Aquagrill - oyster washing ?
We finally had dinner at Aquagrill last night – something we had been looking forward to given the positive reviews and the prospect of some great oysters on a hot day. I can only say the experience was average. We ordered a variety of oysters to share and after eating a couple, my husband commented that they all tasted very similar and very mild (despite being different varieties and from different locations). Then I focused, and it hit me that they all tasted the same because they all tasted of water. Not the briny seawater that normally sits in the hollow of the shell, but regular NY tap water. They had been completely sliced off the shell and for some reasons, rinsed of all their natural juices. Such a disappointment! (My husband also came across a bad belon which added to his disappointment although this can happen anywhere and is just bad luck).
The rest of the meal was ok. I had the marinated herrings followed by wild white salmon with shrimp and mushroom salad. The herrings were enjoyable (served with traditional accompaniments) but the salmon was covered in an overly vinegary dressing and the shrimp were overcooked to the point of being inedible. My husband had the tuna tartare and the white sea bass with crab risotto and fava beans. He enjoyed both.
We went to Aquagrill with high expectations but the rinsed oysters let us down. Were we just unlucky on the night or was our experience not uncommon.
Washing shucked shellfish seems to be a very common practice throught NYC. I've run into this problem at Aquagrill, Grand Central Oyster Bar, the well known seafood place (I forget the name) at Union Sq, even Randazzo's and Nathan's. You literally have to beg them not to do that. Only Randazzo's complied.