April 18, 2012
Sandy Ingber with soft shell crab
-- The rites of spring in New York for sports fans include the start of the baseball season for the Yankees and Mets, and the hope for a march to the Stanley Cup for the Rangers. For seafood aficionados, the ritual is the arrival of soft shell crabs at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Executive Chef Sandy Ingber has announced that the soft shells have arrived from Florida, and the first catch of 2012 is on the menu as a daily entrée for lunch and dinner, priced at $29.95, or thereabouts, based on availability.
Chef Ingber, the renowned “Bishop of Bivalves” and first catch specialist, says that the Oyster Bar will prepare the soft shells traditionally sautéed in garlic herb butter, but has also concocted a pair of new recipes for soft shell-lovers:
Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs with Tasso and Roasted Corn will provide a tasty Cajun twist; while Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs with Macadamia Nut Crust and Pomegranate Buerre Blanc bring a distinctive crunchy flair, and both recipes will entice soft shell zealots for a stop “below sea level” at Grand Central Terminal.
Ingber reports that the Grand Central Oyster Bar prepares soft shells daily in the customary pan fry, but also has 100 different recipes to offer throughout the summer: from fried to sautéed to grilled, including a wide variety of different sauces. Additional recipes include: Jerked Soft Shell Crabs over Field Greens with Passion Fruit Poppy Dressing, Mango Salsa and Hearts of Palm; and Sweet Potato Crusted Soft Shell Crabs with Mango Lime Aioli.
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The Grand Central Oyster Bar first opened its doors in 1913, in what was then a brand new, state-of-the-
art, Grand Central Station. With its cavernous architecture and sweeping white tiled ceilings, it evokes this old N.Y. in all its grandness.