15 East, long a hound favorite for upper-end sushi, also knows what to do with soft-shell crabs. Now that they're in season, it has introduced a standout version as an appetizer. "Spectacular," says thegforceny. "Light, crunchy, salty coating, clean flavors."
Tracks, a commuter haunt deep inside Penn Station, has its own way of celebrating soft-shell season: a yearly festival featuring the critters in various forms. buttertart recommends the excellent crab po' boy.
Great New York Noodletown, a perennial go-to spot for soft-shells, is delivering the goods again this year. sharky1 says they're "as big and fresh and delicious as always!"
And in Brooklyn, the hound-endorsed seafood shack Littleneck has been offering soft-shells as a special. One recent preparation was battered, fried, and served over smoky grilled ramps and fingerlings. "They were superb!" declares jinx.
15 East [Union Square]
15 E. 15th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West), Manhattan
Tracks Raw Bar & Grill [Penn Station]
In Pennsylvania Station, Long Island Rail Road concourse, Manhattan
Great New York Noodletown [Chinatown]
28 Bowery (at Bayard Street), Manhattan
288 Third Avenue (between President and Carroll streets), Brooklyn
Soft-shell crab image from Shutterstock