Oyster House on Sansom St. Review
I just went for a work day lunch with a friend. I've never been to the old one(s) and am actually not a huge seafood fan, but my friend grew up in an oyster bar run by his father.
Entrance: The entrance is a little confusing--or at least subtle--we actually opened the wrong door at first.
Meet & Greet: The hostess is not stationed right by the door and it was pretty busy, so we kind of looked around a little in confusion before we saw the hostess waving at us. She was friendly and seated us promptly after that.
Decor: Light and comfortable, but with nothing but brick and plaster, it's very noisey when full. We liked all the oyster plates on the walls. Our meal took about 70 minutes. By the time we left--around 2:30, it was about 2/3 empty, so late afternoon might be a good time for a slightly quieter meal.
Wait/Bus Service: The service was very good. The waiter made several good recommendations that he really seemed to believe in (no "It's all good." or "I haven't tried that." He was knowledgeble about the oysters and reccommended one that my friend ended up getting two orders of. He was also helpful to me--a newbie fish eater--in finding a fish dish that I liked. Only negative was that we had a long wait for the waiter (to ask for the check or dessert) after finishing our main course. The bus service was very attentive, quickly refilling water and removing plates.
Food: I had the Snapper Soup and the Flounder entree. The soup was highly touted. I liked it, but I thought it was a little overwhelmed by the spices. Also, there was a bone in it. The flounder was pretty light and flakey and mildly flavored. I suspect the entree as a whole would be kind of boring to a seafood lover, but for a beginner it was a good choice (recommended by the waiter). My friend got 12 royal miyagi oysters and the shrimp salad sandwich. He really liked the oysters (ordered a second helping) and liked the sandwich but it wasn't the standout the oysters were. We both got the strawberry rhubarb crumble, which was quite tasty. It wasn't too sweet or tart, and the ice cream is a really good complement. It's a large portion, but the crumble is like a thin layer of granola so it wasn't heavy.
Overall, I'd go back if I was with another seafood lover--especially in the evening when I could try the cocktails--but it's not going to be a standby for me. I left feeling like I'd had a nice, fun lunch. The menu only has two options for non-fisheaters--a burger that you would have to ask them to hold the fried oyster and the snapper soup. There probably was a salad also, but the upshot is, you should be interested or able to eat fish if you go.