New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Oyster Bar

Legends, institutions and icons are frequently marketed to death and become tourist traps. It is a real pleasure to find a place that goes back nearly a century and has maintained integrity and standards for that which it became known. This is the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant, renowned for its oysters (and its doorway and Whispering Gallery - click here). It opened when Grand Central itself did in 1913. All the reviews I have read advise against eating in the main dining room and sticking with the oysters at the oyster bar/counter itself. I am not an aficionado of fish but given all the warnings and my negative predispositions towards the place, I enjoyed my first visit to the Oyster Bar much more than I expected. Their menu of seafood is huge. The main dining room seen in the photo with its vaulted Guastavino-tiled ceilings is enormous, roomy and very comfortable. Although the service was not the warmest, I write off much of this as brusk New York Style - after all this place is IN Grand Central Station, a place synonymous with congestion and crowds. Finding such a place in Grand Central really brought back feelings of old, classic, quintessential NYC and that some good things endure - and this is one of them ...

12 comments:

Heidi said...

Really wonderful photo!

Gaurav said...

great shot

jb said...

Perfect composition. Nice work, Brian

harlequinpan said...

Charming space!the ceiling is very oyster image!!love it.

blueboat said...

great photo - so atmospheric

Brian said...

Heidi, gaurav, jb, harlequinpan, blueboat -
Thanks all!

Brian

Beth said...

Great photo! I worked across the street from Grand Central Terminal for 3 years and never at the restaurant, probably due to the same prejudice that you had. Did you know that the landing right outside the entrance is a whispering gallery? The section is acoustically perfect so if you and a friend each stand at a corner diagonal from the other, you can speak with each other in a whisper. Grand Central is a wonderful place. We're lucky Jackie O and friends helped save it from being demolished...

Brian said...

Beth - I mentioned the Whispering Gallery in my post with a photo link. I did not give a full explanation - it would have been too long.
And yes, we were lucky to have Grand Central saved.
Thanks.
Brian

Lilly said...

What a lovely post. It is so great that places like these still exist. It is important to support local establishments such as this one. And it doesn't matter that the service wasn't that great - that also has its charm. A truly great post.

Beth said...

Brian, that teaches me to read your posts while I'm at work and can't pay more attention. Sorry about that!

Anonymous said...

Hi -
Thank you! I love the variety and insight you give to this great city.
My husband and I visit NYC a couple of times of year, and I have so many new places I want to visit due to your blog. I would never have considered going to the Oyster Bar for fear it might be a tourist trap, but now I feel confident in making a visit when we come in April.
Keep up the good work! Great photography and writing.

susan in atl said...

Thanks so much for the tip! I love this shot as well as raw oysters! But shhhhh...don't tell anyone else about it ;)