Some of my friends are really jazzed that I write for a food blog, while others couldn’t really care less. So I love it when someone gets excited about it, and wants to play a role in helping me create a rad post. Violet and her husband Stuart are two of those people, true foodies who love decadence as much as I do (check out my caviar tasting post I did a while back with these two). When I mentioned to Violet that I was starting to get into the whole oyster thing, she immediately insisted we plan an oyster night with Stuart’s parents on Bainbridge Island. Fast-forward a few weeks, and we were able to time it perfectly with her in-laws’ return from Oregon, where they picked up some fresh Goose Point oysters just for the occasion.
Raised as I was to always try to be the best house guest, I brought over a charcuterie and cheese board for us to snack on before the main event. Rain Shadow Meats, as always, came through for me, as well as the Calf and Kid (both located in the Melrose Market in Capitol Hill, Seattle).
Starting clockwise from the top left: a decent, medium-strong blue cheese (I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called), paired with a clover honey to drizzle over; pork rillette with a fantastic layer of fat on top that we couldn’t help but smear into every bite; proscuitto; smoked andouille sausage; salami; pate foie de porc (my personal favourite); and La Tur triple cream cheese paired with quince jelly.
Next, the oysters. All were fresh Goose Point oysters, which are farm-raised by the Nisbet family in Willapa Bay, Oregon. We started with raw oysters on the half-shell, expertly shucked by Stuart.
These were huge, meaty, and very briny. You could really taste the ocean as you slurped these oysters down. We also ate a few on some buttered bread, which was the perfect vehicle for these buttery, meaty creatures.
As you can see, the oysters were giant! They were pretty much the size of my hand, although I do have small-ish hands, so they aren’t the best scale.
Next, we tried some oysters cooked on the half-shell on the grill, paired with melted butter.
I don’t know what it is about melted butter that just makes everything better, but this was no different. That same meaty, buttery flavour, with even more butter dumped on, just made the perfect decadent bite. The oysters also benefitted from a bit of smokeyness from the grill, providing a nice contrast from the raw ones we had just eaten.
Finally, it was time for some fried oysters! Dredged in Goose Point’s special mixture they sell in their shop, these had a perfect hint of spicy heat and seasoning.
I don’t think I’ve ever left a dinner feeling as fat and sassy as I did that night, but every bit of it was fantastic. All I can say is, as a former oyster hater, I’ve been entirely converted, and look forward to more oyster adventures while I’m still living here in the pacific northwest!