rice and beans.  The best tip I got from Chef Mike was making sure to get the pan hot when cooking, but even more helpful was to combine canola and olive oil when cooking so the oil doesn’t burn too quickly.  Thanks Chef Mike for introducing me to your Oyster Stew – I will be seeing you at Market Table soon, and Quality Clam next year!

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