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The Worst Review Ever?


CooksQuest
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in my many visits to the oyster bar area of the Oyster Bar, during lunch, dinner, midday, and on weekends, i've noticed that they aren't exactly careful to keep the liquor in the shells. they are in fact slung around a bit too much for my taste. but they seem pretty fresh, and the selection is pretty damned good. i'd agree that Aquagrill might possibly offer a better oyster experience, for the purists out there. but hey, it's just oysters.

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I think the space is wonderful and, as Mogsob has said, is one of those places that defines a New York sensibility. The last time we were there, about a year ago, they had fresh sturgeon, which I ordered a notch underdone. With the aftercooking effect, it was just right when it was put in front of me. Some lemon, some pepper, that's it. Not a place to get fancy. Guests from out of town always enjoy it.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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I've eaten a few times at The Oyster Bar and, in terms of the general assessment Grimes made, I am in agreement.

However, did anyone stop to think that because of the grand scale of the place and the number of people they serve on any one day, he had more anonymity than he would have had at another restaurant. What I mean by that is, for instance, I'm pretty sure that when he ate at Babbo in order to review it, he was recognized. Granted, they cannot change the whole kitchen around just for any one diner, but I'm sure they went all out to give him their very best effort. He probably came and went in The Oyster Bar without anyone realizing he had been there.

I do think that this would make a difference in the overall review.

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On the one hand, the significance of anonymity is overrated. It's easy for a recognized critic to detect special treatment and make adjustments. It's harder to recognize when a kitchen that makes a lot of mistakes doesn't make those mistakes in the critic's case. But at the Oyster Bar, most of the defects are in the recipes. They don't have time to make new, better sauces and stocks on the spot, and probably wouldn't know how to anyway. Still, I agree that overall the failure of the Times critic to achieve the slightest bit of anonymity at the majority of fine-dining restaurants puts the restaurants that don't recognize him at somewhat of a potential disadvantage in terms of getting caught on an off night and the like.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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No, no, no, no, not the worst (in the best possible way) review by Grimes.  On December 27, 2000 he reviewed Hudson Cafeteria and the words "toxic waste" came up.  He rated the place poor.

(I can't seem to find it on the web.)

hudson cafeteria, is amazingly overrated, I ate there right when it opened, when the whole comfort craze was hitting NY. the dining room was creepy, way to dark and the long wooden tables felt too midevil. the food itself was edible but nothing to write home about. their thing was their mac and cheese,,, and that too wasnt great, ( BUBBYS mac and cheese is where I go!!)

:biggrin:

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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I haven't eaten at the Oyster Bar in years but one thing I do whenever I'm in Grand Central with a date is head right to the Oyster Bar's entrance. There's a little plaza, or square or whatever, in front of the entrance and if you stand on one corner and have another person stand in the diagonal corner, both facing the wall, you can wisper and the wisper will carry over the ceiling so that the other person can hear you. It has to do with the domed ceiling of the portico. Kind of neat.

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I haven't eaten at the Oyster Bar in years but one thing I do whenever I'm in Grand Central with a date is head right to the Oyster Bar's entrance.  There's a little plaza, or square or whatever, in front of the entrance and if you stand on one corner and have another person stand in the diagonal corner, both facing the wall, you can wisper and the wisper will carry over the ceiling so that the other person can hear you.  It has to do with the domed ceiling of the portico.  Kind of neat.

hehe. i discovered this on my own this past summer. all of the times i'd been there and walked past there i never knew. i did it the other day with a friend and we laughed ourselves silly.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I like to understand one thing the rating by grimes Fair is it better than Poor to satisfactory or worst than Poor to Satisfactory. Bcoz the paper does not have that catogory.

And if its poorer than fair, how come he says, the quality of Oysters of 30 varieties is dazzling and excellent and says its doingthe right thing.

funcook

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I agree about the oysters. I remember going over to old McAnn's Bar for a couple beer instead.

anil, are you saying that you didn't like the oysters?

No, I did& do like the raw oysters (also herrings, but that was not mentioned)

For booze we whent over to McAnns - They had bass ale on tap :smile:

anil

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This review of the Oyster Bar is politely, even regretfully negative. But worst (i.e., most negative) review ever? That's a good question. Anyone who's been around a while will remember how Ruth Reichl savaged the Box Tree after they mishandled her reservation-- and then served her terrible, and terribly expensive, food. It doesn't appear to be on the NY Times site; how I wish I could read it again.

Anyone have some enjoyably nasty reviews that can be found (and linked to) on the web?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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No, I did& do like the raw oysters (also herrings, but that was not mentioned)

For booze we whent over to McAnns - They had bass ale on tap  :smile:

ah. indeed. mcanns is roomy, although it can be just as smokey as the tap room at the Oyster Bar. although, they do have quite an impressive selections of wines by the glass at the oyster bar. beers, however, i'm guessing not. :smile:

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This review of the Oyster Bar is politely, even regretfully negative.  But worst (i.e., most negative) review ever?  That's a good question.  Anyone who's been around a while will remember how Ruth Reichl savaged the Box Tree after they mishandled her reservation-- and then served her terrible, and terribly expensive, food.  It doesn't appear to be on the NY Times site; how I wish I could read it again.   

Anyone have some enjoyably nasty reviews that can be found (and linked to) on the web?

Who needs the NY Times and the internet when you have e-gullet? :blink:

Sometimes I just pull up a chair and watch the fireworks explode. Much better view, natch.

Soba

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