by Tim Regan October 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Oyster Platter at Eat the Rich by Scott SuchmanA Shaw oyster bar will host a festival of cheap local shellfish, brats and beer tomorrow night.

Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW) kicks off its first annual “Oystoberfest” celebration tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The party will include $1 barcat oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Company, brats, pretzels and copious amounts of beer.

“This will be a little bit different from the norm,” said senior bar manager Paul Taylor. “Our guests will get to crush a bunch of oysters.”

The party will also feature an oyster-eating contest where 25 patrons will race to polish off a dozen mollusks. The fastest oyster eater wins a $100 gift card to Eat the Rich and a private tour of DC Brau’s brewery.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel with Oystoberfest,” Taylor explained, “we’re just trying to have a really fun time on a Thursday.”

More information from a press release:

(more…)

by Borderstan.com April 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]borderstan.com

"oysters"

Oysters on the half shell. (Luis Gomez Photos)

When it starts getting warmer as spring approaches, there aren’t many things as satisfying to consume than freshly shucked oysters paired with an ice-cold Martini. Head to Hank’s Oyster Bar, a Q Street mainstay since 2005, to explore how well these Mad Men-era favorites go together in the balmy weather.

Vodka or Gin?

The first order of business is to choose a Martini: vodka or gin, flavored or unflavored. If you want to let the delicate flavor of the oysters shine, it is best to go with a strong and clean classic, so choose gin or vodka “up very cold and very dry” as my Dad used to say.

I prefer the blank canvas of a smooth vodka, but the herbal floral notes of gin often draw out and highlight the unique flavors of certain types of oysters. You cannot go wrong pairing briny with briny; a dirty Martini will always partner well with the lovely saltiness of an oyster.

Just about any Martini offered at Hank’s will pair well with an oyster (not surprising that their mixologists know their customer base).  Two choices that will not fail to complement any oyster: The Vesper, consisting of two parts Plymouth Gin, one part Grey Goose Vodka, and a splash of Lillet with a lemon twist; and the Dry and Dirty: Cold River potato vodka with a splash of olive juice.

I decide to go off the path just a bit and choose one of their original Martinis, the “Cold Smoke,” which includes Ketel One vodka, a “float” of ice-cold Ardbeg scotch (a peaty Islay scotch I adore) with a flamed lemon rind.

Sample All the Oysters

The combination proves to be a perfect complement to the half-dozen oysters I order from Hank’s blackboard menu, which changes daily. The light touch of the smokiness from the scotch warms up the cold, strong vodka, but does not overwhelm or compete with the flavors of the oysters.

  • My recommendation is to sample at least one of every oyster available. The oysters will come out on a tray, along with a card listing their names.
  • As you work your way around the tray, start with a sip of the Martini, then dislodge the oyster with your fork, pick up the shell and slurp down the oyster from the wide end to suck in the juices.
  • Follow with another sip of the Martini, and wait for the flavors to mingle in your mouth. The Martini will add a wonderful zesty charge to the taste of the oysters, almost like an additional dipping sauce.
  • As you sample the oysters, you may want to consult your smartphone for some additional information on where the oysters come from and their flavor profiles (check out the Oyster Finder for a handy guide).
  • The Dragon Creek oysters on my plate turned out to have an interesting story: produced at Nomini Creek on the Eastern Shore, these oysters are hand-delivered to restaurants by the grower, Bruce Wood, who also recovers used shells and returns them to his waters, where new oyster reefs can begin to replace those that were over-harvested centuries ago.

Incidentally, my favorite oyster on this particular night was the Malpeques from Prince Edward Island — sweet and briny, almost like an ocean pickle.

While the weather is perfect for oysters and Martinis right now, don’t forget that oysters are wonderful any time of the year.  Enjoy.

The Details

  • Where Am I Going: Hanks Oyster Bar, 1624 Q Street NW.
  • When Am I Going: Weekday happy hour specials from 5 to 7 pm. Dinner service begins at 5:30 pm.
  • Paycheck Pain: Oysters on the half shell $2/each; Martinis priced at $11. Half-price oysters every night from 11 pm to midnight.
  • Say What? A lively atmosphere, but it’s not too loud for a conversation.
  • What am I eating and drinking: Oysters and Martinis! But Hank’s offers a variety of seafood and meat dishes for those who want a broader selection.

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by Borderstan.com February 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT]borderstan.com. Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.

Awww shucks. Let's just have fun. Borderstan oyster happy hours. (Aparna

Awww shucks. Let’s just have fun at Borderstan oyster happy hours. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy)

Oysters have always been an elegant, complex, luxury treat in my book. But then again, there are some times when I just want to gorge on these beauties along with a few glasses of wine, and not have to sell a kidney to pay the resulting tab.

If you want to enjoy oysters at a reasonable price alongside a glass of wine or a cocktail, Happy Hour is clearly the way to go. Here are some reliable bets in Borderstan to enjoy these briny bivalves:

  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: This popular 14th Street haunt needs no introduction. Its Happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm, includes two-for-one local oysters along with drink specials. Definitely shuck it out for a gluttonous, great time.
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar: A visit to Hank’s is a must for anyone who wants a good oyster deal. The happy hour is offered daily from 5 to 7 pm and late night from 10 pm to midnight, both of which are ideal times to take advantage of a good oyster special. Great atmosphere, $1 oysters at the bar, friendly service — Hank’s knows the way to my heart. It fills up pretty quickly most evenings, so get there early!
  • Urbana: I recently discovered the Happy Hour at this subterranean wine bar. $1 oysters and $8 pizzas, along with $5 sparkling, reds and whites make this a great deal. $1 oysters are even more delightful when accompanied by the bar’s oyster-friendly happy hour list of wine, beer and cocktails. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 pm daily. Urbana recently started a monthly oyster and beer happy hour on the first Friday of each month: $6 for six oysters and a pint of Port City beer. There is really nothing to think about here.
  • Black Jack: Okay, its happy hour is literally an hour each day Tuesday through Friday from 6 to 7 pm, which is a bit sad, but that just means more oysters crammed in less time, right? Black Jack has two-for-one oysters just like Pearl Dive, but here’s the best part: They have an all-day Happy Hour on Sundays from 3 pm to close. Stumble in after a bottomless brunch to continue Sunday Funday activities.
  • Tabaq: Did you know Tabaq has $1 oyster specials everyday from 5 to 7 pm and again from 10 pm to midnight along with Happy Hour cocktails? I did not, and hence I have not been to this one yet. If you have, what did you think?
  • Tel’veh: I know, this is not technically in Borderstan, but with $1 oysters and over 48 wines by the glass to choose from, this lesser known cousin of Agora a few blocks from Chinatown makes it completely worthwhile to step (not too far) out of Borderstan. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 4.30 to 7:30 pm.

So there you go, tame that oyster craving and quench that thirst without a huge dent in your wallet. Tell me in the comments if I missed your favorite!

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by Borderstan.com August 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,116 0

From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]borderstan.com

"oysters"

Oysters on the half shell. (Luis Gomez Photos)

When it gets as hot as it’s been this summer, there aren’t many things as satisfying to consume than freshly shucked oysters paired with an ice-cold Martini. I recently headed to Hank’s Oyster Bar, a Q Street mainstay since 2005, to explore how well these Mad Men-era favorites go together in the 90-degree heat.

Vodka or Gin?

The first order of business is to choose a Martini: vodka or gin, flavored or unflavored. If you want to let the delicate flavor of the oysters shine, it is best to go with a strong and clean classic, so choose gin or vodka “up very cold and very dry” as my Dad used to say.

I prefer the blank canvas of a smooth vodka, but the herbal floral notes of gin often draw out and highlight the unique flavors of certain types of oysters. You cannot go wrong pairing briny with briny; a dirty Martini will always partner well with the lovely saltiness of an oyster.

Just about any Martini offered at Hank’s will pair well with an oyster (not surprising that their mixologists know their customer base).  Two choices that will not fail to complement any oyster: The Vesper, consisting of two parts Plymouth Gin, one part Grey Goose Vodka, and a splash of Lillet with a lemon twist; and the Dry and Dirty: Cold River potato vodka with a splash of olive juice.

I decide to go off the path just a bit and choose one of their original Martinis, the “Cold Smoke,” which includes Ketel One vodka, a “float” of ice-cold Ardbeg scotch (a peaty Islay scotch I adore) with a flamed lemon rind.

Sample All the Oysters

The combination proves to be a perfect complement to the half-dozen oysters I order from Hank’s blackboard menu, which changes daily. The light touch of the smokiness from the scotch warms up the cold, strong vodka, but does not overwhelm or compete with the flavors of the oysters.

My recommendation is to sample at least one of every oyster available. The oysters will come out on a tray, along with a card listing their names. As you work your way around the tray, start with a sip of the Martini, then dislodge the oyster with your fork, pick up the shell and slurp down the oyster from the wide end to suck in the juices. Follow with another sip of the Martini, and wait for the flavors to mingle in your mouth. The Martini will add a wonderful zesty charge to the taste of the oysters, almost like an additional dipping sauce.

As you sample the oysters, you may want to consult your smartphone for some additional information on where the oysters come from and their flavor profiles. The Dragon Creek oysters on my plate turned out to have an interesting story: produced at Nomini Creek on the Eastern Shore, these oysters are hand-delivered to restaurants by the grower, Bruce Wood, who also recovers used shells and returns them to his waters, where new oyster reefs can begin to replace those that were over-harvested centuries ago. Check out the Oyster Finder for a handy guide.

Incidentally, my favorite oyster on this particular night was the Malpeques from Prince Edward Island — sweet and briny, almost like an ocean pickle.

While the weather is perfect for oysters and Martinis right now, don’t forget that oysters are best eaten in months that end with an “R” due to their spawning cycles in warmer months… and fall is just around the corner.  Enjoy.

The Details

  • Where Am I Going: Hanks Oyster Bar, 1624 Q Street NW
  • When Am I Going: Weekday happy hour specials from 5 to 7 pm. Dinner service begins at 5:30 pm.
  • Paycheck Pain: Oysters on the half shell $2/each; Martinis priced at $11. Half-price oysters every night from 11 pm to midnight.
  • Say What? A lively atmosphere, but it’s not too loud for a conversation.
  • What am I eating and drinking: Oysters and Martinis! But Hank’s offers a variety of seafood and meat dishes for those who want a broader selection.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com September 14, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,219 0

"Borderstan" "Pearl Dive" "14th Street NW" "Luis Gomez Photos"

Pearl Dive at 1612 14th Street NW had its soft opening on Saturday night. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancasterEmail her at [email protected]

Another Look at Pearl Dive

So you decided you didn’t have enough money to give to charity this weekend and skipped the Pearl Dive Oyster Bar soft opening for charity. If the picture didn’t make you reconsider your decision, here are some more pictures! Washingtonian has a great slide show of photos as well as some drool-worthy descriptions of dishes. Oysters mixed with bacon are an extra special aphrodisiac, or so I hear. Or want. Delivered to me in bed.  Sorry. Back to news.

More Food News… Chipotle with Soy Sauce?

Chipotle, the Tex-Mex fast service lunch time staple of hungry hordes of office workers, has been hard at work at a spinoff concept for more than a year. It’s called ShopHouse and it involves noodles. At the concept restaurant, you can get noodles or bowls starting September 15. At least, that is the date the Washington City Paper is going with, despite newspaper on the windows. It definitely has the attention of the national media, as the first location opens in Dupont soon…Esquire and the LA Times are drooling over it.

Chief Lanier Takes on FOP

It was impossible to be anywhere near DC or a television on 9/11 without feeling the impact of the day. It also was hard to not see the stepped up police presence all over the East Coast and especially around the monuments, bridges, tunnels and DC landmarks. However, these officers are paid (and deserve more) than just our gratitude. This is the sticking point between the brewing fight between Chief Lanier and the Fraternal Order of Police. Lanier says the ‘crime emergency’ warranted 12-hour shifts; FOP says they should have planned better. Decide for yourself at We Love DC.

A Place to Spend Extra Cash

For those not trimming the fat, Foundry is set to open in the old Boundless Yoga spot soon. As U Street Girl reports, the store will sell vintage furniture. Not maybe in the budget, but for those of you living high on the hog, it is some really nice stuff on sale at the new store in the ‘hood.

Worth It for the Headline

The headline is, “Kwame Brown Tackles Ethics Reform.” It is brought to you with a mostly straight face from our friends at DCist. Among one of his issues is Constituent Fund Reform, where he brings to task a number of members, including Jack Evans, for their expenditures. Also said with a straight face, Kwame saying he finds himself in “a perfect position to push ethics reform.” Folks, we can’t make it up.

by Borderstan.com September 7, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,277 0

Pearl Dive, Jeff Black, 14th Street NW, Logan Circle, Borderstan

Pearl Dive Oyster Bar on 14th Street NW will host a pre-opening diabetes benefit Saturday, September 10.

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at [email protected].

It’s Good to Be Hungry and Live in Borderstan

We Love DC lays out September’s greatest hits in food, and a whole mess of them are in the neighborhood. On September 10, ChurchKey is hosting a jazz benefit from 2 to 6 pm featuring North Coast Brewing Company beers and live jazz. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Then head down the street to Pearl Dive Oyster Bar‘s pre-opening charity cocktail party, which begins at 6 pm and benefits diabetes. Give your gut a break until September 15, when Ping Pong Dim Sum hosts their grand opening with tickets starting at $35.

But Not Great in Disasters

The Washington Post notes in the opinion section that no one has the authority to evacuate the District. Comforting news, I am sure, to those who shook in office buildings on Tuesday and then fought over sandbags on Friday. It seems the answer may be Speaker of the House John Boehner, which should concern residents for a few reasons. Chief among them is the tendency of the controlling party in Congress to use DC as a guinea pig when it suits them and a whipping boy when it doesn’t. Can someone please figure this out and let us know?

Gone but Not Over: Sulaimon Brown

Sulaimon Brown has an unfulfilled subpoena order to produce documents, and on September 15 he will return to court to defend himself. So, as DCist reports, even though the DC Council wrapped up their investigation, it appears we are not rid of this embarrassing ethics flap.

Oh, and the Fully Loaded Saga Continues

It took over $12,000 to break Kwame Brown’s ‘fully loaded’ lease with his Lincoln Navigator. Washington City Paper reports that this brings the total paid for the barely-used vehicle to nearly $15,000. Oh, and that total only covers the second vehicle — not the first Navigator that he rejected. It would be really terrible to have to make budget cuts while paying for a car… oh, wait.

Chuck Brown & the National Symphony

I am pretty bummed I missed this, to be honest. This is a good time to note that SYMHM stands for ‘stuff you might have missed.’ Anyways, Chuck Brown, the godfather of go-go, joined the National Symphony for a Labor Day concert over the weekend. Thanks to the good video work of WUSA 9, you can relive a small part of the magic.

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