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Our Specialty Oysters

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste, that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lose the empty feeling and began to be happy and make plans.” – Ernest Hemingway

At the Half Shell Raw Bar…we love oysters.  All varieties of oysters – any shape, size and flavor – from all the regions.  Raw, grilled, broiled, fried or baked…hot sauce, no sauce, BBQ sauce or a mignonette…just give us oysters!  As a guest, we want to provide you a great experience with our specially oysters.

Here’s a little background to help bring these little delicacies from the sea to your table:

Different regions provide different tastes, textures, aromas, mouth-feel and finish. From the famed cold water Belon, described by James Beard as “one of the supreme delights that nature has bestowed on man,” to the Apilachicolas grown in the Gulf of Mexico, one can just relax and enjoy the ritualistic way of eating them.

We are happy to be bringing specialty oysters into the Half Shell Raw Bar for everyone to enjoy.  To set the mood, we wanted to start off with some North Atlantic varieties.  After much research, we decided on the Rappahanock River oysters from Virginia.  Aside from the great taste and variety of these oysters we wanted to help put these Chesapeake Bay oysters back on the map.  We always seek domestic products when sourcing our ingredients and these specialty oysters are no different.

The Rappahanock Oyster Company started in 1899 by founder James Arthur Croxton, Jr.  Today, it is still a family business run by J.A.’s great grandsons, Travis and Ryan Croxton.

The Oysters

The Rappahonock – Cultivated in 1899, this oyster has a subtle salt taste that let’s the true taste of the oyster come through.  It’s full bodied, while buttery and sweet, and it has one hell of a finish.  This beautiful oyster will pair nicely with an oaked chardonnay.

The Olde Salts – The connoisseur’s oyster.  With a bright, sharp brininess this oyster exudes flavors from the sea.  A very smooth oyster with a clean finish.  To balance the minerals and brininess we recommend a crisp sauvignon blanc to go with these Olde Salts.

The Stingray – Named after their chief predator, these oysters are a Mobjak Bay classic.  They’re sweet, briny, with a nice body, that are loaded with minerals that exude the region’s flavors.  Enjoy the Stingrays with a cold lager or a glass of bubbly.

A great way to sample all of our specialty oysters is to indulge in a “flight.”  Two of each specialty oyster – presented from the most subtle to most robust – served with cocktail sauce and our own champagne mignonette.  Enjoy!