WHERE TO EAT OYSTERS THIS SEASON

Updated: 10 hours ago

'Tis the season, and we'll be slurping and showcasing Cape Fear oysters. In particular, we want to point you in the right direction of where to eat the best briny bivalves in the Cape Fear region. Oysters are the unmistakable taste of the Carolina coast, and these fine chefs are serving them raw, grilled and topped off with deletable options.



DRAM YARD

Q&A with Chef Joe Wolfson


What is the oyster dish DRAM YARD will be showcasing?

We will feature a half dozen oysters served in three different ways. They will be tobacco horseradish granita, kumquat serrano mignonette, and a chawanmushi with green apple. The chawanmushi is a savory egg custard made with dashi, sake, soy sauce, and citrus. It will be served chilled and garnished with oysters and apples. Tobasco horseradish granita will be shaved ice served atop the oysters. The mignonette will be a tart sauce with shallots, vinegar, kumquats, and serrano peppers.



What type of oysters will be used?

We will feature a daily selection of Atlantic oysters from North Carolina, Virginia, and New England. Some examples will be Dukes, Beausoleil, Rochambeau & Divine Pines.

Do you have a signature drink or cocktail you would pair with the dish?

Our signature drink, The Astrologist, consists of gin, rosé, rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, and thyme and is the perfect complement to its aperitif style. It’s light and refreshing with citrusy and herbal notes that pair well with the oyster offerings.



Happening at DRAM YARD around the oyster season?

We are featuring a take-home Thanksgiving pre-order that starts on November 1st through our online reservation system, Tock. Pick-up will be on Wednesday, November 23rd. The menu includes Roasted Turkey, Oyster Mushroom Gravy, Vanilla Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Lemongrass Compote, Roasted Cauliflower with Salsa Verde, Potato and Goat Cheese au Gratin and Arugula Salad with Candied Pecan, Pickled Pear, and Warm Brie Dressing for $65 per person.


STEAM

Q&A with Chef William Slade


What is the oyster dish that STEAM will be showcasing?

Oysters Wilmington is a staple on our menu and a local favorite. The oysters are fried with North Carolina country ham, creamed leak, and a béarnaise sauce.



What type of oysters will be used?

The dish features local Stump Sound oysters, which Chef Williams buys directly. They are large, meaty, and salty and can stand up to some added Southern flair.


Do you have a signature drink or cocktail you would pair with the dish?

If it's oysters, then it's got to be sparkling. Our Everyday is Sunday cocktail, with sparkling wine, frozen juice cube and topped with white peach, cranberry or mango. Otherwise our On the Road cocktail with gin, basil syrup, honey, fresh lemon, crushed ice and topped with sparkling wine.


Happening at STEAM around oyster season?

Our Thanksgiving Brunch will feature NC oysters on the half shell alongside other traditional favorites.


PINPOINT

Q&A with Chef Cameron Garvey


What are the oyster dishes that PINPOINT will be showcasing?

We'll be showcasing our raw oysters and baked oysters. Raw oysters are a great way to experience the authentic flavors of our local oysters in the surrounding area. We serve them with cocktail sauce, house oyster crackers, lemon, and a rotating mignonette. We also do different infused vinegars as the seasons change. Right now, hibiscus is in abundance. So we're doing a hibiscus vinegar as our base and topping it with a white peach sour beer local brewery, Broomtail. Our baked oysters are served with compound butter with garlic, shallots, peppers, Worcestershire, and smoked Aleppo hot sauce with garlic ciabatta crumbs. The flavor is somewhat similar to New Orleans-style barbecued oysters.


What type of oysters will be used?

The Carolina Dreams are from Stump Sound, and the Masonboro Pearls are from around Masonboro Island. I chose these because have contrasting flavors. You have a really refreshing salty, buttery oyster coming from the Carolina Dreams. Then with the Masonboro Pearls, you have a very salty upfront, almost mushroomy finish flavor to them. When eating oysters, it's nice to have a flavor contrast with the oysters you're trying.


Do you have a signature drink or cocktail you would pair with the dish?

Champagne is king, but Prosecco or Cava will work in its place. Stouts and porters are the classic pairings if you're more of a beer person. However, you can't go wrong with a light, crisp Pilsner. Looking for a cocktail instead? Citrus and Gin meet with sparkling wine in the timeless French 75 cocktail.


Happening at PINPOINT around oyster season?

Our Thanksgiving dinner is always a good time, and it sells out every year. We also offer our Monday special every week: half-price wines by the bottle and by the glass and half-price raw oysters. Other than that, we're stoked to have some delicious oysters available this time of year for everyone to try and find their new favorite one. Reservations can be made through the OpenTable link on our website.


CATCH

Q&A with Chef Keith Rhodes



What are the oyster dishes that CATCH will be showcasing?

We will be featuring our seasonal raw oysters on the 1/2 shell with apple mignonette, salted pecan, celery leaf, and ginger aioli. We will also feature baked oysters on the 1/2 shell stacked with collards, pimento cheese & bacon panko crunch.


What type of oysters will be used?

We will use Ana Shellum’s wild caught oysters from Wrightsville Beach. They are buttery, minerally, and firm.


Do you have a signature drink or cocktail you would pair with the dish?

Our Catch Dirty Martini would be a perfect pair with oysters.


Happening at CATCH around oyster season?

Beginning in January 202 we will be serving 1/2 off oysters on Wednesdays.