By Michele Brown
A year ago my husband and I traveled to France with our dear friends Brian and Rebecca. We stayed in Paris for four days and had the opportunity to do a Wendy Lynn–Paris is My Kitchen Food Tour (more on the tour in a later post). This was the most amazing food tour I have ever been on. We were granted access into incredible natural wine bars, personally met and spoke to the chefs, vineyard owners and Sommeliers. However one of the most memorable parts of the tour was meeting the International Oyster Shucking Champion at L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer.
Yes, there is such a thing as “International Oyster Shucking Champion” –and it’s a big deal. Not only did we get to meet him he brought the oysters into the wine bar that morning, shucked them in front of us and educated us on their location and type. I had never tasted such fantastically clean and briny oysters in my life. Our family loves oysters (kids too), so this was an absolute culinary explosion for us. We learned how to classify the oysters by size and how to correctly eat and slurp them, like the French do. No Tabasco, cocktail sauce or saltine crackers are allowed. Just the pure taste of the oyster that had been brought in that morning–incredible.
To celebrate the one year anniversary of this culinary excursion we decided to try to replicate the memorable afternoon in Denver. The difficult question was where to eat our oysters and drink natural wine. Denver has so many great places for oysters. We chose to start our evening at Stoic & Genuine, with Champagne and a dozen of their oysters. We sat outside on an uncharacteristically warm February evening and slurped down some Irish Points from PEI, Canada, a few Wellfleet from North Eastham, MA and topped it off with some Skookum from South Puget Sound, WA.
After Stoic & Genuine we walked over to The Kitchen to share a few bottles of natural wine and of course more oysters. We ordered a dozen of The Kitchen’s most popular, both east and west coast were represented. We washed these down with a couple of bottles of natural wine. The first being a light 2012 Chardonnay from MICHEL GAHIER ‘Les Follasses’ Arbois. The freshness of the wine complimented the oysters perfectly and didn’t take away from their clean ocean flavor. We finished the evening with a bottle of natural Pinot Noir DOMAINE DOMINIQUE GRUHIER from ‘Lame des Dannots’ Bourgogne–it was equally as delicious and clean.
Though we didn’t have the Eiffel Tower or the Seine River in the background, we did have a beautiful Denver evening and the bustling streets of Lodo to take us back to a spectacular day in Paris.
Where do you like to enjoy a dozen oysters?