June 12, 2009

My accidental oyster free trip to the Oyster House...

In the same fashion as I've been to Swift Half five times and never had a swift half- i went to the Oyster House on Wednesday night and was void of the bi-valved mollusk.

Hopefully by now you've seen photos of the new OH...Mealticket had a nice spread last week.
It's ornate, yet simple. Sam Mink has arranged antiquated oyster plates as though they were "dancing" on the walls. A big change from the Oysterhouse of yesteryear...that was spiraling downward until the time the doors closed. When Lance and I first started dating we met up for a happy hour of cheesiness and started off there. It wasn't cheesy, it was just downright depressing.

O'Reilly's is pouring there (along with Rowhouse Red, Victory Whirlwind Wit and Prima Pils). I had a stout....because that's the classic pairing. I assumed I would be having oysters....but the stout makes a nice pairing with shellfish in general.

Garrett Oliver notes in the Brewmaster's Table: "The dry, assertive bitterness and roast of the beer intersects with the brininess, texture and sea flavors of the oyster in a way that nothing else can."

I started off with Dirty Shrimp ($10). My bartender, Shane, recommended them. The little crustaceans come with the head on. I felt a bit of challenge. I couldn't back down. I ordered four of them, and almost needed a new serviette per shrimp! But they were delicious. I didn't suck the meat out of the head. Baby steps. But I would order them again, and suggest you do the same. The Victory Prima Pils would have also made a nice pairing.

On to the Pan roasted scallops with garlic, corn and peas ($17). Shane explained to me that they don't use garlic cloves...its a different kind of garlic that is sweeter. These were perfectly seared and swimming in a sauce that was creamy enough to fill me up.
Or so I thought.
Out comes the clams casino, compliment of the house. And we finished with the strawberry rhubarb cobbler.

I always say I'm not a big dessert person, but I love the tartness of strawberry rhubarb. It was topped with delicious vanilla ice cream. I feel like I've had a lot of subpar vanilla ice cream in my life. This was delicious. I was thinking it was Bassat's but I forgot to ask. Maybe they should do floats with the O'Reillys...

There was a nice buzz in the room. At first I thought it was a bit loud, but my dining companion said it was just right. "It's lively like an Oyster house should be," he said. Quite a welcome change. There's nothing depressing about this Oyster house. I think Sam Mink is going to be quite pleased with the flow of traffic. Then there's the flow of liquor over the marbled bar (from independence mall). I didn't try any of Katie Loeb's oyster shooters, but they're in demand. I love that they have our Stout on, but i think cocktail shakers will be shaking more than taps will be pulled...sweet, sweet gin...making the buzz of the room that much nicer.