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January 19th,
written by Arthur

The following is adapted from a restaurant review first publish in the Cardozo Jurist.

The Bar That Keeps On Giving

The spring semester loan check is in the bank and I’m feeling rich again.  But I’ve made a promise to myself:  I’m going to remember that my beginning of the semester wealth is just an illusion and that come May I’ll regret my early frivolous spending.  So to satisfy my champagne tastes on a beer budget I will turn again to Dock’s Oyster Bar or, to be more precise, to their epic happy hour.

Located in Midtown East, the first thing that struck me about Dock’s was its size: a few years in New York has gotten me use to compact restaurants with close dining quarters.  Dock’s has high ceilings and a spacious dining area.  The wood paneling, dark tiles, dim light (an amazing constant in the face of the floor to ceiling windows), and rounded edges evoke a comfortable steakhouse.

Every time it’s the oysters that bring me through Dock’s revolving door.  Once I start thinking about oysters I can’t stop until I’ve taken down a dozen or so.  Lucky, at only a dollar each, I can satisfy my craving for these fresh briny treats for only twelve bucks.  The ice tray comes with the standard cocktail sauce and ground ginger but the friendly bartender will always brings over hot sauce or any other sauce my heart desires.

But when I’m done with the oysters, the happy hour isn’t over.  The buffalo calamari is a must-try—picture buffalo chicken with a calamari substitution.  I was skeptical of the combination, but at only $6.00 I had to give it a try.  I was a convert at first bite of the spicy and crispy morsels.  Dock’s offers up a few other savory gems with both sliders and BBQ pork sliders for only $1.50 each.  The sushi roll on the happy menu deserves a solid B—not bad, but not amazing at its $7 price tag.

Not actually Dock's oysters, but YUM!!!

Of course, Dock’s happy hour includes deals not only on the food but also on the booze.  Well drinks are only five bucks.  I recommend starting with the bloody mary which—at least in my mind—matches well with the seafood.  But if you’re not a hard liquor fan, grab one of the $6 glasses of wine.  When you delve into the savory portion of the happy hour menu you’ll appreciate the $3 off beer which makes a the whole draft selection only $4.

As a restaurant looking to turn a profit, Dock’s sports a regular menu as well.  In fact, you can only get the happy hour from 3 to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, in the bar area.  But if you want to eat later, sit at a real table, or have some loan money burning a hole in your pocket, the standard menu presents a classic mix of seafood and red meat.  The two times that I’ve ventured outside of the happy hour I found the service impeccable and the food well-executed.  When it comes to the surf and turf Dock’s does it right by keeping it fresh and simple.

Dock’s Oyster Bar
633 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10017
(212) 986-8080


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