Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I have seen baked oysters in various guises on many restaurant menus. Usually, they’re in the appetizer section. Sometimes they are labelled “Oysters Rockefeller” or “Oysters Casino”. Some menu wordsmiths may inventively concoct other proprietary names for their oyster creations, but almost all that I have run across include either bacon, spinach, cheese, breadcrumbs or  — in the worse case scenario — all four. Searching for the oyster itself in all that mess is usually a game of diminishing returns, for when one locates the treasure, most often it is a shriveled up, overcooked hard nugget, and one is left to wonder what the big deal (and big price) was all about.

If you have ever eaten pristine oysters, seasoned with fresh herbs and a drop of Pernod, run under a broiler for no more than five minutes and doused with a shot of Tabasco sauce, you understand what all the fuss is about. Like these.

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We followed this first course with jumbo lump crab meat spooned out of its container straight from Joe Patti’s Seafood into small dishes, along with grilled asparagus and boiled red potatoes. We dipped the crab into a warm lemon, butter, worcestershire, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning sauce. A few bites of sourdough fresh from Amangiani’s oven completed the treat.

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