For my birthday tonight it’s Kumamoto oysters and champagne at the Aqua Grill in NYC, one of my all time favorite seafood restaurants, with one of my favorite friends. I never really liked oysters until I tasted Kumamotos from the Pacific North West. I had only had the East Coast variety, flat, slimy, briny. They are actually a different genus than the Pacific. Kumamotos are the perfect bite size, pink rather than grey, plump rather than flat, sweet and creamy. And no cocktail sauce shall ever clutter the sweetness of these precious gems for me…only mignonette; sherry vinegar with minced shallot, salt & pepper, perhaps a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
When I do them for myself, loved ones and guests, I add another level of visual, textural and flavor panache….a little smorgasbord of toppings for the choosers whim. Finely minced cucumber, radish, chives, and celery freshen the the experience and add a pleasing crunch to augment all that creaminess. Of course the crisp splash of champagne in between bites, lends the perfect exuberance to this elegant repast.