Best part about a crab boil? Hard to say. Certainly it's rare that you get to brandish a mallet at the dinner table, so that's fun. The newspaper they lay down is good, too, and makes you realize how superfluous plates really are. Of course, the best part of a crab boil may be the fact that the food ROI (return on investment, y'all) is so very slim - and as such, once you've put so much effort into to whacking, cracking, picking and scraping the delectable snowy meat out of a blue crab's shell, you savor it that much more. (Runner-up: Getting Old Bay spice under our fingernails. That just screams 'summer.')
Starting tonight, the low-key East Village haunt Back Forty (best known for sophisticatedly hearty meat-and-potatoes fare we'd call "Upstate NY rustic") brings back its excellent weekly Chesapeake-tribute crab boil event. $40 gets you all the critters you can whack, plus piles of corn on the cob and other sides, and - and! - cobbler. Plus, their back garden (not quite 40, unless we're talking yards) may be one of the most charming in the neighborhood. Consider our sleeves rolled to the elbow.
The Crab Boil
Every Tuesday from 6/2 through Labor Day (reservations recommended)
Back Forty; 190 Avenue B at 12th Street; (212) 388-1990
$40 per person
More Info: Website