In many ways The John Dory Oyster Bar is exactly what Bar Eaters are looking for. Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield are riding the crest of a trend in dining. Sam Sifton in the New York Times knows what he is talking about when it comes to food, but when he gets to grousing about the wait for a table... Well I think he needs to loosen up and join the bar eaters movement. While we waited for a spot at the bar, we enjoyed a crisp Spanish Albarino, and got on the spot recommendations from a very nice couple who had just finished their meal. It was Friday night about eight when we arrived, our dear friend and Bar Eater Blog wine consultant, Jackie joining us. The wait wasn't bad. Maybe we were lucky. Time is relative, and thanks to Tre Bicchieri we were in a festive mood.
Bartenders, Theo & Tom
Theo and Tom have got it down. They were busy but never seemed rushed. Concocting Sasha Petraske's authentic cocktails requires real craftsmanship. But, there is more to bar-tending than the mixing of drinks. People bring a range of expectations to a bar, looking for everything from servitude to friendship. Bartenders walk the line, the sweet spot is in the middle; that's where you will find the best.
The Oyster Bar
Of course we had oysters. You don't go to an oyster bar and skip the oysters, unless you are forced to against your will. I understand even some vegetarians will eat oysters. We ordered half from the east and half from the west. Can't say which were better, although I must confess the Peconic Bay oysters, which we tried because they are local, were not our favorites. The food reviewers have spoken and I'm not a food reviewer, so I'll just say April Bloomfield's offerings live up to the hype. We had the octopus, the squid and the fluke with a quinoa crust, all were excellent, (check the menu for details). The Parker House rolls deserve special mention. How can something so basic be so fabulous?
Whoa baby, that's refreshing! Tom whipped us up a mid meal cocktail using some of his own patented elixer. (If he hasn't patented it yet, he'd better.) We'll be looking for the stuff to show up out east this summer.
Here it is, TomR's Artisanal Elixers.
Looking back at The John Dory Oyster Bar, as we walked out into a prematurely warm February night. I could not help but wonder why it took us so long to get here. Well, three months is probably just the right amount of time for a restaurant to hit its stride. Friday night she was a thoroughbred.