Living in New York City and being the oyster aficionados that we are, it is rare to find a restaurant with a distinguished oyster selection that we have not called upon. For no other reason than location, Wild Edibles, a superb little hidden gem always seemed to fall off our oyster radar map. Until this past week, that is. In fact, we liked it so much, that we made a second appearance within three days, before even having an opportunity to write about the original one. A first for theoyserblog.
Initially a shop, later turned into restaurant/shop, Wild Edibles is supplier to some of the top-notch seafood restaurants in New York City. They offer the option of purchasing fish for further preparation at home, or in store dining among their eight two top tables or four seats at the bar. But regardless of which way you chose to go, the end result is high quality product.
With 15 types of oysters on the menu, 10 east coast and 5 west, we knew a treat was in store. Only hard part would be narrowing the selection down to a reasonable dozen. With the help of Carlos, the friendly and knowledgeable manager, we were able to put together a sampler plate of his favorite twelve, which included: a Beau Soleil (NS), a Caraquet (NB), a Hurricane Harbor (PEI), a Salte Aire (PEI), a Salutation Cove (PEI), a Canada Cup (NB) and a Malpeque (PEI) from the East Coast. From the West Coast I had one of each on the menu; A Hama Hama (WA), a Hood Canal (WA), a Kumamoto (WA), a Skookum (WA) and a Steamboat (WA).
The Caraquet and Canada cup were the briniest and saltiest of the bunch, which is common to oysters from that area. The Beau Soleil was superb in size and smoothness. A refreshing oyster, with not much of a finish, it is a good preview to the more sophisticated oysters that followed. The Malpeque, Salte Aire, and Hurricane Club were a bit more substantial, but of course what got us most excited was the grand finale of the five west coast oysters, from which the Steam Boat (WA) took center stage. Plump, creamy, and full of mouth filling meaty goodness it exhibited an abundance of character. Similar to the Fanny Bay, when in season, it is quite the palate pleaser.
The Steamboat was so good in fact, it called to be revisited. And so only two days later, we returned for a solid dozen of our favorites from the tasting; Four Beau Soleils, four Skookums, and four Steamboats. Although the Skookums were a bit disappointing, lacking in texture and entity that is expected of them, the Beau Soleils were a solid start with the Steamboats again dominating in their grand finale performance.
Wild Edibles has a friendly knowledgeable staff, an extensive selection and some great tasting deals. Perhaps a third visit is in order.
535 3rd Avenue, New York -