Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grand Central Oyster Bar

A few months back, my sister and I celebrated her husband and Mr. M&P's birthdays. This time it was Mr. M&P's choice of venue and he picked the Grand Central Oyster bar with recommendations from me. I had a really good experience years ago and still laud it as my favorite raw bar in the city.
But on this night, we were there for a bit more than just raw oysters. We wanted main dishes as well. So we sat down at a table and ordered from the extensive seafood menu.

Mr. M&P and I shared a platter of raw oysters, mostly from the west coast. Each one ranged from $2-$3. Some more briny than others while some were surprisingly sweet and creamy. Just a squeeze of lemon for me to accentuate the natural ocean flavors. My sister and brother in law received their own set platters of oysters (8 piece platter - $23).
For her main dish, my sister had the seared scallops ($30). Really large plump whole scallops with a good sear but tender inside. Accompanying vegetables and potato came with every dish. This was the best main dish of the night.
My brother in law had the grilled tiger prawns with butter sauce ($29). Large prawns cooked nicely but drowning in sauce.
I, unfortunately, had ordering mishap. First, I wanted the black cod but they ran out. Then I ordered the monkfish which they also ran out. finally I ordered the striped bass ($28) and it came out severely overcooked. The meat was dry and under seasoned. I was extremely underwhelmed by this dish. I needed lots of lemon to make it edible. I should have sent it back but I didn't.
Mr. M&P had the tuna steak with Thai spices ($31). Unfortunately, his fish was overcooked as well. He asked for rare. He received medium. The fish had become tough while the spices were overwhelming. The delicate tuna flavor was completely masked.
For dessert, we shared the ice cream sundae ($8) which was huge and easily fed the 4 of us. A simple vanilla ice cream base with hot fudge, nuts, and whipped cream on top.
Overall, I was very disappointed with my experience at Grand Central Oyster Bar. I touted it as a great seafood restaurant but if they can't even get simple fish dishes right, what can they do? Oh yeah, shuck oysters. They can still do that very well. Next time, skip the hot food and just go for the oysters.

After having this dinner, I found out that the Grand Central Oyster Bar was sold off to another party years ago. That was after my first experience there which I really enjoyed. That explains alot.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
89 E 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 490-6650


  1. I had a similar experience when I went - great raw oysters (huge selection, super fresh), but the main courses were mostly mehhh.

    Unfortunate because it's such a great/unique space, too.

  2. Yeah, i find its great for the oysters (duh) and the seafood chowders are great in the winter.
    Over cooked fish should be a crime.



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