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Oyster Bar

Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY - (212) 490-6650
Posted By Colleen Newvine Tebeau on 1/24/2010 9:16:00 PM
We've been to the Grand Central Oyster Bar a number of times before -- the whispering gallery right outside is a great trick to show out-of-town visitors -- but I never even noticed "pan roast" on the menu. Even if I had, I probably would have thought it was a casserole. Or something else baked.

Thanks to Roadfood, we've seen the light. We endured some of the slowest, most indifferent service I've had in New York but the payoff was worth it. This rich, creamy flavorful soup was absolutely substantial enough to be a meal, especially starting with a half-dozen on the half shell while we waited.

The Oyster Bar is like three totally separate restaurants:
-- walk in and go to the left for a nice upscale-ish dining room.
-- go to the right and you're in a cafeteria-type area with long counters and the thick smell of Old Bay hanging in the air.
-- keep going to the right, walk through a small doorway that looks like it might lead to the bathroom, and you're in a wood-paneled, rowdy bar popular with the after-work crowd.
Before you commit, I suggest walking through all three to test the vibe and see which works for you.

And don't forget to try the whispering gallery if you've never done it:
http://www.newyorkology.com/archives/2005/02/the_whispering_1.php

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
pan roast
Rate this place
The pan roast is a signature dish of the oyster bar. It is an old-fashioned bisque served in a broad bowl, built around your favorite kind of seafood: oysters, cherrystone or Ipswich clams, shrimp, lobster, scallops, or any combination thereof. The slightly spicy, very creamy stew is ballasted by a thick piece of toast.
"The pan roast is a signature dish of the oyster bar. It is an old-fashioned bisque served in a broad bowl, built around your favorite kind of seafood: oysters, cherrystone or Ipswich clams, shrimp, lobster, scallops, or any combination thereof. The slightly spicy, very creamy stew is ballasted by a thick piece of toast."
Michael Stern





A dozen oysters on the half shell, ready to eat!
"A dozen oysters on the half shell, ready to eat!"
Cliff Strutz


Do you know of another restaurant, anywhere, with an entryway so spectacular?
"Do you know of another restaurant, anywhere, with an entryway so spectacular?"
Michael Stern


This is what it's all about: raw oysters, shucked and served as fast as anyone sitting at the raw bar can eat them. To the left of the photo are clams on the half shell.
"This is what it's all about: raw oysters, shucked and served as fast as anyone sitting at the raw bar can eat them. To the left of the photo are clams on the half shell."
Michael Stern


The Oyster Bar gets its seafood from everywhere. This sandwich is loaded with a salad of cool Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest.
"The Oyster Bar gets its seafood from everywhere. This sandwich is loaded with a salad of cool Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest."
Michael Stern


This po boy contained plenty of juice-bursing oysters; and the bread itself tasted just hours out of the oven.
"This po boy contained plenty of juice-bursing oysters; and the bread itself tasted just hours out of the oven."
Michael Stern


While diehard Yankees don't approve of this soup, denigrating it as
"While diehard Yankees don't approve of this soup, denigrating it as "vegetable soup with clams," open-minded eaters will find it immensely satisfying."
Michael Stern


A view of the pass-through window to the kitchen from my seat at the counter.
"A view of the pass-through window to the kitchen from my seat at the counter."
Michael Stern


Here's a list of what oysters (and clams) were available in mid-March, 2004.
"Here's a list of what oysters (and clams) were available in mid-March, 2004."
Michael Stern


As I finished lunch, the waitress came by and offered hot cross buns to top things off.
"As I finished lunch, the waitress came by and offered hot cross buns to top things off."
Michael Stern


When the waitress saw me taking a picture of my chowder, she offered to take my picture, too. I retaliated by taking her picture with the hot cross buns (see above)!
"When the waitress saw me taking a picture of my chowder, she offered to take my picture, too. I retaliated by taking her picture with the hot cross buns (see above)!"
Michael Stern


Every meal at the oyster bar begins with a baking powder biscuit. If you arrive early in the lunch hour, it will still be oven-hot.
"Every meal at the oyster bar begins with a baking powder biscuit. If you arrive early in the lunch hour, it will still be oven-hot."
Michael Stern


You can see how crunchy the fried clams are inside this hefty sandwich.
"You can see how crunchy the fried clams are inside this hefty sandwich."
Michael Stern


Here's a view from the counter of people sliding freshly-shucked oysters down their throats under the sign that lists the
"Here's a view from the counter of people sliding freshly-shucked oysters down their throats under the sign that lists the "catch of the day.""
Michael Stern



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