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Raw Bar - Pearl's, Mary's, Aquagrill, or...?

PegS Sep 3, 2008 10:18 AM

SF Chowhound looking for a decent seafood restaurant with a main emphasis on raw oysters and raw littlenecks, but would also welcome a place that has more unusual selections as well (langoustines, whole sea urchin, cockles etc.). We're NOT looking for a white tablecloth place, unless the selection of exotic shellfish warrants the splurge. Right now I'm looking at Pearl's, Mary's, or Aquagrill (which seems to have more choices for shellfish if the online menus are correct?), but would certainly welcome any other choices. Thanks much!

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  1. s
    sam1 RE: PegS Sep 3, 2008 10:24 AM

    im not too positive but marys and pearl's usually only have 1-2 types of oysters at any given time.

    for selection in a setting you requested, try shaffer city or the bar at grand central oyster bar.

    aquagrill and fresh are my favorite pure seafood restaurants...you may want to look into fresh in tribeca as well.

    1. k
      kathryn RE: PegS Sep 3, 2008 11:21 AM

      Aquagrill and Shaffer's (formerly known as Shaffer City) are best for just oysters. Both are pretty casual. For more exotic stuff, it's a little more difficult as it depends on fish markets, etc. and what's fresh. I believe Aquagrill usually has periwinkles. For uni, I typically go to a Japanese place for that (Kanoyama had some great baby abalone a while back, Lan on occasion gets them too).

      4 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: kathryn Sep 3, 2008 04:52 PM

        I'd go with Aquagrill (grab a seat at 5) ... sit at the bar ... kick back.
        The periwinkles make a great bar snack ... there are other notable "gnoshes" here.
        Ask Tracy.

        1. re: kathryn
          guttergourmet RE: kathryn Sep 7, 2008 09:07 AM

          Agreed, Aquagrill and Shaffer City are the best oyster bars in the city for oysters, period.

          1. re: guttergourmet
            oystersallday RE: guttergourmet Sep 8, 2008 04:39 PM


            1. re: oystersallday
              steve h. RE: oystersallday Sep 8, 2008 04:44 PM


        2. misnatalie RE: PegS Sep 3, 2008 01:12 PM

          Aquagrill's is very nice when I went they did have periwinkles. Fresh is a very good seafood restaurant but I don't know what their raw bar is like. I was surprised with Bar American's selection of fun seafood "cocktails" with conch, and razor clams. Shaffer City has a good selection of oysters.

          1. c
            Cpalms RE: PegS Sep 3, 2008 02:51 PM

            Pearl and Mary's are not about the large selection of shellfish....just one or two selections of very high quality....you received good suggestions above...I like Aquagrill myself, its particularly pleasant at off hours...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Cpalms
              PegS RE: Cpalms Sep 3, 2008 04:01 PM

              Thanks all, for the feedback. Kathryn, we're hitting Yasuda when we're there so perhaps we'll get our uni fix! Looks like Aquagrill is the front-runner but I'll do some more research on Bar American and Shaffer too.

              1. re: PegS
                potluck RE: PegS Sep 3, 2008 04:54 PM

                Yasuda has always had the most amazing uni. Enjoy!

                1. re: potluck
                  MMRuth RE: potluck Sep 4, 2008 09:49 AM

                  The Peace Passage oysters at Yasuda are also wonderful.

            2. r
              Robhungry1 RE: PegS Sep 13, 2008 10:42 PM

              Look I'm not a new yorker but i've been eating oysters my whole life and I have NEVER found better selection than the Oyster bar in GCS. I haven't been in about 7 years but I bet it is still the king. No matter that I can eat the freshest out of the ocean when it comes to amazing variety and quality this is the place I woulld go.

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