I have always steered clear of this slightly mushy, slightly chewy mollusc, but on a recent trip to Cape Cod, where they were very cheap, I learned to eat and love them. Now, I can indulge this love at a low price. Lately, on the Upper West Side and in all five boroughs, (one article in thrillist.com claims there are 64 such places) oysters are being offered at what I can only assume is a loss leader for $1 each during Happy Hour from 5-7 pm or sometimes 4-6. We have now tried a couple of these places and like The Tangled Vine Wine Bar and Kitchen on Amsterdam and 80st Street. (oysterhappyhour.com) NB Happy Hour on Saturday is 3-5 pm.
That is because not only do they offer good sized, tender, and fresh oysters at $1 each, but they have other Happy Hour specials on the menu that appeal to budget-minded seniors like us. They offer two red wines, two whites and one rose at $7 (normally $10-$11) and a brew for $5 (normally $7). In addition, you can have veal and ricotta meatballs for $4, mushroom arancini for $6, chickpea hummus for $5 and chicken liver mousse for $7.
The East Coast oysters that night were Cook’s Cove, delicate and delicious–also carb free and practically calorie free. They were served simply with mignonette and lemon; you don’t need anything else and 12 oysters really fill you up–all protein!The Tangled Vine is a wine bar, and actually gives you the opportunity to taste some nice new choices. Plus, it is pleasant and not crowded if you go early. (timeout.com) Other restaurants in the neighborhood offering $1 oysters include Ocean Grill and the Mermaid Inn (jammed, but it’s true it was crab boil night). You may wish to call in advance to find out what variety of oyster they are serving that night. I, for example, find the Blue Points too large and fleshy, but they are like catnip to others, so look for your favorites. You can have a nice light dinner out, including wine, for a low price if you look for these specials (and if you like oysters of course).
#Upper West Side