Raw oysters are one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, the shell stars are just as rewarding when they’re tossed on the grill or set underneath the broiler. Here are 11 top restaurants for oysters to help you get your slurp on this summer.
Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette, Marina, California
Shucking awesome! These wood-fired oysters come with a wealth of toppings. Some feature tarragon pesto, kimchi butter graces others, and others still are a spicy sausage fest. Make a reservation at Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette.
Drago’s, New Orleans, Louisiana
They serve more than 1.2 million oysters a year at this New Orleans favorite. Their classic charbroiled oysters come drenched in butter, garlic, and cheese. Or, as we like to call them, the essentials. Make a reservation at Drago’s.
Harlowe MXM, Dallas, Texas
Rock on! This loving rendition of Oysters Rockefeller features the charbroiled bivalves capped off with smoked anchovy garlic butter, caramelized shallots, sautéed spinach, and a bounty of parmesan. #ShellYeah Make a reservation at Harlowe MXM.
Cherry Point, Brooklyn, New York
Grilled East Coast oysters are served on a thatch of torched rosemary sprigs to add a hazy, herbaceous aroma. They’re lavished with a rich smoked rosemary hollandaise. Black lime is shaved on to finish them off. Make a reservation at Cherry Point.
Hugo’s Oyster Bar, Roswell, Georgia
These chargrilled oysters keep it on the real. They’re finished off with just parmesan, garlic butter, and blackened spices. Warning: you will probably order a second round of them. Make a reservation at Hugo’s Oyster Bar.
Sac-a-Lait, New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana P&J oysters are the stars here. They’re brushed with jalapeño-garlic butter and topped with Pecorino Romano cheese while on the grill. Grilled French bread complements the blue star bivalves. Make a reservation at Sac-a-Lait.
Meril, New Orleans, Louisiana
These local oysters are wood-oven roasted. They’re lavished with marrow and hog’s head to enhance their rich tones. Conversely, salsa verde adds levity. Make a reservation at Meril.
Bourbon Steak, Dana Point, California
This picture-perfect platter includes Pacific Coast oysters brushed with red miso butter. When the bounty of broiled bivalves arrives at the table, chilled lemongrass tea is poured over the sizzling hot rock salt lining the cast-iron pan. This releases a briny, herby aroma that’s impossible to resist. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.
Café Centro, West Palm Beach, Florida
Go hog wild! These chargrilled oysters get a piggy punch from some pancetta. A drizzle of warm chili garlic butter completes the picture-perfect presentation. Make a reservation at Café Centro.
Iron Gate, Washington, D.C.
These chargrilled oysters are perfectly balanced. They’re creatively dressed up with goat butter, roasted chili, and pickled shallot. The results are funky, rich, spicy, and acidic. Make a reservation at Iron Gate.
Stiltsville Fish Bar, Miami Beach, Florida
A dozen grilled Malpeque or Blue Point oysters each hold a pool of green neck butter. “What’s that?” you ask. It’s basically a ton of butter with a ton of greenery, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, and spinach, as well as garlic, shallots, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Stiltsville Fish Bar.
Have you been to any of these top restaurants for oysters? Let us know here in the comments or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Austin Mark Graf (Harlowe MXM); Jeff Moore (Hugo’s); Galdones Photography (Bourbon Steak).