With the catastrophic oil spill devastating the Gulf of Mexico’s oysters, shrimp, red snapper and other fish, New York City restaurants and retailers are noticing a ripple effect.
Already creeping prices are expected to catch a bigger wave, and worried eaters are flooding seafood purveyors with questions.
The Oyster Bar at Grand Central doesn’t get oysters from the Gulf, but its Blue Point shucked oysters from Maryland cost 10 percent more than before the April 20 disaster closed one-third of the Gulf to fishing.
“The demand is still there,” Oyster Bar executive chef Sandy Ingber said. “It’s pulling the supply from anywhere they can get oysters.” With shrimp prices rising worldwide, he’s bracing for “quite a jump” when his one-year shrimp contract runs up in January.
“My fear is: This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Ingber said, refering to the oil’s spread. “How about the first hurricane that goes through the Gulf of Mexico? ... I think the affects are going to be long term.”
“There’s a lot of concern from the public, a lot of questions,” said Paul Enea, a buyer for Midtown’s Pisacane wholesale and retail seafood shop — who’s heard that their red snapper supplier’s boats aren’t being allowed out.
“I’m sure it will catch up with us,” said Josh Capon, executive chef at SoHo’s Lure Fishbar, who hasn't seen prices jump yet.