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Nov 1, 2007 10:09 PM

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Sorry if this has been reviewed many times but wondering if this is worth one of 3 lunches next weekend during a stay on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn bridge? Is the atmosphere on a Saturday any good?

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  1. If you're asking me, it's always worth the visit as long as you sit at one of the counters. The sit down restaurant experience to the left as you walk in doesn't live up to the prices but the helpful, bustling and informative staff, chaotic visible kitchen and the raw bar make perching on a stool with a glass of wine or beer and a bowl of red or white chowder well worth the $. It ain't cheap by chowhound lunch standards but if you don't order things like the skimpy and overpriced lobster roll and stick with pan roasts, soups, po' boys and OYSTERS you'll have fun. Don't eat in the saloon either, you'll feel like you're at the kid's table while all the grownups are having real food in the other room. Saturday isn't as good as a work day, more tourists less commuters and business regulars (so many men looking straight out of a John Cheever story, horn rimmed glasses, blue blazers and the Wall Streeet Journal. I can't get enough of spying on them!) but it should still be fun. HIt the Grand Central Market for a stroll and even cough out big bucks for a drink in the Campbell Apartment on the mezz level. EXPENSIVE but good clean fun. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jbwalker

      I disagree, I always eat in the Saloon and much prefer the atmosphere in there. It's clubby rather than cafeteria-y.

    2. ick. i found it to be a step above a cafeteria. so many great places with fab oysters in the city no need to go to that tourist trap. i love pearl's, jacks and marys fish camp.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gramercyfoodie

        Ignore the naysaysers:

        The GCOB has the most consistently fresh and simply prepared seafood in NYC.

        I know...because I've eaten in all....

        1. re: DoctortedNYC

          sorry doctortednyc,

          food is not so good. oysters are many, varied and poorly shucked.

          pan roasts are ok, not much more.

          1. re: steve h.

            I'm a naysayer. Prices are high in the restaurant and the food is not worthy of the prices. I wouldn't waste a vacation meal there.

            1. re: BW212

              I agree that it is not worth the time or money. The last few times I have been the oysters have been shucked before I sat down and just not as good as they are when freshly opened.


      2. go to Aquagrill in Soho!

        1. yes...i agree w/ jbwalker...sit at the counter, feast on some raw oysters, fried oysters, maybe some chowder, and some wine or strong ale -- it's a classic NYC experience and not to be missed

          i left Manhattan about 3 months ago for Bangkok, and GCOB is the *only* restaurant in NYC that i've been missing since the move...