Home > Bars and Restaurants, Experiences, Food > Restaurant Files: Oyster Bar, One Of The Best Hidden Dining Secrets Of New York

Restaurant Files: Oyster Bar, One Of The Best Hidden Dining Secrets Of New York

November 16, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Oyster's selection at Oyster Bar NYLet me ask you a question – do you think trains and freshest possible seafood have anything to do together? Here is another question – thinking about train station, what kind of food would you expect to find there? Does the word “gourmet” easily associates with the train station?

Of course I’m not talking about an average train station in the town with population of 10,000. The tricky part of my question is that we are talking about New York, and the train station is the famous, beautiful Grand Central Terminal. Still, let’s say if you are visiting New York, how many of you would set the restaurant at the train station as your desired dinner destination? Well, if you like seafood, especially if you like oysters, Grand Central Terminal might be a very wise choice, as since 1913 (!) it houses, on the lower level of the station, one of the best if not the very best seafood restaurant in New York, called Oyster Bar and Restaurant.

As you enter into the restaurant, you get the feel of the authentic diner from the 30th. Nope, I’m not that old, but this is an impression from the movies. Red checkered cloth definitely adds to the ambiance. And once you get to your table and given the menu, especially if you are a seafood aficionado, you understand that you are literally in the heaven. The menu is presented as unassuming large piece of paper. The reason for this is simple – the new menu is printed every day (!), as  the bulk of the menu is a fresh catch. Nope, they don’t offer the coveted but equally anonymous “oysters on the half shell”, where you get whatever single kind of oyster there is. You can pick and chose from the daily selection of about 30 (!) different oysters. Overall, Oyster Bar has a 5 pages long oyster list which includes about 250 (!!) different oysters – here is the link for you to take a look. Of course the menu goes well beyond oysters offering all kinds of fish and seafood. Here is a fragment of the menu from November 15th:

Oyster Bar menu fragmentOysters, fish, lobsters and more – whatever your seafood lover’s heart desires. And don’t forget the soups! New England Clam Chowder at Oyster Bar is my perennial favorite. One of the very best and very consistent. As Grand Central Terminal generally is my link to New York, from time to time, I like to stop by the Oyster Bar for a quick bite to eat – at $6.95, the bowl of clam chowder is literally the best value one can get in New York – definitely beats any deli.

Tokaji Hétszölö Dry FurmintAs we were planning for the oysters to be the main dish, the appropriate wine was in order. One of the traditional choices for the seafood wine is Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, with its steely acidity. But that is exactly the point – this is a very standard and traditional choice, and we wanted to try something new and different. Conveniently, wine list at Oyster Bar listed few very nontraditional wines as the winners of the popular choice as oyster’s accompaniment in the section called “Oyster Wine Pairing Champions 2014”. One of those wines was 2011 Hétszölö Tokaji Dry Furmint from Hungary, which we decided on. This happened to be a great choice, as wine showed not only acidity, but also a wonderful salinity (I can only guess – attributed to the volcanic soils in the vineyard), all together making it practically an ideal pairing for the various oysters.

And then, of course, there were oysters. There is not a lot I can tell you about them, except that the selection included 8 different oysters (you can see the list in the picture above), which were one better than the other, both in the taste and in ability to support the conversation.

Oysters at Oyster BarThere you have it, my friends – now you know about one of the best seafood destinations in New York – lunch, dinner or a quick bite on the way – Oyster bar will serve you well. Oh yes – and reservation is highly recommended if you plan on dinner.

Did you know about Oyster Bar before? Have you ever been there? If you have, what do you think? Cheers!

Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Grand Central Terminal
New York, NY 10017
P: 212-490-6650
http://www.oysterbarny.com/

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  1. November 17, 2014 at 8:11 am

    This sounds great. I love oysters. I’ll have to put this place on my list of places to try next time I go to NY.

    • talkavino
      November 18, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Yes, this would definitely worth your time – a great place.

  2. November 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    They are a NYC institution and the best place to get fresh seafood. Great review.

    • talkavino
      November 18, 2014 at 2:46 am

      Thanks, Suzanne! Definitely a great place.

  3. November 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    What a great find, we’ll keep this on our list. Fresh raw oysters in an amazing location and surprisingly good prices. Thanks!

  4. November 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    YUMMY! No I did not know about this place. It sounds like one to add to my list. I’m traveling this weekend and have reservations made for a great restaurant Friday night. Of course I’ve studied the menu and will be starting with a shared peck of oysters. 🙂

    • talkavino
      November 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      great! You will be in NYC this weekend? which restaurant you are going to?

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