When my dear friend Betsy offered to take me out for lunch today due to her oyster craving, (an addiction she has me to thank for sparking) I was thrilled that she wanted to try Ocean Grill on the UWS. I live on the UES, and Atlantic Grill (the sister to this restaurant, Blue Water Grill, and other favorite seafood places of mine owned by the BR Guest restaurant group) is one of my very favorites. Looking online at their menu, I could see that it was almost identical and knew it was sure to be a wonderful meal.
Delicious bread, butter and water were brought out right away and our waitress gave us plenty of time (after we turned her away twice while we chatted) to look over the menu. Betsy order a dozen oysters for us to slurp down while we decided what else to order. The oysters were brinier choices than ones I’ve had recently, but all were super fresh, large and juicy, with a trio of sauces to spoon on top.
We chose a salad of arugula, macadamia nuts, beets and fried goat cheese and a wrap of soft shell crab, tomatoes, bacon and herb mayo with a side of fries to share for our entree. Both were totally outstanding, living up to the high standards that Atlantic Grill has set for me. I would order both of these dishes again, despite a complete menu of other perfectly enticing options. Even better reason to keep coming back.
For dessert, we were informed that it was national ice cream sandwich day. Now that is my kind of holiday! Of course we HAD to share the special of banana ice cream between 2 chocolate chip cookies with a side of chocolate fondue sauce for dipping and it was a fantastic choice. A deliciously wonderful ending to a fabulous meal. If you’ve never tried the BR Guest restaurants, you should!
After a walk on the Highline, (if you haven’t done that yet, I strongly recommend checking it out.) Gabriel and I decided that we were hungry for some seafood. We’d been meaning to go to City Crab for a while as it’s one of his favorites, and tonight was a great opportunity to wander over there for a late night dinner. We arrived around 9:30 on a Monday night and it was pretty close to empty with just a few other tables of patrons. We were seated at a booth towards the back, and fresh bread/butter and water was brought out right away.
After looking over the menu, we chose 3 appetizers to share so that we could get a little sampling of what they had to offer. The steamers were in a light garlic-y broth, fresh, hot and quite delicious. The buffalo shrimp were huge, spicy, with a side of tangy blue cheese dressing and a few carrot sticks and celery stalks. Although buffalo isn’t my favorite flavor, these were actually pretty tasty. The sloppiness of eating them however, made me leave the tails on the plate rather than trying to excavate through the mess to get to the remaining meat in there, but Gabriel was more than happy to finish mine. The iceberg wedge was covered in awesome bits of crumbly blue cheese, perfectly juicy and ripe tomatoes and crisp pieces of smoky bacon. With a side of a creamy balsamic vinegar dressing, this was a perfect summer salad, albeit a bit unoriginal, and I really enjoyed it.
For dessert, even though we were really perfectly full and didn’t really *need* anything else, we opted to split the Oreo ice cream cake and I was glad we did. I didn’t love the strawberry sauce drizzled over it, but the cake itself was that great, slightly-soggy consistency that Oreos get when dunked in milk. Yum! The ice cream was creamy and refreshing, and the crumbles on top were crunchy and chocolate-y. This was a great ending to a really nice meal.
Although it wasn’t the best seafood I’ve had in the city, I really loved the super casual atmosphere, low-key vibe and fast service. The prices seemed kind of high to me, but the whole menu was appealing and for that reason I will most likely go back.
*photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders. http://www.magicsandbox.com/enter/Magic_Sandbox.html