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Jun 23, 2011 02:27 PM

Original Oyster- Highlands

Any reviews??? I hear that it reopened in May and is owned by the same owners as The Inlet.

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  1. Two of us went last night. We really wanted to like this place as we are always searching for decent dock-and-dine restaurants.

    We arrived around 7:40. The inside was empty, and the patio was about half full of diners. The hostess greeted us as the phone rang. She excused herself as she took the call, asked the caller to please hold a moment, and then seated us on the patio. She, in our opinions, did the exact right thing, and that was the last thing that went well.

    It took forever for our wine and seltzer to come, to the point of making jokes that our server was stomping the grapes. Good-looking but flavorless bread was served with garlic butter (seasoned by shaker, not by clove). We do not eat bread but ended up devouring the entire loaf because our 8 oysters ($2.50 each for blue point and $3.50 - the most I've ever paid - for kumomoto) each took so long to show up. Happily for me, the oysters came with mignonette. We had to ask several times for a spoon for the mignonette and for a seltzer refill. The oysters were good. Entrees also took forever to arrive. I ordered Snapper Vera Cruz ($31) and my husband ordered a New Zealand lamb chop special ($29). The server did not ask how he wanted the lamb cooked, which we didn't worry about because we usually say "to the chef's recommendation." Both of our entrees were good but overcooked. As we were eating our entrees, the table behind me was bussed. They spritzed the table with smelly stuff (pet peeve of mine) and forgot to actually wipe it. They seated folks at the table and their arms were soaked with cleaning agent. The clean-armed people lit cigarettes. My meal was officially ruined. We left our plates at the table and walked a few steps to the tiki bar and got our check, which because we were using a certificate had a 20% gratuity added to it (husband's pet peeve).

    I get that we were outdoors, but even cruise ships have designated smoking/nonsmoking sections in outdoor areas. I voiced my opinion to the empathetic hostess. I had planned to send them an email, but no website yet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fershore

      Thanks for the report, fershore. Too bad but maybe not surprising. I'm always hoping for something worthwhile in that kind of setting but am often disappointed. If they opened in May I would have expected them to have hit their stride by now. Those entrees didn't boast amateur prices. I don't know if they are owned by the Inlet Cafe people but at least the food service there is more efficient (although the housekeeping sounds similar).

      We sure seem to share a number of pet peeves..

      1. re: Deb Van D

        Forgot to say that yes, they are indeed owned by the same folks who own Inlet Cafe, which I also find to be hit or miss.

        Deb: Based on our avatars, we also seem to share a love of wacky cats.

        1. re: fershore

          Ah, thanks. Sometimes Inlet Cafe can just hit the spot; a beautiful day, a table on the river. But it really is hit or miss. Some really good soft shell crabs shared a table once with stuffed flounder so mean you needed a jeweler's loupe to find it on the plate.

          Wacky cats r us. That is Lars, my cornish rex. If only I had stopped at one . .

      2. re: fershore

        Thanks for the feedback fershore! I will put it on my "skip it" list!

      3. The fish was fresh but it didn't matter because they couldn't cook it to save their lives. There was no flavor to anything. It was the absolute worst meal we've had this year. And to add insult to injury it was so over-priced as to be ridiculous. I mean really, $42 for a 2lb lobster. $21 for just 1 king crab leg. Then the topper...they didn't want to honor a promotion after the fact. They looked at the vouchers before we ordered and said no problem. But when the bill came they only wanted to honor 1 $40 voucher even though the terms specifically stated 1 per person. Believe it or not, the owner actually said 'common sense says we'd only accept one.' I guarantee if you eat here you'll regret it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HarmsWay

          Another confirmation of my Jersey Shore Inverse Seafood Corollary: The Quality of seafood at the Jersey Shore is inversely proportional to it's proximity to the beach.

        2. Been to the Orignal Oyster twice in the past week for lunch and dinner. Excellent service both times. Server and staff were excellent, attentive and very nice without being in the way. Lunch and dinner outside overlooking the marina and Sandy Hook. Great to watch the boats while having excellent food.

          Lunch was 1/2 dozen oysters and a steak sandwich. All excellent. My better half had a tuna wrap and they whipped up some off the menu sides for my 2 year old son. Everything was great and plentiful.

          Dinner was seafood. We had a steamed clams and andouille appetizer. Excellent. Dinner was crab cakes (real crab cakes and a nice remoulade) and a broil seafood medley. Broiled seafood was shrimp, lobster, scallops, and fish filet with potatos and broccoli. Desert was creme brule and a chocolate/peanut butter yummy.

          This place is great. Nice people. Great food. Cold drinks. Nice amosphere. Eclectic shore scene hidden on the coast at the foot of the Highlands.

          Go there. Take friends. You will all go back.


          1 Reply
          1. re: HappyEaterDrinker

            I have been going here for years and I can say I have never had a bad meal here. The place has changed hands a few times so the menu has changed several times. I have not been in months though, maybe since the winter when I think about it.

            The food is not epic, but its decent and the outside area is nice. They used to have a band on friday and sat night and i'd have a few beers at their small tiki bar (I guess you could call it that.)

            I remember they had an outrageous short rib dish a while back but I think that was before the current owner/chef.

            Last time I had a NY Strip that was actually quite good for a seafood place...very good in fact.

            Do they still have 5.00 cheeseburger night? IIRC that was on monday and/or tuesday.

            How about the wasabi slaw? That stuff was tasty too!

            My uncle eats there frequently and swears by the fra diavolo.