I’m heading to Row 34, Island Creek’s spanking-new restaurant in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, tomorrow night (Friday, Dec 6) for their Best Coast party. Anyone else? Folks from California’s Hog Island will be on hand, shucking their superb oysters, as well as many of Island Creek’s resident rock stars. It’s a great chance to go bicoastal with your bivalves, as well as check out the new digs and eats at the hotly anticipated Row 34.
Check back here for new oyster tastings and reviews of oyster bars and festivals.
Here’s how they grow oysters in South Carolina. It makes you very popular at parties when you show up with one of these. The oysters in question are Lady’s Island oysters, grown by Frank Roberts in the pristine ACE Basin of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Dreamy oyster spot: Thousands of acres of marsh, almost no people, with very little freshwater input. The salinities range from 31 to 35. That’s right, SALTIER than the sea. You can imagine what the oyster taste like: explosions of brine and umami, which will have you scrambling for a beer (also not hard to come by in the area). South Carolina is the slumbering behemoth of the oyster world; few people have been paying attention, and only a handful of locals are farming single oysters so far (as opposed to harvesting the wild clusters, as is traditional in the region for oyster roasts), but the Lowcountry has more acres of prime, high-quality habitat than probably anywhere in the country. And Lady’s Island is leading the way. Keep your eyes and palates peeled.
Okay, folks, this one is going to be special. The Island Creek Foundation is putting on one whopper of a fundraiser at the Explorer’s Club, that legendary temple of scientific exploration and adventure at 46 70th Street in New York. In addition to one of the finest curated selections of oysters you’re ever likely to see (we’re talking all five species, and the top representatives of each), paired with wines of equal caliber, there will be lots of other goodies. I’ll be hosting a VIP Reception that includes my favorite oysters, a special gift bag, and a private tour of the Club’s storied headquarters. It’s not a cheap ticket, by any means, but it all goes to one of my favorite causes: The Island Creek Foundation’s efforts to bring the joy of sustainable aquaculture to the third world. They’ve already started a shellfish hatchery in Zanzibar and a sustainable tilapia operation in Haiti, with more to come. You can learn all about it at the Club on October 16, 6-9 p.m. It’ll be a select group of fascinating, dynamic, and generous souls; hope to see you there.