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is anyone out there a fan of the Grand Central Oyster Bar??

  • m
  • MarkG Sep 26, 2007 09:04 AM

it has been dissed a lot. wondering if anyone likes the place and if it has improved any??

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  1. I go there for the oyster stew (I'm less fond of the pan roast, in which the oysters are overwhelmed by the paprika), the clam chowder and the raw oysters and clams.

    Everything else is mediocre and overpriced.

    1. I am. They have a great new england clam chowder, and the oysters are great. This has been the case for decades...

      1 Reply
      1. re: tpigeon

        Ignore the naysayers.

        The GCOB has some of the consistently best and freshest seafood in NYC.

      2. I like it too - I always sit at the oyster bar, same spot at the end near the lounge, right in front of the oyster board. It's a busy spot for the counter staff but you'll get good service, plus I usually eat way too many oysters as a result of staring at that list :-)

        1. The Oyster Bar is still my favorite for raw clams/oysters and I agree that the stews are better than the pan roasts. For simple fish, you can always count on them to have a vast selection of the freshest around. I used to get their bouillabaisse from time to time and, while it's not anywhere like the ones I've had in Marseilles, it ain't half-bad. If you go with other people, show them the whispering trick in the arcade outside the main entrance. (One person stands, facing the wall, in one corner while the other stands, also facing the wall, in the corner diametrically opposite. Then whisper and you will be able to hear one another perfectly, even if there's lots of ambient noise.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodluvngal

            We did that! We were standing around under the arcade just having eaten at the oyster bar (as we do every trip), when a woman stopped to tell us about the whispering trick. She directed my 6 year old son and myself to the corners and we whispered. It was one of those magical New York moments. Thank you, whoever you are!

          2. Great selection of oysters and the stew are traditions. Now we make a special trip in the spring to visit mom and eat the Dutch style new herring. TRADITION!

            1. Everyone has to go there at least once when they go to NY! On my first trip there I insisted to go there because of the tradition and I was not dissapointed. We had lunch in the lounge in the back and we loved it. I had oysters and the clam chowder and they were excellent. I recommand to everyone going at least once.

              1. Same as everyone else -- the oyster pan roast, New England clam chowder and oysters on the half shell are great. That's it. Nothing else.

                1 Reply
                1. re: batterypark

                  yep pan roast, chowder and oysters. plus they have great vodka and I love the loaded crackers!

                2. Nope.

                  1. Dissed alot for a good reason-food is terrrrrrible!!

                    1. It's such a spectacular place - the food sort of takes second place. I love the Dover Sole there and, of course, the raw oysters are very good.

                      1. I had lunch there yesterday. A Ipswich pan roast, a caesar salad with jumbo shrimp and crabmeat and three Meximoto and three Bras d'ors oysters. The meal pretty much sucked. The pan roast tasted like a ketchup and salty cream concoction with some canned clams, the salad while the greens were fresh was badly done. The shrimp and crab were way over cooked and only served to absorb the very garlicky salad dressing. The oysters although they had a nice brine had mushy texture and no sweetness (the Bras d'ors) that I have tasted with all other oysters I have eaten in Nova Scotia. I would say if you go then go to look at the decor and don't expect much in terms of a culinary experience.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bigmackdaddy

                          I go, but only for the oysters, and only at the bar. I usually also get a cava and fries (I sometimes like the counterpoint of hot, crispy fries and oysters). The food otherwise is not particularly chowish. The place is all about the setting and the oysters.

                        2. Yes. Mine is a variation on what others here have said: i sit only at the oyster bar and get: raw oysters, fried oysters, sometimes a salad w/ tomato or coleslaw, a glass of wine or a strong ale...and that is perhaps my fav meal in NYC...i recently moved from NY to Bangkok, and so far GCOB is literally the only restaurant in Manhattan that i miss...

                          1. had an excellent meal there the first time (oysters served fried, in a roast, and also raw on the half-shell) and it was all beautiful; we sat at the horseshoe section and really enjoyed it.

                            the second time, had horrendous raw oysters that we had to send back, and the rest of the food was bad.

                            so, i wouldn't go again.