There are many reasons why I love a home cooked meal. Besides the labor of love that goes into planning a menu and executing a recipe, I get a great sense of accomplishment from it. That being said, there is also something really wonderful about an evening out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. Because I don’t visit often, the occasion is special, a date set in advance with a call in for reservations. The days leading up to the dinner, I dream about what will be on the menu. How I will ever chose just one entree when every dish sounds so appealing?
I put my best mindful-eating practices to the test, savoring every bite. Allowing myself to marvel at the chef’s expertise and recall the ingredients that have packed such flavor into each and every bite.
When the restaurant first went under construction I was skeptical, the building had been a french fry shop, a garden store, a frozen yogurt franchise, and more often then not, it stood a vacant building. I wondered if it was the location, settled amongst several other bars and restaurants on the edge of a bustling Main Street in downtown. Perhaps the building was cursed, or maybe the right fit had not yet been found.
I remember when the bright blue paint appeared on just a portion of the building and then came the sign, Oyster Club it read, Farm & Sea to Table. Need I say more? I was intrigued. I could tell this wouldn’t be just another seaside town restaurant serving up clams on the half shell alongside a raw oyster bar.
Our first reservations were called in, I had visited their website with such anticipation of the menu’s offerings only to be informed the menu would change nightly in order to guarantee only the freshest ingredients. Being the type A personality that I am I had a fleeting moment of sudden doubt, I wouldn’t be able to plan ahead.
As we stepped through the dining room and sat with our menus all doubt became a distant memory. There was plenty to chose from and everything sounded fantastic. From hand made pasta, to goat and sea bass this menu was nothing short of stunning.
The menu always concludes with gratitude for the local farmers and gardens that allowed this menu to be crafted even down to the vase of wild flowers on each table.
I have since been back to visit Oyster Club a few times as I believe that the luster of the experience would be tainted if it were commonplace to dine here. I think my wallet would also have some objections. Prior to the hurricane last week we visited for a long-overdue celebratory dinner on the completion of my dietetic internship – we were only 4 months late but now there was much more to celebrate, a new job for one thing!
We began with local oysters from Long Island Sound and Ninigret, RI. The next course consisted of monkfish with capers, wilted greens and crispy fingerling potatoes, tuna with rice, wasabi and ginger dressing. We finished with apple spice cake beneath a dollop of sour cream frosting. I look forward to my next visit but for now I am happy reliving this dining experience.