Upstate Craft Beer and Oyster Bar has been on my radar for far too long, but the problem here is no matter what there is always an hour to an hour and a half wait for this 9 table restaurant. Luckily, the restaurant texts you when your table is ready and a good friend lives next door and put my name on the list. Therefore, just venture on over about an hour or so before you want to eat and grab a drink nearby to occupy your time beforehand. The staff is very knowledgeable about oysters, beer and wine and most of the waiters are male wearing black tees. The menu has a set list of options that are all awesome along with a fish and scallops of the day option. Oysters, clams, cheese plate, house-cured salmon, crab cakes, sea urchin, fettucini with clams, I mean what else do you need? This place gives you everything and it’s all under $20.
The Naked Oyster from the East Coast is my favorite and our waiter Nathan recommended the Tomahawks from Shinnecock Bay which was also good. I’d skip the West Coast Kusshi from Vancouver oyster next time. Too creamy and milky which I didn’t think was possible for an oyster. Start with the salmon and tuna tartar. I liked the salmon side made with soy, garlic, ginger and lime better than the tuna which was inundated with olives. I also loved that they weren’t too creamy or overflowing with mayo. It’s extremely fresh and a perfect size for sharing. The Squid Salad is grilled over a bed of kale with pickled onions and honey. A very generous amount of seafood for $13 at that. It’s nice to get some greens in there.
The Scallops blew me away and are the reason I am so in love with this restaurant. Cooked light yet grilled crisp on the top over a bed of clean squash and zucchini ribbons couldn’t have been prepared or presented any better. The plate consisted of 5 scallops for $18, and I seriously could eat this once a week and still be as excited about it as the first time. This is what you call a winning dish. Not to mention they even give you homemade Whiskey Cake with the bill which is like pound cake. What a sweet and necessary gift. These people!
If you fear hour waits, the staff suggests coming around 5 p.m. to secure a table easily, and then this way you can benefit from their happy hour which includes 6 oysters and a draught beer for $12 until 7 p.m. Or just stalk the neighbors around here and make friends with them so they’ll put your name down immediately because everything about this place is worth it and you need it.