Drinking Eating The Chef

Oyster Hunt

Now that spring has finally arrived (just check your allergies for proof), I have been spending all of my free time in the pursuit of my favorite pairing – oysters and champagne. This regal duo will transport you to the heavens. You will feel invigorated and sexually charged like no viagra could possibly accomplish. In Haiti, the locals polish off a good stew of conch called lambi, and this is the nationally renowned remedy for any man’s woes. In Santo Domingo, they men turn to mamajuana, a potent concoction also responsible for improved awareness. I have always wondered if these products have the same effect on women. At any rate, all of that sucking and slurping and bubbly has to lead somewhere…

In the city there are good options for pristine oysters, as one bad oyster can put you off for life. Start at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal for variety. This old-fashioned institution serves a variety of briny and sweet oysters form east to west coasts. The wine list is moderately priced, and you can find great values like a Roero Arneis from Peimonte which I quaffed last Monday. Chenin blancs and sauvignon blancs from Washington to Long Island round out the American list.

Pearl Oyster Bar is one of my favorite places, but I often cheat here and order a lobster roll too. Late night, you can head over to Blue Ribbon. Although it’s pricier ($3.75 ea), they are open after 2 am and it’s certainly worth it. And you need not go to an oyster specialist. Many top restaurants offer oysters. BLT Fish, Craftsteak, BLT Steak, Balthazar, The Neptune Room etc. Oysters are everywhere. Recently, I was dazzled by the oysters at Giorgione, an Italian spot on Spring Street(review forthcoming).

Yesterday, I was treated to a bottle of Duval Leroy vintage 1996 “La Femme,” which was light-bodied and ethereal, fragrantly delicious and elegantly bubbly. Not bad with some sottocenere (truffle cheese).

Remember. Life’s too short to drink bad wine and eat bad food. Eat life! Go find some oysters and champagne. Ole!

By Chef Mateo

Just a man in pursuit of all things delicious. Eat and Drink life!