There are few foods that I crave as much as oysters. It must be the delectable, fresh-from-the-sea taste, and buttery texture that has me searching high and low for the best oyster bar. I am almost always traveling for work and pleasure, and happen to find myself in Las Vegas quite often. On my last visit, my husband and I were rifling through a Las Vegas food scene magazine, I found a Las Vegas oyster bar that I simply couldn’t refuse.
My husband and I skipped over to Palace Station Hotel & Casino, home of the Oyster Bar, to investigate further. Despite the unimpressive décor and ambiance of the bar seating only restaurant, the long line was a good sign that we were onto something. The bar seating and first-come-first-serve policy may present as a problem if you have a big party, but showing up early or visiting during non-peak times will help with that. Although, however long you must wait, trust me, it’s worth it.
We started off our meal with, you guessed it, oysters! Their oysters on the half-shell are simply delectable! They were incredibly fresh and we devoured them in seconds. As we were watching our food being prepared right in front of us, we scanned the drink list for something to help us cool down and to mellow out the spice of our dishes. We ended up with two Gordon Biersch draft beers which did the trick beautifully. I usually go with white wine, but the beer was such a perfect complement to the full-bodied flavor of our menu selections.
I ordered the Combo Pan Roast, while my husband went with the Cioppino. My selection came steaming and chock full of lobster, shrimp and crab. Simply divine. You can choose how spicy you’d like your dish and I went for a level five out of ten, which was absolutely perfect for me. The lobster was velvet, the shrimp was fresh and cooked perfectly and the crab was simply a dream. My mouth is watering merely at the remembrance of it all.
Cioppino can be very salty, but this place had the seasonings nailed. My husband’s ear-to-ear grin said it all. This delicately prepared seafood stew was brimming with prawns, peppers, juicy tomatoes and onions, and tasted every bit as delicious as it looked. As an Italian, I have made and eaten this dish countless times, but this rendition was a beautifully balanced symphony of spices, flavors and textures. The portions are large enough that he wasn’t too upset when I started to creep my spoon over to his plate sample his dish. Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn’t currently have a take-out service, and although the portions are gigantic, we ate every last bite and had nothing to take home. The best part? Unlike a lot of incredible dining experiences in Las Vegas, the Oyster Bar is affordable. You can’t beat the value for the quality of food you’ll enjoy.
While locals know this place well, most tourists don’t ever catch wind of it. I’m sure glad I am now in the know. Sure it’s off the beaten path, and it’s definitely not your typical Las Vegas dining experience…it’s much, much more.