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.

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