Friday, October 16, 2009

The Oyster Bar

Blogger has a new Xtra large setting for pictures, so this is a test. Grr, it's cut off the martini and a bit of Vince and is missing a border. Oh well.

Vince met my mom and me (yes, not I) at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central today for lunch. It was a madhouse so we sat and had gin and vodka martinis (them) and nameless Sauvignon blanc (me) in the lounge area until my name was bellowed.

Tip about the Oyster Bar. First: go there. Second. Only eat the items from the raw bar.

All raw shellfish is very good. We had sea urchins and oysters, and then went on to various, such as Oysters Rockefeller (the shellfish rule extends to cooked ones, too: they are rich but good), clam chowder( cool goop) and fish and chips (over-cooked and over-priced). I have eaten 'proper' meals a few times here and never not been disappointed. The place is a turn-the-table-around-as-fast-as-possible factory, and the wonderful-sounding food has a mass-produced, compressed look about it, but the prices stick to their guns, in the firm mid to high $20 range for an entree. It's a waste. But for the theatre, the spectacle, the lights, the vaulted room, the waiterly belligerence that one has come to expect, go. For the best time, go and sit at the bars, or at the horse shoe shaped tables on the right as you enter. Go on your own or with a friend. Watch the show of moving diners, or the oystermen shucking. Don't eat the bouillabaisse.

Eat the oysters. They really are worth it.

We drank a South African wooded Chenin blanc, made by Graham Beck, Gamekeeper's Reserve, which was excellent and, at $36, one of the most reasonable bottles on the list.


  1. My favourite: the rockies. Oysters Rockefeller. Somehow, odly, they remind me of Al di La's malfatti...

  2. flwjane@smallbutcharmingOctober 16, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    hope you're having a lovely visit with your mother. i'm assuming your weather is as nasty as d.c.'s. but, good reason to be cosy.

  3. An extra large setting? Cool! Will have to experiment with that.

    Enjoy the visit.

  4. Yes! Blogger in Draft. This is going to save me soooo much time adjusting the code for every single photo I upload. Wow.

    As for oysters...sigh...can't touch 'em. No shellfish. An allergy I learned of in NY, oddly. At least I'm not allergic to Manhattan as I'd first suspected!

  5. Thank you for using the accusative case correctly! I can't stand when people use "I" as the object of a sentence or proposition. They think it sounds proper but it's wrong, wrong, wrong! You, however, are right, right, right. And for that, I am grateful.

  6. Well, I looked at those oysters and sighed...then I read that our blog friend in MA is similarly disposed.'s great picture!

  7. Oyster bar sounds good, but I must admit I cannot
    avoid thinking about Catskill snow! Really, quite unusual for us. This weekend is the one wife and ME
    travel upstate for leaves and woodsmoke. But not this year. Still beautiful I hope!

  8. Well, if yours was a positive review, I'd hate to read the negative ones - sounds like a flamin' ordeal more than a good place to eat! But as someone who doesn't eat shellfish, I could happily give it a miss, even as a spectacle, whenever I make it to NY.

    Is your mum having a good time? What does the cat think of having to share you?

  9. The best thing is the Manhattan Clam Chowder for lunch, preceded by a few raw oysters as an appetizer. Seated at one of the counters, old-style.
    THE BEST Manhattan Clam Chowder in NYC.

  10. oh those oysters... i learned to eat oysters in wellfleet.

  11. Really, knithound?

    My favourite NYC clam chowder is at Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village. But it's the white kind...


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