I've never been to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station

Yes, yes, I'm a little behind on accomplishing 30 items on or off my list, but I'm getting there slowly.

Wednesday was my birthday and originally I was adamant that I wanted to do NOTHING to celebrate because I was afraid that whatever I did would just feel like a let down and loser-ish. Both my best friends were out of town, I don't have a boyfriend/husband, and the idea of spending the evening at dinner with my Mommy and Daddy made me feel like a ding-dong (no offense to my Mom and Dad, who are awesome to spend the evening with - but you get my drift). But my friend Jenna convinced me that she and I should do something on my list that was fun and celebratory - going to the Oyster Bar to eat oysters and drink cocktails - and that turned into 6 people going, so it seemed like a party was happening despite my best efforts to feel sorry for myself. And then, one of my two "besties" Will surprised me by renting a car and driving down from where he was singing in Vermont just for the night to attend my birthday party. That was when having low expectations paid off, because I was so excited to see him I was jumping around and shrieking in the oyster bar, which was very inappropriate, but allowed on ones birthday when a best friend arrives in surprise I think.

I found the Oyster Bar to be a strange dichotomous experience - it seems like this incredibly cool, old school place with these vaulted ceilings and fantastic little lights adorning the whole place, but then they have checked table cloths and paper napkins. The prices are very expensive for the seafood entrees, which were fine but not spectacular, and the service is just okay. But it was worth it for the oysters, which even though apparently were not in the best season, were fantastic.

Since there were six of us, we ordered six each of six types of Oysters (we let them pick for us because who can know whether to order the ones from Long Island or Maine) and we each tried one of each. Organized Will kept track of which ones we were eating, and we took a vote on the ones we liked best and ordered more of those. I loved all of them, especially with a little lemon, red vinegar, and horseradish splashed on top. I chose the "loosen it with a fork and suck the meat from the shell" method of ingesting because it seemed like the most oyster savvy style. The trying of different oysters and voting on the favorites with great friends was definitely the best part of the evening. That and the chocolate cake from Magnolia that Will sneaked into the restaurant earlier that day. Oh, and the Will showing up part - that was amazing.

In conclusion, my personal recommendation for the Oyster bar is either a) go for lunch and get a few oysters and a sandwich or soup or salad, or b) go for dinner and get all oysters and maybe some french fries in between oyster samplings. My personal recommendation for life is that you find a friend as good as Will who will drive hours just to attend your birthday party. I won't be a mastercard commercial and say cost:priceless, but you get the idea.