THE MYTHOLOGY, METHODOLOGY, AND MARVELS OF ONE OF SUMMER’S PERFECT FOODS
BY CHEF DAVID BURKE
I love to play with food, and was once dubbed a “culinary prankster” by Time Out New York. at said, I have great respect for it and the farmers, fishermen, cheese makers, small batch producers, and others who supply treasures I can work magic upon. But there are some items so perfect that nothing needs to be done with them save proper storing and serving. An oyster is one. At Drift house, this humble mollusk is perfection not least because it comes in its own container, is ready to serve, tastes delicious, is beautiful, sexy, and playful. Like a wine’s terroir, an oyster’s favor expresses the sea conditions where it’s found. Oysters filter water and consume plankton, plus bits of plant life, salt, and minerals. That is why a West Coast Kumamoto and an East Coast Well fleet look and taste distinctly different. They are high in zinc (a mineral needed for proper sexual development) and are exceptionally fertile, producing millions of eggs each year. Those facts aside, nobody is precisely certain how carnal desire has become associated with an appetite for them, but Casanova, for one, attributed his sexual prowess to oysters.
Folklore says that they should be eaten only in months that end in “R,” a notion that began in the days before proper refrigeration. Today, they can be eaten 12 months a year, but will spoil quickly if not refrigerated. In fact, one of the most important practices in serving best tasting oysters is storage and handling, and you’d be surprised at how often both are done badly, even at some of the best restaurants. At Drift house, we installed a state of theart Oyster Spa® in our main dining room, next to new lobster tanks. is keeps them pristine in chilled, UV sterilized salty water that mimics the pure ocean conditions in which they’re harvested. Lastly, and contrary to popular opinion, these gems are not dicult to open, but it’s a process that does require some skill. Buy an oyster knife (short, stout, and nonslip) and read up, invite a friend over who knows how or come to Drift house and we’ll open them to order!
J Vineyards California Cuvee
The inaugural release of this refined, elegant, light to medium body Cuvée (61% Chardonnay, 36% Pinot Noir, 3% Pinot Meunier) opens with a hint of tart pineapple and orange on the nose. Pear and honeysuckle first hit the palate, then suggestions of mandarin, before a zesty finish.
Albarino is a white wine grape grown in northwest Spain and in Monção, and Melgaço in northwest Portugal one famed for its distinctive botanical aroma. Resulting wines are often straw or pale gold colored, sometimes with hints of green. Fresh, fragrant, and crisp, with a wide range of flavors, including pear and peach. A silky white with great minerality to compliment seafood, particularly oysters.