Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill - Spring Oyster Festival, NY, NY, USA
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill - Oysters Rockerfeller - photo by Luxury ExperienceDocks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill in New York City, New York took diners on a "palate-inspired tour" of New Orleans during their 2017 Spring Oyster Festival with their New Orleans' themed event featuring a plethora of unlimited raw and cooked oysters, Creole Oyster Chowder, and Seafood Gumbo, along with shrimp cocktail, and New England Clam Chowder.



Edward F. Nesta and Debra C. Argen - photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta and Debra C. Argen
Docks Oyster Bar - Spring New Orleans Oyster Festival

Twice a year, Dock's Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill celebrates their namesake, the oyster, with their Fall Oyster Festival (held in November) and Spring Oyster Festival (held in April). Having attended their Fall 2016 Oyster Festival, we eagerly awaited their Spring 2017 Oyster Festival!

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Variety of Oysterser - Photo by Luxury Experience
Variety of Oysters

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the attractive restaurant, which opened in 1987, was filled with people passionate about oysters. For the Spring 2017 Oyster Festival, colorful Mardi Gras balloons of purple, green, and gold dotted the restaurant, tables had assorted Mardi Gras beads, hats, and masks so diners could get into the New Orleans spirit, and the Hudson Hot Five featuring Martina DaSilva created the perfect ambience. There was also a photo booth with Mardi Gras props where diners could pose for celebratory keepsake photos, which added to the festive atmosphere and Dock's anniversary of "30 Years and Still Shucking." (View YouTube video of Hudson Hot Five:

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Wilding Bastard Oysters - Photo by Luxury Experience
Wilding Bastard Oyster

Donning our masks and colorful beads, we got into the spirit of the festival, and began our day with spicy Bloody Mary's made with Ravo Vodka, one of the sponsors of the event, to pair with an amazing assortment of east coast as well as west coast oysters supplied by Gotham Seafood, K & B Seafood, and Blue Island Shellfish, which rotated throughout the day. Two of the many raw east coast offerings we sampled included Saddlerock oysters (Crassatrea virginica) from Northport, Long Island, New York, and Wilding Bastard (Crassatrea virginica) from Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Raw West coast offerings we sampled included our favorite Kumamoto oysters (Crassostrea sikamea), small-sized delicate oysters with light salinity, smooth texture, and a delightful slightly sweet finish, as well as Laguna Manuela oysters from Baja California, Mexico, oysters from Salesh Sea, British Columbia, and large Skookum oysters, (Crassostrea gigas), from Washington state, which had sweet, delicate and plump meat.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Laguana Manuela Oysters - Photo by Luxury Experience
Laguna Manuela Oysters

The three-hour oyster festival featured an unlimited selection of raw oyster offerings, Oysters Rockefeller, Po-Boys with coleslaw, baskets of hush puppies and fried oysters, Creole Oyster Chowder, New England Clam Chowder, Seafood Gumbo accompanied by cornbread, oyster crackers, and assorted breads, and heaping mounds of succulent jumbo shrimp luxuriantly displayed on crushed ice.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Oysters Rockerfeller - Photo by Luxury Experience
Oysters Rockefeller

In addition to Bloody Mary's, there was a selection of wines from Regal Wines and Palm Bay Wines, beer from Sam Adams, as well as local New York beers, Coney Island Brewery's Mermaid Pilsner and Coney Island Lager, and Montauk Brewing Company's Summer Ale and Watermelon Session IPA, to pair with the delectable oyster festival menu.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Oysters Po-Boo - Photo by Luxury Experience
Oysters Po-Boy

The day ended with an exciting oyster shucking contest, whereby four competitors, three kitchen staff members and one waiter, raced against the clock to shuck 12 oysters and present them neatly arranged for the judges' decision. (View YouTube video of Oyster Shucking Competition:

Mantauk Brewing at Docsk Oyster Festival - Photo by Luxury Experience
Montauk Brewing

Speaking with manager Steve Olsen and Sous Chef Andrew Sikorski, we learned that the restaurant shucked over 8,000 oysters for the raw bar, and another 5,000 oysters for the cooked presentations for the oyster festival. With over 13,000 oysters shucked during the festival, in addition to their daily oyster presentations, you might wonder what they do with the shells. For the past 18+ months, Docks has been participating in the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), where the discarded top shells are picked up twice-weekly at the restaurant by the foundation.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Sous Chef Andrew Sikorski and Debra C. Argen - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sous Chef Andrew Sikorski and Debra C. Argen

Founded in 2010 by Murray Fisher, the "BOP, an initiative of the New York Harbor Foundation, is an ecosystem restoration and education project aimed at restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school-children through restoration based STEM education programs."

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Oysters Rockerfeller - Photo by Luxury Experience
Serving a plate full of Oysters Rockefeller

"Oysters were the keystone species and original ecosystem engineers of New York Harbor. Oyster reefs once covered more than 220,000 acres of the Hudson River estuary. They provided valuable ecosystem services to the region by filtering water, providing habitat for other marine species and attenuating wave energy. Today, oysters are functionally extinct in the Harbor as a result of overharvesting, dredging and pollution. The absence of oysters has impaired our estuary's ability to clean the water and absorb excess nitrogen; the loss of reefs has reduced protective habitat, destabilized the sea floor and left our shoreline vulnerable to destructive wave action. The Billion Oyster Project aims to reverse these effects by bringing oysters and their reef habitat back to New York Harbor. Restoring oysters and reefs will, over time, restore the local marine ecosystem's natural mechanisms for maintaining itself, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity. Moreover, engaging students and the general public in this work will build a culture of stewardship and a more robust understanding and appreciation of the Harbor for future generations."

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Shrimp - Photo by Luxury Experience
Shrimp for everyone- YUM!

Some interesting results to date provided by the BOP:

Oysters Grown in New York Harbor:

19.5 million

Reef Area Retored:

1.05 acres

Pounds of Shells Recycled:


Number of Restaurants Engaged:


Schools Engaged:


Since 1987, Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill has attracted Manhattanites and visitors alike to the attractive restaurant located in the heart of Midtown on the corner of Third Avenue and 40th Street, a short stroll from Grand Central. Art Deco design accentuates the large space which has 2 walls of windows bringing ambient light into the restaurant, large seasonal arrangements placed throughout the restaurant add gracious appeal, sconces adorn the square columns, framed vintage posters and fish prints attract the eye, and large chalkboards at the back of the upper level announce market prices and specials. White linen draped tables flanked by black wood chairs with black leather seats, and waitstaff wearing white shirts and long black and white striped aprons continue the Art Deco feel of white and black design.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Soups - Photo by Luxury Experience
Selection of Soup - Creole Oyster Chowder,SeafoodGumbo,
New England Clam Chowder

The long rectangular bar with bar seating on all four sides in the center of the restaurant acts as a focal point and creates separate dining areas at tables on the main level on either side of the bar and in the back of the room, with additional seating on the upper level including tables placed along the windows offering diners a view of the room as well as views of the happenings of New York enfolding around them.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Oysters and Shimp - Photo by Luxury Experience
Plate of Oysters and Shrimp - WOW!

While the twice-yearly Oyster Festival is always wonderful, dining at Docks is consistently excellent whether it be Lunch, Dinner, their Saturday Brunch, Sunday Jazz Brunch, or Happy Hour. There is always something fun happening at Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill so be sure to check their website for upcoming events and special menus at:

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar - Edward F. Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience
See you at the Fall Oyster Festival

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill is open for Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 am until 4:00 pm, Dinner daily from 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm, Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am until 4:00 pm, and Happy Hour at the bar only Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Jazz lovers will appreciate the live Jazz on Tuesday evenings and also during Sunday Brunch.

Every Sunday and Monday night Docks Oyster Bar has a Clambake featuring one 2-pound lobster or two 1-pound lobsters served with a choice of Field Green Salad or New England Clam Chowder, with Mussels, Clams, New Potatoes and Corn on the Cobb, and Key Lime Pie or Ice Cream for dessert for $55.

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Bar , NY, USA

Docks Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
United States
Telephone: +1-212-986-8080

To learn more about the Billion Oyster Project please visit their website:

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