Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New York Edition: John Dory Oyster Bar the Lone Negative in a Splendid NYC Excursion

When we decided to stop at New York’s John Dory Oyster Bar during our trip to the Apple, it came near the conclusion of a long and trying day. The wife had walked many miles in uncomfortable shoes. I had pulled Lil’ Saucy out of his stroller about a million times for bathroom breaks that had turned out to be false alarms. We were on our way to Macy’s, the plus side of which is you get to see such beautiful sights as their meticulously designed storefront windows and their iconic Christmas-themed department store. The negative side of this, of course, is having to deal with all the idiots taking pictures of said windows and department store on their annoying camera phones. It was with all of this in mind that we decided to stop at John Dory Oyster Bar for a quick drink. I would like to think that some of this has contributed to what is going to be a fairly scathing review.

But I doubt it. Honestly, the place just sucked.

First of all, the only reason we stopped at the place is the wife decided she could not walk another step. Her blisters having graduated to disgusting open sores, she simply stopped putting foot in front of foot in the middle of a bunch of street vendors gleefully shilling their surely counterfeit product. I made it my mission to get us a seat at the first place we saw and it ended up being The John Dory Oyster Bar. Rather than just sit down at an open table outside, I went in to check with the host. This was the first strike on John Dory and his eponymous oyster shack. The gent I encountered was hipster to the max. I mean, I don’t dislike hipsters. I actually think they often have good taste in music, film, beer, and facial hair. But this guy was really laying it on thick. Glasses bigger than satellite dishes. Moustache more voluminous than Tom Selleck in his hairy-chested prime. Ridiculous white leisure suit complete with vest. It was out of control. By the way, why am I ragging on his sartorial choices when I really don’t care what anyone chooses to wear on a daily basis?
Because he was a d*ck.

When I asked the doofus if we could take a seat outside, he says “Oh yeah, we’ll bring you a menu and everything.” Confronted with the fact that we have a kid, he stated “You should probably just wheel the stroller up to the table. That would be ideal.” Did he really think we were going to move the table over to the stroller? The guy was just odd and I was left with the impression that he thought he was a super-cool Metropolitan dude having a laugh at the expense of the inexperienced tourists. This is something I simply can’t abide. So F you, goofy-looking fashion victim who thinks he just stepped out of the Roaring Twenties into Savannah, Georgia!

If being toyed with by a member of a myopic barber shop quartet was the biggest obstacle we faced at John Dory Oyster Bar, this review would probably be less rude. But the trip was an all-around fail. You see, we had just dined at Pinche Taqueria. We were not in the mood for any of the bar’s world-famous overpriced oysters (I had heard they tasted “like they had just been plucked from the ocean,” which actually sounds quite disgusting to me). So I mentioned to the guy who seated us that we were just there for drinks. This was a tactical blunder apparently. In response, we were made to sit for an interminable period wondering if anyone was ever going to emerge to give us the menu we had been promised. Seriously. Had to be ten minutes. The only reason we didn’t bounce were wifey’s aching tootsies.

When a waitress finally emerged, she looked utterly crestfallen that we were only there for liquid refreshment. Must have figured she was going to get a low tip for her thus-far stellar attentiveness. I inspected the drink menu and went with a Blue Point Pilsner since the offering was the most interesting choice on a very limited beer list. As for the wife, she chose to drink…nothing. Why? There were three choices in the red wine genre. One cost $15, another cost $14, and the last cost $9. Spicy quite wisely chose to go with the one that didn’t cost the price of a very decent bottle purchasable at a Norristown Wine and Spirits Shop. She was then told by the server (a different one; we couldn’t tell who the hell was supposed to be serving us) that they were out of the one that wasn’t ludicrously priced. So she chose to simply drink water and rest her toes while I got to sit there and look like a booze hound who couldn’t take another step without downing fine hops. Once I had finished the beer, we called for the check and got the hell out of there.

For all I know, the food served by the John Dory Oyster Bar is exquisite, fit for consumption by Poseidon, the mystical Greek lord of the sea gods. But I would never go back. The service sucks, the beer list is unimaginative, and the affordable wine is…apparently nonexistent. However, if you are a fan of stuffy atmosphere, ostentatious formerly ocean-dwelling appetizers, and chuckle-worthy fashion choices, this might just be the place for you.

The John Dory Oyster Bar

1196 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
John Dory Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Girlfriend, get yo'self some comfy shoes if you're gonna hike around Manhattan! Too bad the service sucked. As for the oysters, I'm not with you there,, love, love, them...sniff, sniff...I finally went veg. The Sansom Street Oyster bar in Philly is great, and I'll bet it has a better beer list.