Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Nov 22, 1999 02:15 PM

oyster tour in nyc

  • g

I would love to do an oyster tour of NY... spend an evening ordering a dozen (or so...) oysters in various places around the city.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia seems to be a crowd favorite of many chowhounders. Me, I'm partial to Aquagrill (Spring St. at 6th Ave) Great selection and decent prices - check out their happy hour prices! Pretty sure there's been a string or two of oyster discussion around here before so you may want to start your investigation there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Liza

      I concur about Aqua Grill; Blue Ribbon is very good too, if you can get in. I'm hoping to try Pearl this week when I'm in town. The Oyster Bar in Grand Central is well known for raw bivalves and Grand Central itself is well worth a browse. It's positively gorgeous afer its facelift. I haven't been there since the opening of many of the food court type places and plan to visit it myself, as I do on every trip to New York. One other thought: You could bring your own oyster knife and buy a terrific assortment at Citarella's. They'd put them on ice and you could shuck your own! Have a fabulous time. pat

      1. re: pat hammond

        I ate at Oyster Bar in Grand Central yesterday, and it was as good as ever. The raw-oyster selection includes over a dozen varieties, including some locals from Long Island.

        Prices are as steep as ever, too. A light lunch -- bowl of (delicious) Manhattan clam chowder, a plate of six oysters, and a coffee -- set me back nearly $25 with tax and tip. A big meal with wine, dessert, etc., will be expensive.

        The Grand Central restoration is wonderful, and there's a laser show starting today that should be fun, too. But the lower-level food court? Ugly, ugly, ugly. They took a beautiful space and filled it with airport furniture and fast food.

        1. re: Peter Krass

          Wow - $25 for soup and 1/2 dozen oysters is painfully steep. I'm pretty sure one could do better price-wise at Aquagrill, where the selection is also outstanding. I agree that Pearl Oyster Bar is delightful, but I feel compelled to point out that they've never had anything other than Blue Points (not my favorite) on the menu every time I've visited. If you're looking for variety, I'd stick with Aquagrill. There's also a place called "Fish" on Bleecker, near 6th Ave, that has a pretty good selection and decent prices.

          On the subject of oyster feasts, my husband and I absolutely pigged out on oysters this weekend at the Public Market in Portland, Maine. The prices were ridiculously low by NYC standards - $8.50 for a dozen of mixed east and west coast varieties, including some particularly yummy Kumamoto and Hood Canal oysters from the West. They even had some decent Muscadet by the glass. I was in heaven.

          1. re: Fay

            Well, I ate at Pearl Oyster Bar last nite. My first post originated out of a desire to spend an evening touring the city, feasting on oysters and comparing. An oyster tasting of sorts.
            The blue points at Pearl were tasty and refreshing, but after inquiring about other varieties, we tasted the Seconics from Rhode Island. They were absolutely outstanding! I could have eaten a thousand.
            The prices at Pearl are not so bad... $8.50 for 6. Not like new orleans, 6$ a dozen at Acme (YUM), but reasonably priced for New York.
            I'm still hoping to do the oyster tour, but if that gets postponed for some reason, my next stop is Bongo.
            (thanks for the recommendation, Jim!)

            1. re: gillian

              Just wondering if any of you oyster fanciers out there saw the recent oyster bar roundup in Time Out a couple of weeks ago, and if so, any comments?

            2. re: Fay

              "Fish" on Bleecker has a happy hour type deal of 6 (blue point) oysters and a glass of beer or chardonnay for $8. A good deal, and cheap enough to use as a tide-you-over until your next oyster feast, but otherwise, I give "Fish" a thumbs down because the wait staff is either not knowledgeable or terribly inarticulate about different oyster varieties. (Also the two times I was there during winter the heating system wasn't working!) Aquagrill can give you meaningful descriptions of what different oysters are like, and they are also there on display, which is nice, but it's a bit schmancy in case you just want oysters in your jeans. I think Grand Central is the classic, and they also have hot BISCUITS on the table, and, although the service is notoriously slow, you can while away the time laughing at the gazillion tourists who are getting distracted by the lengthy menu and foolishly ordering something besides oysters.

              By the way, the clam chowder is very good at Grand Central, and even better at Pearl, but that's another discussion.

      2. I love Bongo's oysters (though not their service or prices). See my "What Jim Had For Dinner" entry for October 19. Oyster bar is a no-brainer, but the raw oysters aren't quite as good as Bongo's (they do a mean pan roast, though). I like the fried oysters at Angel's Share (a secret bar behind a secret door upstairs at 8 Stuyvesant St). I'd get one of the oyster hot pots at Tindo in Chinatown. That's a pretty good tour right there, I think


        P.S.--Are you THE Gillian?