SPUR TREE is a new restaurant in NYC’s Lower East Side with a real Jamaican flare. Charming and inviting with a menu that’s short on entrees but long on flavor and taste. Located at # 76 Orchard Street, the place holds less than 12 tables with an occupancy of about 40. So try the bar if you need to stretch out. We did. It’s really warm with a genial bartender who knows his way around island drinks. And they’re original. Though my choice was the Red Stripe beer, Jamaica’s own, my date for the evening opted for something with sorrel and ginger served ice-cold. Yes, I did taste her’s and it ran smooth. Plenty of fresh fruit here. I called him Antonio. The guy next to him on Friday,the 18th of February, when we were there was Sean. He’s the man-in-charge and he really knows Jamaican cuisine. Fact is the day before we arrived he planned an entire menu at Macy’s Kitchen on West 34th Street we were told. So we asked him to give us a sample of what his place is known for. Needless to say we got the best of him.
Starting off was a junior-size cup of corn chowder, Jamaican style of course. Chocked with fresh seasonal vegetables and with a generous dolop of spices, this was what my guest and I needed on a cold wintry night. We opted for more. He followed this up with his version of Jerked Lamb sauteed in special oils he had prepared earlier in the day. Imagine, seasoned lamb with a cadre of Jamaican vegetables so savory we wanted more. “Not bad,” I thought. Sean then talked us into trying a fresh cut of Kingfish, the island’s sea specialty. Fused with lime, scotch bonnet peppers and curried coconut, this was more than we could handle. He added a short plate of sweet “Panko” crusted plaintains, and a few slices of warm coconut bread pasted with rosemary olive oil. Enough we said. “We got the message.”
The place really does Jamaican in a big way. Our last resort was for a spoonful of banana bread pudding with mango ice cream. This he insisted on. “Wow”! I intoned.
The cost of dinner at SPUR TREE is reasonable considering the choices you have, the quality of the ingredients, and the creative touches by Mr. Sean as we called him. We thanked him for the experience and offered to return. But expect to sample Sean’s version of Jamaican cuisine like you’ve never tasted before.
The phone there is:917-294.8898. And the UR is:www.spurtree.com. Oh yes, there’s also soft reggae music to get you in the mood.
Michael and Linda/ LET’S TRAVEL! Radio