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The Leadbelly Oysters & Liquor
Oyster Bar Restaurant$$
Today 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
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14 Orchard St New York, NY 10002
14 Orchard StreetUSNew YorkNew York10002
$$Oyster Bar Restaurant, Cocktail BarToday 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
Monday ClosedTuesday 6:00 pm – 2:00 amWednesday 6:00 pm – 2:00 amThursday 6:00 pm – 2:00 amFriday 6:00 pm – 2:00 amSaturday 6:00 pm – 2:00 amSunday 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
The Fat Radish kids' oyster bar features Phil Winser's mid-century Europe- and Americana-inflected design, which includes an "Airstream-inspired bar" and tables silk-screened with game boards. There's a built-in piano where performers show several times a week, and requestable vintage records will play the rest of the time—including the occasional track from Blues legend Leadbelly, i.e., Huddie William Ledbetter, himself. - New York Magazine
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Cozy eatery serving oysters, snacks & drinks in vintage-inspired digs with live music & DJ nights.- Google
"They have a really good happy hour for oysters."
"This oyster and cocktail spot never disappoints."
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Chris Ross
a year ago
Decided to pop in one late night, after partying it up till around 2, to get a few drinks. Previously this was my go to location when it was occupied by Sweet Paradise, but I will say that Leadbelly is a bit of an upgrade. There is a nice feel to the spot with the light hue decor really adding a sense of breadth even though the place is quite narrow. I really loved the copper counter and the hanging racks. It makes sitting at the bar a bit more inviting. The cocktails were pretty good as well and the offerings are unique if not inventive, with pricing rolling in at around $13 -- typical for the area. In all, I was pleased at the successor to my old favorite and I will be going back to check out the oysters.
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Jason Wagg
2 years ago
I love oysters and I love drinks so this was a natural for me. A friend recommended it and it was better than I expected. Great little place tucked out of the way on Orchard. I've never been to Fat Radish so I can't comment on that but all the drinks were top-notch. Nothing was pre-made or mixed. Everything came out quickly and exactly right. The place itself is quaint in that "old-timey" way. I've seen a DJ or two come through and there's a small dance floor that people fill up to get moving late into the night. I always leave happy and well-fed.
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Lukas Fauset
2 years ago
The Leadbelly is an Oyster Bar with emphasis on the Bar; the drink menu dwarfs the meager food offering with a roster of creative drinks that, for the most part, seem to take jalapeño as a base and build from there. There were four varieties of Oyster to try, three from the east coast and one from the west, and the ones I sampled were all both different and delicious. The most enjoyable of the appetizers was the Warm Dukkha. While the provided Naan was practically non-existent, the Dukkha was good enough alone to keep going at with a fork, well after the bread was gone. The taste of jalapeño was unevenly present in many of the drinks, even between two of the same, ranging from mild to overwhelming, so I got the feeling the recipes were still in flux. Nevertheless, they were all tasty, especially the Spicy Pineapple, and, my favorite, "A Stuffing", which undercuts apple and lemon juices with a strong blend of sage. The restaurant itself had the look of a barn attached to a crumbling stucco wall, which is more apparently more pleasant than it sounds, and keeps up the eclectic combination with faux-Edison lighting and a yard-sale collection of glasses and plates. The wall piano held promise, but was unused while I was there. This was probably just as well because it was already difficult to hear the people sitting next to me. The service was fine, and kept a good eye on our drinks, although a couple drinks were delayed when we moved from the bar to a table. If you like fiery drinks and shooting oysters, The Leadbelly is a great bet. Just take note that you may need to find food elsewhere.
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Cathy Li
a year ago
Extremely bad music on New Year's Eve. The DJ'S is an idiot who doesn't know what he is doing and the manager just tolerates what the DJ was playing. Will never come back although it was once my favorite bar.
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Hannibal Smith
a year ago
This oyster and cocktail spot never disappoints. Great low key spot for after work oysters and cocktails(They used to have church key beer:-() The staff is friendly and attentive. They have a really good happy hour for oysters. The space is low key and intimate a great place for a date. The crowd is defiantly young professional/socialite not bad on the eyes.They had live Bossa Nova for a while on Wed I hope they bring it back. -- Great date spot -- Good cocktails -- Nice crowd Only real downside is getting friends to go to that part of crown.
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Lily Hay Newman
2 years ago
Before last night, I didn't know much about the Leadbelly except that it was started by the people who run Fat Radish across the street. I had been to Fat Radish and had a good time, so I figured the Leadbelly would be similar. The cocktails were great (cucumber julep, tequila rose etc.), but the dinner menu was more of a health food/tapas situation. We had a slice of beet and goat cheese tartan, plus some salads (including a whole grain and nut dish that reminded everyone of savory granola). We also had an assortment of oysters, which were great. The decor of the restaurant was kind of confusing, because the name led me to expect a 40s Louisiana/Bible Belt-type feel. This was somewhat present in the distressed walls with semi-exposed brick and upright piano, but the large cactus in the corner and terrariums in the bathroom were kind of lost on me. I think I would go back to the Leadbelly for drinks, but definitely not for dinner. They weren't offering anything substantial enough. Oh, and one more thing: Some of the cocktails had jalapeño in them even when it wasn't advertised on the menu. I didn't mind because I like spicy stuff, but I would think that this would be off-putting to some people.
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Elisabeth Norton
2 years ago
The Leadbelly is the new too-cool place to be from The Fat Radish team. What's that bustling across the street? The Fat Radish! Though I haven't been to the latter, I hear there's food there--that wasn't quite the case at dear Leadbelly. But, first, The Scene. Imagine: rec room circa 1960s—distressed stucco, found wood, replete with upright piano, turntable and succulents. Most notable decoration? The crowd—all lush lipped, plaid clad, and felt-fedora lidded. Most questionable? Driftwood as toilet paper holder—splinters? (My party openly pondered if the herbs in our snapper tartare had been clipped from the terrariums in the bathroom.) The Food: What I hope is simply the “early” menu was not much of one—4 items, plus oysters. The beet tartan was good, but beets+chevre does not a rocket scientist make. The snapper tartare was reminiscent of tabbouleh—dry and overly herbaceous, I passed after a bite—and the dukkha (apparently a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices) was, well, a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices. I felt it would go far better with yogurt and honey in the a.m. with a cup o' joe than naan in the p.m. with a negroni, but I’m particular. The kale salad was so artfully deconstructed, it was more train wreck; an explosion of pine nuts! Nothing was bad, it's just that nothing was very good. It was too...healthy--for this type of establishment. Where are the devils on horseback and the duck-fat fries? The drinks were great, inventive but classic, though suffered a bit of an identity crisis. To wit: a Dirty Lemonade with jalapeno lacked heat, while a Tequila Rose, with no mention of spice in the recipe, was openly garnished with, yes, a jalapeno. The Spicy Pineapple was to a tee. No complaints from my crowd. So yes, Drinks! And, yes, Oysters! We tried three. The West Coast Kumamotos were tops--impish, craggy and briny--but equal love was professed for their Eastern brethren. The service was, for lack of a better word, slow. Very slow. Someone wondered whether the waitstaff was pulling doubles at the Radish across the street. But servers were amiable and responsive when around. And cute. They've got to be cute. I actually would go back to Leadbelly, with the gorgeous crowd, great drinks, and the oysters. I'd even recommend it. But I'd eat beforehand.
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Jonathan Newhall
9 months ago


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