East Village Eats

Food & Drink recommendations straight from the East Village, New York City

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Posted on | October 4, 2011 | No Comments

Grand Central Oyster BarThere are only a handful of restaurants that bring out emotion like the Grand Central Oyster Bar.  Maybe it’s the storied history, the beautiful vaulted ceilings of days gone by or the promise of delicious seafood.  I’d been wanting to go here for quite some time & it didn’t take much of an effort to convince a few friends to tag along.

I’ve already mentioned the amazing architecture & while it would have been nice to eat in the main dining room, we planned to do some boozing so we pulled up a seat in the Saloon towards the rear of the restaurant.  It almost felt like a private club or speakeasy with loads of wood panelling & devoid of the bright lighting at the counters.

New England Clam Chowder at Grand Central Oyster BarThe menu changes daily & just screams fresh seafood, in fact, there are only 3 non-seafood options on offer; steak, chicken or a vegetable platter.  Smoked fish, Po’ Boys, stews, they have it all.

The wine list is equally as extensive & might even come off as a bit daunting.

New England Clam Chowder
I didn’t try this myself, but given how good the food here is, I’d bet the house that this was delicious (the ‘scraped-clean’ bowl was a hint too).

Smoked Brook Trout with Horeseradish Cream at Grand Central Oyster BarSmoked Brook Trout with Horeseradish Cream
I was planning on just eating oysters, but once I saw this on the menu I knew I’d be kicking myself if I din’t order it.  For such a simple dish, it was actually very flavorful.  The fish was flaky & not overwhelmed with smokiness.  Once mixed with the horseradish cream & a bit of lemon, I was blown away.

The restaurant’s namesake & there are a lot of them on the menu (around 30).  They range in price from $2.15 for a Naked Cowboy (Long Island) to $4.05 for a Belon (wild, Maine).  I just got a general selection of oysters which were good.  GCOB claims to have “The Freshest Seafood In Manhattan”, but I couldn’t taste the difference between the oysters here & oysters I’ve had elsewhere in the city.  I do, however, know a sub-standard oyster when I taste it & there were far from it.

Oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar

Between the allure, decor, overall experience & (most importantly) the food, I had a good time at Grand Central Oyster Bar & will be going back.
Grand Central Oyster Bar: Grand Central Terminal (Lower Level)
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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