Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Half Dozen Raw at Casamento's

I absolutely love raw oysters and will eat them at any opportunity.  Casamento's on Magazine is my favorite spot for oysters for lunch (if I can make it there before their lunch hour ends at 2pm).  It's a great, old place with gorgeous original tile work everywhere.  Non-pretentious, but clean and welcoming.  The service is warm and friendly.  You can get serious advice about their excellent oyster-centric seafood menu.    I went today with the intention of having a half dozen raw and then following it up with an oyster loaf.  Unfortunately, I forgot they were cash only and only brought enough to have the half dozen (only $4.25!) and a side of fries.  It was fine.

I'm no oyster expert, but I do know that gulf oysters are different than any other oysters I've ever had.  First of all, they're HUGE.  Seriously, GIGANTIC oysters.  Next, not nearly as briny as other varieties, sometimes hardly briny at all, as was the case today.  Always sweet, plump, succulent... delicious.  They're great for cooking and perfect for lightly dipping, whereas I think that would be a sin with some of the more delicate and flavorful oysters of the world and wouldn't dream of it.

My dipping technique is to squeeze a slice of lemon in to the dipping dish, then add a nice pinch of horseradish and 2-3 drops of Louisiana hot sauce.  Spear the oyster on fork, quickly dredge in sauce, eat oyster, moan with pleasure, repeat.  What are the oysters like in your neck of the woods and how do you like to eat them?

Oh, Casamento's fries are great too.  Crrrisp!

Casamento's on Urbanspoon


Tim Vandergrift March 3, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

I love Gulf oysters and I've eaten my own bodyweight in them over the years--my favorite spot is Bern's in Tampa, nearly the ideal place for Gulf bivalve molluscs.

However, I live in Oyster Heaven. British Columbia has the most beautiful, deepwater, cold-climate oysters in the world. I regularly eat Fanny Bay, Malpeque,Chef's Creek, Kumamoto, Kusshi, Mary Point, Royal Miyagi . . . all of them having their charms, from briny with a texture like scallop laced with abalone to fat sweet lumps that taste like butter and the memory of sea breezes.

My favorite way to eat oysters is with good French Champagne (Bollinger is my favorite) and Guinness stout--yes, both. They are necessary to the process. I eat the oysters with a small squeeze of lemon and a drop of habanero sauce.

It is my custom on my birthday to make a meal of five or six dozen oysters and an appropriate quantity of Bollinger and Guinness. It's important to seize the rare opportunity for proper hedonism, you see.

Lisa March 3, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

I love oysters! I don't often have them at home, since we're not exactly close to an ocean. Those look enormous!

NOJuju March 3, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

Wow, Tim. That's a helluva birthday custom!

Lisa, they are seriously just crazy big.

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