Thanks in part to a recent post from Steve Barnes, we had a hankering for oysters.  So while Cati and I were in NYC recently (along with la suegra hermosa), we went to Ocean Grill for dinner.   We had already been to Aquagrill about a year ago, so we wanted to branch out a bit.  I busted out my spy-camera and went to work.

The place was packed.

We started with an excellent leek and clam bisque served with porccini mushrooms.  Then we just went down the list of available oysters and clams and ordered one of each.

The photos are terrible, but I was trying to be discreet.

The oysters and clams pictured above are:

  1. Fisher Island (Fisher Island, NY)
  2. Hama Hama (Washington)
  3. Kumamoto (Washington)
  4. Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
  5. Pine Island (Long Island)
  6. Snow Creek (Washington)
  7. Cherrystones (Clam)
  8. Littlenecks (Clam)

Our reactions to them were:

  1. Meh, nothing special.
  2. Holy cow, that’s good.  Perfect texture, flavor, and salinity.  It tasted like a little piece of the sea (in a good way).   
  3. 2nd place; nice subtle flavor and rich consistency.
  4. Meh, tastes like a mouthful of cold nothing. 
  5. Meh, a lot like #1.
  6. Nice, but no Hama Hama (or even Kumamoto).
  7. I do not like this [pointing at empty shell].
  8. Y’know, maybe clams ought to be cooked.

Btw, we eat oysters solo with a drop or two of lemon juice.  Along with our food that evening, we had a bottle of 2006 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley), which was dry but a little citrusy; really nice.  We think we know a thing or two about Sauvignon Blanc after our crash-course earlier this year (ha).  Teresa ordered the wasabi and sesame encrusted tuna from the specials menu. 

Cati and Teresa tell me this was great…

Cati and I decided to try a few pieces of sushi there too, we had the salmon roe, yellowtail, and salmon nigiri.  The pieces were huge, and the flavor was good; the rice could have been better though.  It made us really appreciate Saso’s, right here in smAlbany. 

Good; not great.

The next day, my NYC family joined us for breakfast and I had a dish I had never had before; baked eggs.  The dish comprised two eggs in a shallow baking bowl (like what you would eat creme brulee from), topped with crispy melted parmesean, with a side of home fries.  It was good. 

Breakfast was great, more for the company than anything else.  

Here is a pair of photos of the hotel we stayed in (bar photo taken on a Sunday morning).  It was uber-chic.  All the guys wore man-scarves, all the ladies wore knee-high boots, and everyone was tall.  Ah, Manhattan, what a place.

A hotel that is too cool to have their name or address on the front (??).  It was kinda hard to find.

The bar.  The floor is from Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” video.  Ok, I just made that up.

*Saying “ostras” as an exclamation in Spain is like saying “dang” in English.  It’s a mild version of a similar-sounding swear-word.  “Ostras” means oysters, and it’s a tame substitute for “hostia,” which means “communion wafer/host.”  It’s one of those religious swear-words, kind of like “tabarnac” in Quebec (their word for tabernacle), which is a swear-word when used as an exclamation. 

With all this useless trivia, I feel like I am turning into Cliff Clavin.  

4 Responses to ““Ostras!”*”

  1. Albany Jane says:

    You know, I’m not an oyster fan, but I always love seeing pictures of seafood. Looks like a wonderful trip. And trivia is always welcome in my book!

  2. jess says:

    I tried raw little neck clams for the first time when I was in Mystic, Connectictut for a funeral this summer. I love clams, but have decided they have to be cooked.

    Raw clams are one of the most vile things I’ve put in my mouth. The aftertaste reminded me of the gross-looking water that collects at the bottom of every kitchen garbage can. *Shudders.* Not good.

  3. jazzngas says:

    Was the hotel the Hudson?

  4. alex|dimitri says:


    Great eye. You got it. Been there? Their ivy covered glass foyer is beautiful in the mornings, eh?