The one on the left is Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar, located on Second Avenue in New York. The other one is Jack’s Oyster House, located on State Street, just down the block from the State Capital complex in Albany.
The one on the left was founded in 2006. The other one was founded in 1913.
The reason the distinctions are being drawn here is that the newer Jack’s, owned by the same folks who have Degustation and Jewel Bako, is getting some notice from several NYC-oriented media types because it seems to have survived a shaky start and a change of founding chefs. “Under a new roof and chef Brendan McHale, JLOB feels less like a small restaurant with big, uptown ambitions and more like an East Village haunt with a big, downtown heart,” gushes New York magazine’s Tasting Table blog.
That’s nice to see, but there is much more to be said about the Albany institution that (a) is one of the state’s very oldest restaurants, (b) has operated every day of its 97+ years, and (c) still is owned by the same family, third-generation proprietor Brad Rosenstein now in charge. Rosenstein didn’t miss a beat when celebrity chef Dale Miller left Jack’s a couple of years ago (he went on to open his eponymous restaurant nearby). He hired Luc Pasquier, one of only 52 French Certified Master Chefs in North America. By comparison, Miller, who also has been spending the summer overseeing the reinvention of Sperry’s, a Saratoga Springs institution now under new ownership, is one of only about 60 Certified Master Chefs in the U.S., as recognized by the American Culinary Federation.
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