My knowledge about oysters is pretty much this: I know that I really like them. I prefer East Coast oysters over the smaller West Coast ones, and I really liked the oysters I had in Paris that were from the west coast of France.
Last night my husband and I went to the Oceanaire Seafood Room in Mary Brickell Village and found it was a great place to learn about oysters. We ordered four different types: Peacock Point from New Brunswick, Ninigret and Potter Cove from Rhode Island, and Blue Point from Connecticut.
I often order Blue Point oysters because they’re almost always a guaranteed delicious bite. They’re large and meaty with a great fresh taste and hardly any saltiness. I think it would be a good first oyster for someone who has never had raw oysters. The ones at Oceanaire were a little bit smaller than other Blue Points I’ve had, but just as tasty. The Peacock Point were the smallest of the four oysters. They were the saltiest too, but the salt wasn’t too overwhelming. The Ninigret stood out in the group with their long and more narrow shells. The oysters too were long and thin, not much to bite into. I really liked the Potter Cove. They had a deeper shell than the other three. The oyster was compact and meaty, great to bite into. It had a slightly creamy taste which nicely complimented the slippery texture. All the oysters were cleaned and shucked well; there was no sand or shell fragments in them.
The oyster experience was enhanced thanks to our really knowledgeable waiter. He explained oysters naturally grow long, but depending on where they are and how much space they have, they expand to fit that shape. Just like the terroir affects the flavor of wine, the location where oysters are cultivated affects their taste. He also introduced us to Oceanaire’s executive chef who explained there are really only three types of oysters in the United States: Virginica and Olympia on the East Coast; the Pacific oyster on the West Coast (which was brought over from Japan). Eastern oysters are grown in the Pacific; Pacific oysters are grown in the Atlantic. To me it sounds like I’m going to have to try many more oysters!
We barely scratched the surface of Oceanaire’s oyster selection – we didn’t try the eight other oyster varieties, mostly from the West Coast. With their large selection changing all the time, I’ll definitely be going back soon to try more. And next time, I’ll have to order dessert, they have the best flan! But that’s a topic for another post.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room is located at 900 South Miami Avenue in Miami, with other locations in Florida and around the U.S.