Monday, July 11, 2011

Decadence on a Dime: Oyster Happy Hour

Early Saturday afternoon, I sauntered into the city to have brunch with my parents. Partially on a whim, partially to spend more time with my older sister, Elizabeth, my mother decided to sub-lease a charming apartment in Carroll Gardens for the summer months, coincidentally, when many natives choose to spend as little time in the sweltering steel and concrete playground as possible. Since heading north, acclimating to the new cultural terrain, my parents have mostly been wining and dining their way across Brooklyn, which is an ideal past time when spending some weeks amidst such a culinary stronghold.

For brunch, we selected a fairly new restaurant, Prime Meats, owned and operated by the esteemed, venerable Frankie and Frankie, of Frankie's 457, which is a mere two store fronts away. As the name would suggest, the menu is a potpourri of German-styled meats, namely bratwurst, sausage, pork schnitzel. Perhaps a bit less immediately obvious, Prime Meats also features an absolutely divine oyster selection. Thankfully, the proprietors understand how to draw a crowd: each weekday, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and each weekend, from noon to 6:00 PM, they host an oyster happy hour, half price all shellfish. True to our inherent, and adopted, in the case of my mother, mid-Atlantic palates, we had to begin the meal with a healthy, two dozen array of small oysters fresh from the cold waters of New Brunswick. Naturally, we paired the oysters both with cold and bubbling glass of champagne, and heaps of cocktail and minuet sauce.

This elevated serving tray facilitated sharing, as well as kept the oysters at a refreshingly cool temperature. I tend to prefer Canadian varieties to others, as they are harvested in, again, much cooler waters and also are generally notably smaller in size. Oysters taste like the brine ocean water they filter, giving transient texture to that sensation of swimming for an afternoon in the waves, providing a pleasant taste of a bit of sand grit. With the smaller size, I can easily chew and appreciate the tenuous invertebrates, without feeling as though I am investing veritable mandible effort, as I would relish with a fine red meat. The oysters here were perfectly delicious, and an ideal size.

Another important note to the photograph above: my father's royal blue and sandy cream Hawaiian shirt. Not exactly one to abandon tradition for the fashion flairs and trends bandwagon, my father has worn Hawaiian shirts religiously on the weekends and for the duration of the summer since before his retirement a few years ago; it is mere fortuitous happenstance that Hawaiian patterns recently began gracing certain runways and he is able to harness a type of hip credibility in his temporary new neighborhood.

This photograph was taken fairly early on during the carnage; the end result was a stack of about seven or eight bivalve carcasses.

After the oyster starter, for my pork schnitzel entree, I ordered a different, for me, cocktail called a Parlor Game, which comprised of some bourbon, sparkling rose, and elderflower liqueur, amongst a few other ingredients that have, unfortunately, since been forgotten. This was quite a bizarre amalgamation of libations, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bourbon did not take center stage.


  1. HAHAHAHA. I love Hubs' button down Hawaiian shirt.

    les années folles

  2. Oooh, that cocktail sounds delicious!