Although the myth that oysters should only be eaten during the months ending with the letter R has long been rejected, they do tend to be at their best during this time of year. As they prepare for the cold winter ahead, they plump up in meatiness, making them extra large and creamy. Now a few months into the season, we decided to take advantage of the large variety of fresh West Coast oysters at our favorite East Village oyster bar, Upstate, and do a tribute to our dear bivalve.
Upstate, owned and beloved by Shane Covey, is the perfect neighborhood restaurant/bar meeting the needs of any person looking for a quaint personal drinking and dining experience. Four boards display the daily selection of raw bar, wines, beers, and special, that change based on the freshest ingredients of that day, all selected by Shane. Its always a pleasant surprise to see which oysters are on the menu and which wine or beer will be accompanying our selection.
Grabbing a fellow New York City oyster enthusiast, InAHalfShell, we turned our West Coast oyster indulgence into a fun game, rating each one based on its meatiness, creaminess, and sweetness. All characteristics typical to oysters from this part of the country, we gave each category a ranking of 1-5.
With nine varieties of West Coast oysters on the menu that day, we ordered two of each, and extra few to boost up our first round. It consisted of Kumamotos, Gigamoto, Point Julia, Eagle Creek, Quilcene, Hood Canal, Blue Diamond, Buckley Bay and Paradise Island. We had the best time rating them. The winners, scoring a 4 in all categories and those making it to the second round were the Point Julia, creamiest of the bunch, the Blue Diamond, meaty and rich, and the Eagle Creeks, which were so creamy, we named them the milkshake of oysters. Realizing there were a few additions to the menu, we added the Yaquinas and Gooseberry Points to our second round. The Gooseberrys were meaty but oddly salty for their terroir, and although the Yaquinas were creamy and meaty, we still favored our top hitters from round one.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the plump meatiness of the Fall oysters, head over to Upstate now, and indulge.
Craft Beer and Oyster Bar
95 1st Avenue NY, NY 10003
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