Monday, April 9, 2012

You Know What They Say About...

If I had to choose my favorite dish, it would be raw oysters on the half shell. Something about that cool rush of salty goodness which hits the spot every time. On Good Friday - a day of fasting and abstention from meat for Roman Catholics - if you are going to eat only one meal, you better make it a good one. So when The Pope rang my phone this past Friday to extend an offer of lunch, we both had one thing on our minds.

We considered making the drive to Casamento's, but as we were both already downtown we decided on Grand Isle. After a quick stroll over from the office and passing by several acquaintances in the midst of the Nine Churches Walk, I found The Pope already posted up at the bar at Grand Isle with a glass of wine. (Lots of irony in that sentence.) Two dozen raw hit the table shortly thereafter. These oysters were medium in size, salty and had a rich, creamy texture. Only a dab of horseradish and a squeeze of lemon are needed to adorn the world's greatest food. Cocktail sauce need not apply.

Smoked Fried Oysters.
We continued our oyster repast with an order of the smoked fried oysters ($10.50 for a half dozen), which we have seen before. While these were plump and expertly fried, I couldn't help but miss the grilled vegetable salad and salsa verde in the original dish. And although this was a meatless feast, my ears perked up when I overheard the waitress rattle off all of the charcuterie that Chef Mark Falgoust is curing in house, including the ham in the cheddar melt. That guy takes "nose to tail" to a whole new level.

As you can see from the top picture, I chose to wash down my dozen with an ice cold Abita Strawberry, which would probably earn an "F" if this were a sommelier exam, but hey - that's what I felt like drinking at that moment in time. If I were pairing raw oysters with a purpose (which Rene and I have experience with), I would probably go with a lighter ale or lager for a beer and one of 3 different wines: (1) an albariño, the Spanish white wine from Galicia which has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years (this is actually what The Pope drank with his dozen); (2) a nice Sancerre from the Loire Valley (don't get distracted by the name - it's only the French way of saying "sauvignon blanc"); or (3) a glass of champagne, because... well, why the hell not?

Lent may be over but our local oysters are still worth eating for a short while longer. Get 'em while they're cold.


oyster said...


rsb831 said...

Went to Casamento's Saturday night. Had raw, charbroiled, stew and fried. All were great, but I think raw won.

William said...

Gathering of the clan in New Orleans for Easter weekend. Oysters on the half shell twice. Fantastic. First dozen with NOLA Brown. Second with a nice house Chardonnay.