>> Friday, October 21, 2011
I apologize for the dearth of posts this week. A combination of jet lag, a nasty cold, and catch-up from being away in Asia has really taken its toll on me!
Nevertheless, I did want to share with you my visit to Legal Sea Foods Harborside last weekend for the Bivalves & Bubbles event. I had a chance to try many different kinds of raw oysters, a few champagnes, and even meet the Naked Cowboy! (whose oysters were being featured).
This was my first time at Legal Harborside, and I was blown away by how beautiful it was.
The inside is stunning, with gorgeous (seemingly) 360 degree views of the ocean!
The building has multiple floors, plus an awesome roofdeck, which is where the oyster event was being held.
We started out with some lovely cucumber oyster shooters, which were just slightly salty, but refreshingly cool.
And then we were off!
We first sampled the Little Bay oyster from New Hampshire and the Malpeque from Prince Edward Island. I'm not (by any means) a raw oyster connoisseur, though I've always liked Prince Edward Island oysters. In this case, we found the Little Bay to be small, mild, yet buttery while the Malpeque was definitely brinier. Both were extremely fresh (having just been shucked right in front of our eyes!).
Though I usually love loading up my oysters with cocktail sauce and horseradish, I soon realized that it was much easier to really taste the difference between the oysters if I just ate them plain.
The next one I tried was the Naked Cowboy from Long Island Sound. Apparently this is one of the most popular raw oysters in Manhattan right now. They are named after the Naked Cowboy, a famous street performer in Times Square who plays music outside with hardly any clothing on - regardless of weather!
The Naked Cowboy was actually there in person and happy to pose for pictures.
The Naked Cowboy oyster (from Blue Island Shellfish Farms) was clean and neutral tasting with an ocean-like finish. "Taste of the sea . . ." according to my friend Kevin, who was there with me.
We next tried Merry Bay oysters from Duxbury, Massachusetts. These were pretty "meaty" and definitely on the saltier side.
Similarly, the Wianno Oysters (farm-raised on Cape Cod), were also quite salty and "meaty."
We next tried the Cotuit oysters from Cotuit Bay (also on Cape Cod). These oysters definitely started out salty, yet had a nice, sweet, fresh and mild finish. The flavors were actually quite nice. This is the only one of which I went back for seconds!
We next tried the Wellfleet oysters from Wellfleet Harbor, MA. These were very salty, and not very complex, in my opinion. I definitely wanted to pair these oysters with champagne, which added a nice, crispy fruit element to offset the saltiness of the oysters. Similarly, the Summerside from Northwest, Prince Edward Island were also salty, but were smaller and more tender compared with the Wellfleets.
They passed around all sorts of fun cooked oyster dishes, such as these fried oyster sliders.
These were really, really good! I loved the slightly spicy mayo and crispy lettuce inside. I did keep wishing for a greater oyster:bread ratio though! Maybe two fried oysters between one set of buns? It would have been great to have just a tad more lettuce too.
They were also making Oyster Stew, which was basically oysters ( I think they were using a mixture of Wellfleets and one other type), cooked in cream, butter, and leeks. Frankly, we didn't really like this much at all. The soup lacked the depth of flavor you would expect from a shellfish based soup (e.g., Legal Sea Food's clam chowder - YUM!). Sadly, we left most of this without finishing.
We ended the meal with these delicious fried oyster handrolls, which were also made with a flavorful, spicy mayo, cucumbers, and deep fried oysters.
Throughout the evening they poured two types of champagne: Gosset Brut “Excellence” Champagne, NV, which was acidic and had a long finish; and Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne, 2000, which seemed more dry but had a relatively short finish. Both paired perfectly fine with the salty, buttery oysters!
All in all, it was a fun lunch. I even ran into some local food bloggers! Above, The Boston Foodie, Confessions of a Chocoholic, and me!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and I hope I do recover from this cold.
Ah - ah -ah - CHOOOOO!
270 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
Legal Sea Foods invited me to come to this event with a guest for free