Well, we should have known better anyway. City Island is the worst place to find seafood in the New York Metro area. Sammy's lowers the bar about as far as it can go on this tiny isle.
Decorated like Popeye's Paneled Rec Room, your senses are overloaded with every bit of tasteless nautical crap you could imagine. This is stage 1 of Sammy"s "shock and awe" approach to distract you from the fact that you are going to get LOUSY seafood at tourist trap prices. Stage 2 is bombardment with stuff to fill you up as much as possible before your meal. Two loaves of bread, a chunk o' cheese, lots of butter, the relish tray of pickled veggies and a bowl of olives must mean good value. "LOOK AT ALL OF THIS FREE STUFF!"
The menu is large and pricey, with a complicated layout to further distract and confuse the hapless, deep-pocketed landlubber. We decided to keep it simple, to see how they handle the most basic of seafood standards. They failed miserably.
We ordered a dozen "Bluepoint" oysters, and a pot of steamed mussels in wine/garlic sauce.
The oysters were brazenly shucked, sliced to half thickness and placed back in shells, a common "clip-joint" technique. Farmed , flavorless and devoid of their liquor, since that was removed in the "6 makes 12" process. The mussels were not much better. They were obscenely overcooked, reduced to the size and tenderness of pencil erasers and the "chef" didn't even remove the 20% dead ones that never opened from the pot.
The waitress was a affable and astute pro, who already knew that we were in the wrong place. We never complained, but after finishing our "appetizers", she walked up to us with an apologetic and knowing grin saying" You probably want your check now."
She was right.....there would be no main courses for us.
We left, laughing about the experience as we drove away. As a goof, we decided to stop by Red Lobster, as we still had a taste for seafood and in a gambling mood. Much to our surprise, we feasted on 2 dozen plump, flavorful ACME oysters there for 12 bucks a dozen,,,,,,,,,,,,go figure.