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All Reader Reviews of...

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

89 E. 42nd St., lower level, New York, NY, 10017
at Vanderbilt Ave.
212-490-6650

Avg. Rating

4
Food: 5
Service: 4
Décor: 6
"Not Recommended"

Average Reader Rating on a Scale of 10.

32% would go back.

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Horrible service in my life

By myskylab on 5/11/2009

  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Food: 6
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 5
  • No, I would not go back!

I would say that visiting this oyster bar was one of the most horrible expericence in my life. I read the other reviews, and apparently, My friends and I are not the only people who are appalled by their horrible service. After asking two or three questions on their menu, my friend told our server that we need more time to decide the order, and the server literally told my friend 'Don't make her to come to the table twice to get your order because she is busy person'. After that, the service got worse and went to the worst-Snaching our plate that we are still eating, and the server kept insisting she did nothing wrong....horrible, horrible! Food? It was not bad but not good either. Would I go back to this restaurant? Hell, NO. Why would I? There are so many good restaurants out there that have awesome food and are friendly at the same time, so why would I waste my money and time here?

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91 out of 189 people found this review helpful.

2nd out of 3 Worst NY dining experiences

By lilyetscooter on 12/30/2008

  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 8
  • No, I would not go back!

I've been going to the Oyster Bar for 10+ years and have never had an experience so bad or humiliating as the one I had today at lunch. After waiting 45 minutes for our food, we got 1 of the 2 dozen oysters we ordered and were missing the panroast. The oysters we did get were an incorrect order and looked as if they had been sitting out open for quite a while. When I complained I was met with a resounding "Aaawwww" from the entire bar staff. Upon complaining to the management they nitpicked our check and were inept at dealing with the problem. Sadly I feel as though this is a NY Classic in name only anymore and in all my years of eating in NY have never had an entire waitstaff humiliate me in such a way. Out of three horrible dining experiences in NY ever this ranks as #2 and I will not go back.

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112 out of 207 people found this review helpful.

Great Experience

By ChuckPMi on 12/7/2008

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

The food was excellent, the decor was magnificent, and the service was prompt and cordial for some Michiganders who had never been there before. Two of us had raw oysters. They were as good as any of us has had and there were no ill effects afterwards.

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95 out of 181 people found this review helpful.

Worst experience ever

By Coachian on 11/19/2008

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 3
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 8
  • No, I would not go back!

I was visiting New York and decided to dine at the oyster bar for my 50th birthday, what a terrible mistake. The service was appalling the waiter was a miserable jerk, the food was less than second rate and they gave my wife the wrong dish. They were unable to get it right so I complained and asked for the bill. I was given no less than three separate bills before they could get that right and was overcharged on each of them. I refused to tip the pathetic waiter and was made to feel like I was breaking the law. Without any doubt the VERY WORST restaurant experience I have had anywhere in the world. In one word Atrocious, DO NOT GO THERE!

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81 out of 156 people found this review helpful.

Not Good

By nyj85 on 7/19/2008

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 5
  • Décor: 6
  • No, I would not go back!

A friend wanted to go here, so I went along. I liked the look of the space...but that was about it. The bread was rubbery, which is never a good sign. The main course was worse. I had the swordfish - absolutely tasteless. My friends had the lobster roll, also bland. It might be worth it to sit in the front and grab a drink, but I would not recommend eating here.

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67 out of 132 people found this review helpful.

DO NOT EAT RAW OYSTERS HERE -YOU WILL GET SICK!

By dragonboy on 4/14/2008

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 1
  • No, I would not go back!

I had the worst experience here last week, had a half dozen raw oysters for lunch, 2 hours later it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, I then spent the next 24 hours on the toilet, with my insides being completely turned to liquid. The next day, I went to tell the management what happened, gave them my contact information, and still no response. I cannot believe they stick their head in the sand and do nothing when their customers are getting terribly ill. Do not eat here, go elsewhere, or enjoy spending 24 hours on the toilet like I did. You have been warned.

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92 out of 174 people found this review helpful.

DISGUSTING. DO NOT EAT HERE.

By voisla on 4/6/2008

  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 5
  • Décor: 2
  • No, I would not go back!

I came here with a friend and his parents who were visiting from out of town. I've lived in new york for nine years and i've never had a meal so disgusting, regardless of price.The service was fine, the waiters had a large area to cover and they were for the most part, attentive. The food, however was a different story. I ordered poached fish with a carrot fennel puree and mixed vegetables. I wish i had a picture of my plate. What arrived looked like slophouse food from the depression. The puree tasted like dishwater. Our obliging waiter even tasted it himself and agreed something was wrong with it. The vegetables were overcooked and mushy, the fish was fresh, but lacking in any taste whatsoever despite the car oil like balsamic poured on top. All four of our meals were completely inedible. The manager was argumentative, rude and delusional (which you'd have to be to run a place like this). In the end we stlll had to end up paying for the majority of our meal- the most expensive meal i've never eaten. Tourist trap. NEVER GO HERE.

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44 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

NEVER go here

By kristy8 on 3/22/2008

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 1
  • No, I would not go back!

This is the first time I have ever bothered to write a review, positive or negative. I live in New York, and eat out a lot. I have never, in my life, been so disappointed with a place. Every single person I spoke with was rude. The maitre d', our waiter, the bartender, the other maitre d'...everyone. Our waiter was probably the rudest of them all. After an hour and a half of sitting there and having a few oysters, which were just ok, we had yet to see any signs that we would ever be served any more food. We decided to leave, and we left starving and disappointed. The couple next to us were visiting from Holland and were also being ignored. I was embarrassed for the city that a place like this manages to stay open, which it obviously only does because it's convenient and it's a bit of a tourist trap. In short, never go here. It is an expensive, overrated pile of crap.

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34 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

Second part

By LM600 on 1/12/2007

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 1
  • No, I would not go back!

My wife faired better, her cooked oysters were 'OK' and her (also pre-frozen?) crab cakes were 'Alright...' Add to this, dirty floors, rammed in tables, a 'What the f*ck do you expect?' mentality and you won't be dissapointed. If like me, you'd seen pictures of this venerable restaurant growing up in England and wondering how good the food, service and memory will be then you will feel cheated, robbed, and a fool. To sum up, the place is a complete touist trap (although when we went there were a lot of business lunches going on), poor service apart from Charlie and a complete hole. $100 + tip, for tomato soup, and pre frozen 'food'. Look in, have a gawp at the tiling, maybe even go in and take it all in then leave and go somewhere else.

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309 out of 666 people found this review helpful.

In two parts...

By LM600 on 1/12/2007

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 1
  • No, I would not go back!

Whilst on my 3rd trip to NY, my wife and I decided to go here...Boy, what a mistake. Charlie our waiter was superb, very friendly and very professional. The rest weren't. I ordered 6 'fresh' oysters from the menu, what turned up were grey, sorry looking things with some sort of live worm attached, about 3/4" in length, with 'frills' running down each side and a four sided mouth...I know this because it was the only thing that moved when I squeezed the little bit of lemon on them. Charlie was busy, so I tried to catch the eye of another waiter, didn't work. After about 5 minutes I got up and asked for my starter to be removed and was met with abuse from two waiters...Charlie came over and sorted it. The combination pan roast turned up as some sort of stew, and by stew I mean tomato soup with a couple of watery (pre-frozen?) scallops, some (uncleaned?), gritty shellfish and some sad looking, overcooked shrimp (2 & small)

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302 out of 647 people found this review helpful.

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