You may or may not like the name of this place, but it’s pretty impossible not to enjoy what’s on their menu! Especially if you love seafood, or more specifically, fresh oysters and mussels cooked to perfection, Flex Mussels could quickly become your favorite seafood destination in NYC. Currently, they are serving at 154 W 13th Street but soon, a second installment on the Upper East Side will open its doors at 1431 3rd Avenue.
What’s the Background Story?
Veteran restaurateurs Bobby and Laura Shapiro and their talented daughter Alexandra are to be thanked for bringing this gem to the streets of NYC. The original was started in Charlottetown, PEI Prince Edward Island in Canada. In fact, the owners still have two restaurants running in PEI. For those who aren’t familiar, Prince Edward Island is often considered the source of some of the best, plumpest, freshest bivalve mollusks one could hope to find in this part of the world, on this planet.
Food and Menu
Flex Mussels uses these PEI-sourced bivalves to create their crafty menu that comprises 23 different varieties of mussels and oysters in a range of international flavors and preparation styles. From the Caribbean-style recipes, served with peppers, jerk sauce, and Red Stripe in the sauce, to Mexican varieties, served in chipotle broth, topped with calamari and chorizo, to the quintessential flavors of Thailand (served with coconut curry broth), Flex Mussels’ menu is out and out impressive.
Their loyal customers seem to be in love with some of the other seafood favorites they have on the menu, including lobster rolls, fish ‘n’ chips, and fried calamari. Also, do try their epic sake and oyster pairings. And for the desserts, Flex Donuts aren’t to be missed.
Ambiance and Service
Though the setup is a bit compact, the atmosphere remains vibrant and alive throughout the day. The decor is simple and homey, with an easygoing and inviting vibe. The walls are filled with paintings depicting scenes from the Canadian countryside. The lighting, too, is simple but tastefully done.
The service, however, can’t be defined with words like ‘simple’ or ‘okay.’ Instead, we have to use words like – ‘absolutely amazing’ or ‘one of the best in town’ to describe the kind of service we enjoyed during our visit to this restaurant.
The staff welcomes you with a friendly and welcoming smile on their faces, but just a minute of conversation later, you realize how incredibly knowledgeable they actually are. If you want to try something new, maybe one of their international preparations, we recommend following your server’s recommendations.
Besides the seafood, they have a fabulous beer collection and a hand-picked wine list that goes really well with the kind of food they serve. If you want to enjoy the restaurant’s delicacies at a better price, visit during the happy hour (5-7 pm). And oh, did we mention the place offers outdoor seating as well? One more reason for them to Flex!