I found myself in Oviedo the other day and stopped in to check out Victorio’s Oyster Bar & Grille, a nascent local chain with four Central Florida locations. Its origins were as a pizzeria, and pizza is still featured on its menus. But pizza doesn’t make it into the restaurant’s name. But Oyster Bar does, so I knew I wanted to try some fresh ones on the half shell.
Trouble is I didn’t want a whole dozen, and even though the option was not listed on the menu, I asked my server if an order of a half-dozen was a possibility. She said of course, so I was happy.
The oysters were nice and cold and a decent medium size -- not too small and not too big as to be intimidating. They weren’t shucked very well, and I had to pull the meat away from the shell with my fork, which resulted in leaving some behind. The shucker has the sharp knife, and after using it to pry open the shell he should slice under the muscle to completely free it.
What was more disappointing was the price. The full dozen was priced on the menu at $9.95, which is not outrageous. However, $6.95 for a half dozen is. Yes, I’ve heard the phrase “cheaper by the dozen,” but there should be a better economy of scale. It’s not as if the set up of ice in an aluminum plate with lemons, horseradish and cocktail sauce was drastically different.
From the list of Italian dinners I had focused on the eggplant parmigiana, and I was happy to see that it was available in an appetizer portion for $7.99. And that was just the right size, too. The eggplant was a bit seedy, but the flavors of the tomato sauce and herbs and gooeyness of the mozzarella cheese were all very pleasant.
Pleasant isn’t exactly the word I would use for the service. Utilitarian, perhaps. I never felt that I was fully welcomed, and no one thanked me when I left.
Check Victorio’s Oyster Bar & Grille website for locations and opening hours.