Make it strong and make it snappy

My decision to always eat incognito at Pearl Oyster Bar was validated when I stopped in for a late lunch at the bar next to three not-small women whose order was sent to the kitchen with a “VIP this, show ’em some love.” They were whimpering trying to finish their over-heaped plates while I was feeling beaten not even halfway through my usual skate sandwich. Those portions are beyond generous even for the hoi polloi. (I am always absurdly grateful when friends benefit, though.) Besides, who needs extras when you can hear a repeated dis of “Anthony” for advising diners never to order fish on a Monday, or overhear an explanation of the draconian 2:30 cutoff of lunch orders (the tiny kitchen needs every second to prep for dinner)? It’s the best place in town for lunch and a show.