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Grand Central Oyster Bar

Pia Mileaf-Patel

            There’s nothing that makes you feel more like Serena Van Der Woodsen than sitting at the Grand Central Oyster Bar over a bowl of clam chowder during your lunch break from painting class. You can order as many beautifully selected oysters as you like, chat away with your mom about whatnot, and gaze off dreamily at the high vaulted ceilings and the glamorous travelers passing by.

            There’s nothing like this iconic New York vignette to suck you away from the fact that you’ve just spent three hours hunched over an easel painting a naked person, or that you have three more hours to go. Or that it’s raining and muggy outside, causing your hair to frizz so much that the enormous mom-style hair clamp you’re wearing doesn’t seem to do the job anymore. And even on your way to the restaurant, you had trouble walking through the sea of tourists whispering into the walls to prove that the whispers will actually travel up over the ceilings and back down the other side.

            Yet something about that whole day is so is so iconic for New York that it makes you enjoy even the tourism part (well... at least understand it).

            So I can say that I was delighted when my mom swept me to one of the most magical Manhattan-y places there is. I can’t pinpoint which part of the Oyster Bar makes it so perfect. It’s a combination of the waitress who can tell where the oysters are from by smelling them, the famous menu board of day’s selections, the delicious, delicious everything (especially the gazpacho and also the scones that they bring when you sit down), and the people eating in the table section who look like they were pulled right from the set of Mad Men (I really need some help with my Netflix addiction).

            The Grand Central Oyster Bar is one of the really great seafood places in the city. I mean, it tastes like having seafood at one of those restaurants by the beach that just radiate summer, except the Oyster Bar is uniquely New York-ified. Put it on your list.