The best—and possibly the only—true oyster bar in the city, the River serves a selection of eight to ten East and West coast bivalves that arrive three to four times a week.
“If you’re going to have an oyster bar you have to be really busy,” said Bracha. “We’re selling seventeen to eighteen thousand oysters a month. It’s really becoming popular.”
Yeah. I’d say they’re popular.
One of the benefits of bellying up to an oyster bar is that I often make new oyster-loving friends. On this visit I met Kenny Gee (ordered a dozen) and Paula Shaw (doesn’t touch them) who—it turns out—live not far from me in South Beach.
“Some people like oysters from just one region. I like ‘em all,” said Bracha.
Me too. In fact I’ve decided my new mantra is: “So many varieties of oysters…so little time.”
“Every three or four years a new food trend comes up. There are bloggers and foodie intellects. In the last couple of years, oysters got really popular.”
We ordered three varieties: Royal Miyagi (surprisingly wonderful, clean and light with dimension); Ichabod Flats (a first for both of us—and not very briny for Mass. oysters) and Sunken Meadow Gems (one set were mild and the other had more punch), and slurped them with a Muscadet from the Loire Valley.
And so we slurped. We sipped. We chatted.
About what? Oyster farming. Sustainability issues. Moms who eat oysters. Moms who don’t. Shucking competitions. Wild Belons. Lustau Almacenista Amontilllado. Vacations in Spain. The Florida Panhandle. Oyster suppliers. “Training-wheel” oysters. Wellfleet. Galway. East coast versus West. Oysters-oysters—sis-boom-bah. Too soon it was time for the chef to get back to the stove, and for me to be on my way back to the beach.
Agreed. Though I’d add: Ready to eat…more oysters.
The River Seafood and Oyster Bar, 650 South Miami Ave., 305-530-1915