(Photo credit: Carina Salvi)
Deconstructed Oysters Rockefeller
Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar; $16
An oyster balanced over spinach mingled with melted butter, with a crackly wafer of pancetta on top. Instead of in the shell, this elegant concoction is served with ceremony on a long silver spoon.
“Oysters and Pearls”
Per Se; $175 tasting menu
Thomas Keller’s famous dissertation on the culinary possibilities of pearls consists of three Island Creek oysters, a teaspoon of Osetra caviar, and pearls of tapioca sunk in a rich, eggy sabayon. It’s the oyster lover’s equivalent of crème brûlée.
Oyster Pan Roast
Oyster Bar; $9.95
Throw together heavy cream, a dozen oysters, a slice of bread, and a sprinkling of paprika, and you have a timeless dish. Best eaten in solitude on a winter’s afternoon at the bar, not the counter.
Pearl Oyster Bar; $15
When it comes to fried oysters, the true fiend takes comfort in numbers. This buttered hot-dog bun is submerged in a towering mound of crispy-fried goodness. Eat one at a time, with a spritz of lemon.
The technicians at Tom Colicchio’s restaurant choose oysters as big as plums, roll them in batter, fry, and stack them in a neat pyramid over a bed of creamy, tangy rémoulade. Again, eat at the bar, not a table.
Le Bernardin; $92 tasting menu
In this jet age of food, you can get good raw oysters anywhere in the city. But if you had only six of them to eat in your life, take them at Le Bernardin, sitting at one of the back tables, dressed in your best jacket and tie, of course.