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Kitchen Items at Grand Central Oyster Bar?

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Posted this on SE:NY and got no response:

I love the Grand Central Terminal Oyster Bar, for their oysters obviously, also the smoked trout with whipped horseradish cream and the pan roasts are rich and hearty and satisfying. I also just love being there, the restaurant itself is just awesome. However I've always been underwhelmed by the main courses from the kitchen. I haven't been in a while, and was wondering if, hoping really, that the kitchen was putting out better food nowadays.

Has anyone been going recently? Has it improved? Are there any dishes in particular that are notably good? I'm thinking of going next week, but want to eat more than just oysters and smoked trout if I do.

Last time I was there, I had a couple dozen oysters, payed my bill and went upstairs to Michael Jordan's and had a steak. A little drastic, I know, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Thoughts?

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  1. if you do a search here, you'll find dozens (hundreds?) of comments saying: "just eat the oysters, avoid the cooked food"...

    i love GCOB too, but the kitchen is mediocre at best and overpriced for the quality...i used to get both raw and fried oysters there, but the last few times the fried oysters were terrible (very doughy, w/ even a couple pieces of shell fried up inside)...

    My personal rules there: raw oysters only, sit at the oyster bar only, enjoy the fab wine by the glass list...a nice followup meal is to head afterward to one of the Japanese places in the East 40's...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      Hi Simon (this is weird.) Yes, if you read my post you would see that I was aware of the kitchen's failings and only sit at the counter for oysters, the smoked trout, and maybe a pan roast. That's why I specifically asked *if that had changed recently* at all.

      1. re: simon838

        "last few times the fried oysters were terrible (very doughy, w/ even a couple pieces of shell fried up inside)"

        Sounds to me like it hasn't gotten better.

        1. re: simon838

          I go fairly often (I work down the street) and always stick with the oysters and the chowder. I try to warn people I go with not to get cooked food, but they never listen, and they are always disappointed. Even their fries are bad.

          I will say that I prefer eating at the horseshoe counters or even in the saloon (which for some reason feels like a hidden restaurant to me even though it isn't) rather than the oyster bar.

      2. s8, if you do attempt this, ask for bay scallops. I'm just curious.

        1. Thanks. I'll be going elsewhere. I went to Prima Strada last week and really enjoyed it, I think I'll probably just go back there. Raw items were reasonably priced and of impeccable quality and the hot food was great too. I love the Oyster Bar but it sounds like it hasn't changed for the better and will not suit my needs for the dinner I have in mind.

          1. We go there regularly for an "appetizer" of raw oysters and maybe some chowder too. We eat at the actual Oyster Bar. Great space.
            Then we head out to another restaurant for our entrees.
            The entrees at GCOB are not bad but not memorable.