What Makes a Good Oyster Bar?

by Jacqueline Church on July 2, 2012 · 3 comments

cages at Raspberry Cove PEI

As we begin to roll out the Oyster Century Club© I’m thinking about my next oyster. Will I shuck and slurp at home? Will I go out for dollar oysters and what will they have available? (Become a member and log your adventures tasting to 100 varieties! The first ten Oyster Century Club© members will receive a free copy of Rowan Jacobsen’s definitive guide: A Geography of Oysters.)

Jon Rowley of Oyster Wine fame, recently Tweeted an open question asking what an oyster tastes like. I answered, “The ocean. And possibility.” That is always the beauty of oysters for me. No matter where I’m at before my first oyster of the day, the second one finds me in a much better state. You feel alive with that sense of anticipation — all things seem possible.

Rapsberry slurp Here I am in PEI, on a boat in Raspberry Point, downing oysters just pulled from the water. Doesn’t get any fresher than that. Somehow I’m smiling and slurping!

I have gotten pretty good at shucking at home and I have my own favorite mignonette, but the truth is I often get so excited about the oysters, I forget it!

• Why not have an oyster tasting at home? Both I Love Blue Sea and Taylor Shellfish will deliver oysters right to your door. Invite friends to bring a dozen along and shuck, slurp and sip while you compare notes about the flavors and pairings. Mark your new varieties tasted on your Oyster Century Club tasting sheet.

What Makes a Good Oyster Bar?

I love going out for oysters. It seems so luxurious. I thought it might be a good post to start us off on this tasting adventure to ask from my fellow lovers of bivalves, what do you think makes a good oyster bar?

1. A good shucker is key. No one enjoys the ptht ptht of spitting out bits of shell.

2. A nice selection. I like to see at least one or two from each coast. Hopefully, one I haven’t had before.

3. A wine selection that includes French Burgundies – Chablis, Sancerre. And Saké which pairs really well with oysters.

4. Someone on staff that really loves oysters. It’s always fun when you find a tasting guide, someone on staff who’s enthusiastic about their oysters. Can they teach me something new?

 

 

And there’s always with oysters, that sense of possibility. Maybe you’ll meet someone interesting sitting on the next stool. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite oyster or discover a surprising pairing.

What is your favorite oyster bar and why?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Auffrey July 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

I would add to the wine selection that they should have some good Muscadet, a classic pairing, and it would also be nice if they carried fino/manzanilla sherry, which pairs well with the brininess of the oysters.

As oysters can be expensive, sometimes $3+ each, I also like a place that runs oyster specials, maybe a discount for a dozen or a happy hour special.

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Marisa July 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

Maison Premiere in Wburg for excellent oysters & absinthe, Grand Central Oyster Bar for great oysters & people-watching, and Live Bait for their happy hour.

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Caleb July 6, 2012 at 7:36 am

I hear rumors about a fantastic oyster bar in the Leather District, on an upper floor in a converted leather warehouse building…

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