Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Hour at Flex Mussels

It had been a while (3 years!) since my last visit to Flex Mussels, and in the past few months, every time I've walked past the seafood counter at Whole Foods, I've thought about buying a bag of mussels and preparing them at home, but then ultimately decide against it when I think about all the other ingredients needed to make a tasty sauce. It's probably not actually that much work, but since I've never gotten around to it, I figured it was time to go to a restaurant and just order mussels and call it a day.

The happy hour is no longer an all-you-can-eat deal, but the offering is still pretty decent-- mussels and fries for $15 (choice of classic, fra diavolo, or dijon, with an order of fries). Those 3 mussel dishes are regularly $19.5 each, and do not come with fries. Wine and cocktails are $7, beer is $5, and there are a few other small plate options on the happy hour menu as well.

Mussels on a rainy Friday.

Happy hour is from 5:30-7pm, and is only offered at the bar and counter (pictured here). There are only around 16 seats, so be sure to arrive early to get a spot.

Sour Patch, $7 (regularly $13): orange infused vodka, thyme, lemon, and ginger
The most perfect summer cocktail. Light and slightly sweet, with just enough vodka. The thyme was a nice addition; it added some great flavor, and made the cocktail more unique.

Drunk in Love, $7 (regularly $13): jalapeƱo tequila, watermelon, lemon, and lime
Watermelon and tequila together makes for a superb combination. The strong and spicy tequila was nicely mellowed out by the cool fruit flavor, but still kept a nice kick to it.

A dozen oysters, $18 (happy hour price): Shucker's choice-- happened to be Blue Point that night
It's hard to see oysters on a menu and not order them. These were delicious-- mild but a tad salty, and quite plump and juicy. (If you're looking for Blue Point oysters, definitely visit Mermaid Inn for their happy hour-- $1 Blue Point oysters!)

Bread bucket composed of two slices white, two slices wheat
Keep asking for more if necessary, they were slightly chewy and great for dipping in the mussel sauce.

Classic mussels, $15 (regularly $19.5), white wine, herbs, garlic
This had a very strong garlic flavor, with very little hints of wine. Decent, but wouldn't be my first choice.

Not pictured here, but we also ordered:
 Cleopatra mussels-- lump crab meat, saffron, fennel, cream, basil, $25
There was plenty of crab meat to go around, and the cream sauce was terrific. The basil added a perfect edge to the dish, and we both polished off the sauce. I highly recommend this dish!

Truffle fries
We upgraded from the included fries to truffle fries for $5. I just wish these were a little crispier, other than that, pretty darn good.

Flex Donuts, $14: blueberry, cinnamon sugar, fluffernutter, meyer lemon, peanut butter and jelly, smore, strawberry, with vanilla bean dipping sauce
Hot, fluffy, and a great texture. The fluffernutter had marshmallow and peanut butter just oozing out of it. Beautiful.

154 West 13th Street (between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 229-0222

Upper East Side location:

174 East 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028

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