There's an element of sacred ritual surrounding the consumption of herring in the Netherlands: Each year, the season kicks off on opening day (kind of like baseball's opening day over here) with much pomp and circumstance.
The P&C starts at 1PM at Grand Central Oyster Bar, where the annual Holland Herring Festival opens with an Official First Tasting, hosted by chefs, and attended by noted herring aficionados and Dutch dignitaries (seriously). On the plate: nieuwe maatjes (new herring) that have been air-expressed to Midtown from Scheveningen, on the North Sea. You can sample the delicate fish for $7 through June 29 at the GC Oyster Bar, where it's served with the traditional hard boiled egg, sweet onion and chive accompaniment. To pass for a local (a Dutch local, that is), hold the little sucker by the tail and lower it into your mouth.
Holland Herring Festival
Opening Ceremony Tuesday June 9 at 1PM; festival runs through June 29
Grand Central Oyster Bar, Lower Level, Grand Central Terminal; (212) 490-6650
More info from oysterbarny.com